Browser optimize

Poll: Does the 'five-screen' future affect your development?

Many Web developers are already facing the challenge of designing for five screens. Do you foresee this being a problem for your development work?

Usability expert Jakob Nielsen recently wrote about how developers are already designing for three "screens" (desktop, mobile, and sometimes TV) and will soon be dealing with two more screens ("tiny" like wristwatches and "huge" such as projectors, "smartboards," and so on). Some developers don't have to worry about these five screens quite yet, but many do, especially Web developers. After all, once your site works in the bulk of Web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome cover the market pretty well), it is accessible to a huge number of devices and form factors that you aren't specifically targeting and probably don't have access to test on unless you are a very well-funded shop.

I am not looking forward to dealing with the five-screen future, although good application design plus media-specific CSS helps a lot. Is this issue going to be a problem for your development?

J.Ja

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

5 comments
jarzola
jarzola

If you can't program your web app to display in 5+ different screens then you should not be developing. It is standard practice to develop for all in any project. In my planning meetings there is two top questions 1. how is it going to look? 2. what are our top 10 browsers we are going to support? AND Yes, I do mean top 10.

Ron_007
Ron_007

Please, the heck with programming for it, I want multiple monitors on my desk at work!

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

There should only be two needed: 1. A full sized site that can scale to any size from medium to huge 2. A mobile optimized site that is faster to download and smaller to display. It shouldn't matter what screen is used. The content should scale to fit. It does make sense to have a low-bandwidth version that looks nice on your Pipboy.

nwallette
nwallette

Just set your content DIV to 600px wide, and the rest is margins, baby!

PassingWind
PassingWind

Way back in the good old days, when engineers made things that worked, before the artists became possessive with strongly held but different opinions about how their web pages should look, the plan was for the content to be in the html, with the presentation decisions made by the browser. The browser, of course, would be written for, or have drivers for its local display. It was accepted that different browsers would render pages differently; that really was not important. With help from the user about preferences, the browser could also make user specific decisions about presentation, even to the extent of providing a wide variety of enabling technologies. There was the potential for a meaningful market for specialised browsers. Sadly perhaps, today's content originators are largely not of that mind set. We are on a different course, and one which cannot possibly work so well. It is one that will burden every single web page developer with an ever increasing burden of compatibility issues as new display devices are developed, and one which leaves talented browser developers competing only on speed and security.