When it comes to the Web, nobody is a bigger authority and innovator than Smashing Magazine. This article is evidence of just that, pointing out current myths that some decisions makers may have made about the direction mobile is headed. If I may, I wanted to provide feedback and also steer a few in the proper direction.
First, it’s brilliant to assume that we think of mobile users in terms of the platform or device that accesses the amazing new features product development managers are thinking of. However, it’s just the tool and not the end point of the discussion. Simply put, mobile is about the user.
While easily stated, it is very difficult to define. Users tell us more about who they are in the types of data they search for and record instead of the browser they perform these tasks on. It made Google a leader, WebMD a household name and Facebook a giant. Want to know more about your potential customers? Look at the data they hold dear and find a way to give it to them in an easier manner.
Another assumption made is that everything needs to move to iOS, or at least start there if you want your app to succeed. It’s absolutely true, but one mindset I would love to be a part of changing is that we need to focused on which platform or user experience is better.
Apple enjoyed dominance until the Android platform burst on the scene. I have read many articles on how users either use their devices differently or expect them to behave differently. This is a very wrong-footed approach. Developers should be caring about to create a unified experience regardless of what device users pick up. How incredible would a service be if users could pick up any device (Samsung phone, Apple tablet, Asus laptop, Pebble Smartwatch, Sony television) and everything was a single experience? It starts with designers design with the user in mind, not the platform.
In that same vein, I can’t in good conscience endorse the idea that apps are just a fad. More and more Internet traffic is flowing from mobile devices every day, and it’s not through mobile browsers. Part of the reason is web designers still don’t employ responsive design in it’s truest form. So, until that paradigm shift occurs in web development, we are going to use our apps.
In the end, however, these are just my thoughts. I love that we can engage in conversations about this subject to build a much better mobile and connected world.