Just when we were starting to get used to the tools,frameworksandmethodologies needed to design good mobile apps, we find the device landscape is changing again: smartwatches and other connected wearables, sensors and everything under the “Internet of Things” umbrella are bringing new complexity to our field, and makes it very difficult to tell where “mobile” or an “app” really starts and ends.
And we designers are having a hard time getting used to it. Given that many of us first approached mobile design through responsive web design, it’s been much easier to approach mobile design as if it were some kind of “smaller web with touch support and camera access”.
But the upcoming products and services are meant to live fluidly across a range of devices, sensors and network connections. So I believe that mobility, rather than mobile, defines much better the kind of environment we will have to design for.
Rather than a focus on a specific device, designing for mobility is a broader approach to design; one that delivers value because it can be transmitted by any combination of devices. Mobility forces us to think broadly and zoom out from specific devices to look at the ecosystem in which we will be designing.
Mobility is about the context, not the device