I think we may all agree that mobile optimised design is a necessity, but is overall design being compromised to adapt function? Occasionally I believe we get more caught up in making certain a site is compatible with all devices, that design becomes an afterthought. I completely understand the significance of designing inside the grid, but what happened to the times of pushing the bounds beyond what was capable and designing away from the box.
Did those times evaporate when Flash was rendered obsolete? Fairly frequently I see the exact old protected layouts that do the exact same old things and I need to ask the question, in case this is the consequence of ensuring a complete functional bundle, is the sacrifice worth the benefit? On the marketing side of things we talk about how we cannot be all things to all people, and on the electronic side, that is exactly what we are doing. Rather than attempting to force an sq peg in a round hole, we have shaped a peg which fits any sized gap and doesn’t match any one of them flawlessly.
I completely support making certain brands have a powerful presence over mobile, tablet and desktop, but I have been in meetings where big office web experiences get watered down to accommodate mobile access. I have also seen mobile sites which are grossly overwhelming since the main version is too complicated to encounter on the smaller screen. I think we may have both without having to sacrifice either, but we need to think deeper about how folks expect to socialize based on the screen in front of them. Each device might not be more essential than the other, however, often time if we look at the deeper purposes of a site, we may break down each level of the experience to identify the areas which may have the largest impact on the largest segment of our audience.
And that is the sweet place that we have to work within. As the electronic world grows and there is a larger push to be more accommodating, we will need to keep in mind that digital online marketing isn’t a one size fits all medium. So as to be really effective, you need to be happy to select either the round peg or the sq one knowing they won’t match every hole. However, if that is where your folks are, then they’ll reward you greatly for your efforts.