If you’ve been around the Portland tech scene, you know the name Jason Grigsby (@grigs). He’s co-founder of Cloud Four, a leading agency for mobile web development here in PDX. He’s also co-founder of Mobile Portland, a group dedicated to educating people and promoting mobile technology.
Jason took a few minutes out of his busy day to talk with us about the future of mobile.
Q: You and Cloud Four are champions of responsive design. Given the huge number of new canvases on the horizon (iWatches, in-dash displays, bigger iPads and who knows what else), will responsive design be even more important ten years from now? Or will there be so many display sizes and niche uses that we’ll need to design more specifically and intentionally for each?
A: I think they are two separate questions. First, will responsive design be even more important ten years from now? Probably not. I think in the long run responsive design becomes simply web design. It is designing for the web as it should be.
Regarding wearables, niche uses, etc., it remains to be seen if web consumption on these devices is a common occurrence and if the behavior is similar to what we see on the continuum between phone and desktop. I doubt that these devices will have consistent screen resolutions so it is likely that responsive design will apply. But what you’re asking is whether there will be a single code base regardless of form factor when we get into niches. I’m not sure.
What I’d like to see are designs based on user need instead of form factor. Vimeo has a couch mode. It is designed for a 10 foot experience. But you can get to it on your laptop easily and you can control it with the keys on your keyboard.
The key here is that it is a couch mode, not a TV app. I suspect we can find similar user needs when we look at wearables and find that giving people the option to select a mode works. (more…)