Elliot Jay Stocks on Responsive web design ➦

Elliot Jay Stocks:

I could go on about why I think Responsive Web Design is a great idea for your websites, clients, colleagues, and of course users, but the thought I’ll leave you with is this:
Create a new HTML document, add some content, don’t add any CSS, and view that document in a browser. What do you see?
The web has always been fluid; we’ve just wasted a good number of years forcing fixed pixels onto an inherently responsive framework. The time to stop is now.

It's an interesting and thought provoking article if you're interested in this stuff. Well worth the read.

User Experience Designer vs. Creative Director | UX Booth

Andrew Maier at UX Booth in an article titled User Experience Designer vs. Creative Director:

To begin with, “functional” requirements only determine if an application can do something, not how one goes about making an application do something. The evolution of the application landscape says that the latter has quickly become a key differentiators. Therefore, the importance of the role of someone who understands users rises.

Interesting article, especially for those working in the digital space.

Life Below 600px | Paddy Donnelly

Paddy Donnelly on an excellent article about the concept of "the fold" in web design:

We all know, people have learned to scroll. They did a long time ago, but still the 'everything needs to be above the fold' concept lingers on.

It's not new, and others have argued that there is no fold in a very compelling way. But today I had an discussion about this when someone mentioned, again, that a key element was below the fold.

We were looking at the website on my 13 inch MacBook Air. Fortunately, I had it connected to a 24 inch display, so I just dragged the browser to the bigger screen and presto! The whole thing was above the fold.

I then showed them the site on the iPad. And then on the iPhone.

It's time to move on. Scrolling is simple and everybody does it naturally. There is no fold.

Nielsen is wrong on mobile | .net magazine

Following up on my previous post on mobile sites vs. full sites, here's a really good refutal to Nielsen's recommendations by Josh Clark titled Nielsen is wrong on mobile. He writes:

The answer is not building a separate website for every platform. That might've been fine when a new platform arrived every few years. But now that they seem to arrive every few weeks, that strategy is untenable. There aren't enough of us to support and design a fresh website for mobile, for tablets (for 7" and for 10" tablets), for television and for speech-based interfaces that are around the corner.

It's a content-strategy nightmare and a voracious resource hog to build and support separate websites for each and every platform, for each and every screen size, for each and every input style (touch, speech, text and so on).

Definitely with a read.

Mobile Site vs. Full Site (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

Jakob Nielsen's on having a mobile site vs. a full site:

Good mobile user experience requires a different design than what's needed to satisfy desktop users. Two designs, two sites, and cross-linking to make it all work.

He basically says you need 2 completely different sites, and that for the mobile site, you should "cut features, to eliminate things that are not core to the mobile use case; cut content, to reduce word count and defer secondary information to secondary pages; and enlarge interface elements, to accommodate the "fat finger" problem."

In a way, this makes sense. Navigating a website designed for desktop use on a mobile phone is frustrating at best and downright impossible at worst.

However, I don't agree with cutting down features and content. Just because you're on a mobile doesn't always mean you're just after a quick fix or don't need all the information. I'd argue that many people today will use their smartphone to browse the web just because it's at arms reach and they can't be bothered to get up and open their laptop. This doesn't mean they need less features and content.

The challenge, I think, is a design and usability one. And it's not an easy one.

The new Apple TV interface design is app ready

Apple TV interface design ready for apps Shortly before Apple announced the new Apple TV, I wrote a short article in which I described what I would like the next Apple TV to be. My main point wasn't about new hardware, but about new functionality and a new interface that allowed for apps as channels.

For example, an app for each free-to-air channel is obvious, but what about an app for HBO or Showtime? It could open up to a new interface where customers could choose the shows they wanted to watch, it could include special content like behind the scenes and interviews.

How about an app for a show? If I buy the season of The Walking Dead, it could show up as an app on my Apple TV and inside have all the episodes, interviews, webisodes, info about the comic books, etc. It would be like having all the content a DVD has, but in an app accessible through Apple TV. It would also be great for independent content producers by selling direct to customers. Similar to what the Mac App Store does for software.

This obviously didn't happen with the latest version of the Apple TV.

We did get 1080p and a new interface design though. And it's this new Apple TV interface design that I find interesting. It seems to be heading in the direction I was thinking of. The main screen now has icons for things like Netflix, MLB.tv, NHL, Vimeo, and others as well as Movies, TV Shows, Music (which gives you your iTunes Match Library), and Computers (which lets you see the iTunes Libraries of other Macs in your network).

While I'm not convinced the UI is perfect yet, it does feel like a step in the right direction. The new Apple TV interface is ready for apps.