Mobile vs Full vs Responsive. Which wins?
Seems some people think there’s one true way®
It would be nice if it was that simple eh?
Thing is - sometimes what’s right for one scenario probably won’t be for another.
And even then, that won’t always be the case. Sometimes.
Context is often the argument to dictate which way to go - but how can we possibly know the context in which these sites are being used?
Sometimes I want the whole site, sometimes I don’t.
Sometimes I need the whole site. Sometimes I don’t.
I could just as easily be browsing an airline site on my phone, sat on my sofa with a 30mb broadband hookup, as running through a crowded street in a foreign country trying not to bankrupt myself with data roaming fees.
And of course conversely I could be using my macbook air on a train with the shoddiest of connections (actually i often am).
Context and intent are not directly linked, so let’s stop ASS U ME - ing shall we? ;)
I might occasionally prefer to use the full and zoomed version of a site, to a version someone has deemed to be a better experience, by virtue of the fact they have shrunk it to fit my screen.
It’s really not black and white. The idea of one web is nice as a philosophy - but it is just that - and not the most pragmatic one either.
What we need is better detectors, better switches - maybe even better browsers.
Instead of running around trying to pre-empt and second guess the best way to hit this moving target, why not put the power back in the users hands. Let them tell us the context instead of trying to guess it, let them set contextual profiles to kill graphics, switch off webfonts, let them view the version they like - and then use better detection to make helpful suggestions regardless of device and help people learn…
Your bandwidth is low - would you like images to be temporarily blocked?
We’re very guilty as an industry of blindly running into burning buildings trying to put out fires that maybe aren’t our responsibility. Sure, it’s valiant and proactive, but maybe this is one of those situations where we’re better served by moving the fight elsewhere.
Sometimes we need to accept we’re unable to do the right thing all the time, but instead work towards providing mechanisms to get closer to that point.