I’ve been asking people for a long while now if they’re thinking about mobile.
Some people think about it, “We need to be on your phone!”
There’s a little more to it than that, though, as people are discovering.
Luca Forlin, Head of International Product Partnerships at Google, shared several thoughts on where mobile publishing is headed. “There are two things right now. There are two things right now. The first is the around the devices and the second is around usage.”
Around devices, “the interesting element is that we have seen huge growth in smaller tablets – phablets – which are taking a huge share of the market from the bigger tablets. Does that change much in terms of what publishers do? The truth is we are not yet sure. What is clear is that publishers must abandon the idea of designing something one way and move to a world where content actually adapts. Optimisation is really important. The second thing is that, while phablets are taking over, in reality they belong to the smartphone family, which is entirely different from big tablets. That again forces them to abandon their old habits. Small screen sizes require much more simplicity, different design logic and different content.”
Think about it: text is text, you can read words anywhere. So long as you have a pleasing font and good light (or a good battery) you can generally digest text at leisure without a terrible amount of difference between a magazine and a phone or tablet or book.
But images are hard in some mobile platforms. We tune them out. And if we do click that thumbnail some great photography just doesn’t translate on a Droid screen like it would in a nice magazine layout.
Some videos work well there, others less so. There are issues of quality and glare and audio and detail. You’ve had all of these experiences as a user, I’d bet.
So you come to realize you have to think not only about the content, but where it is going and, now, how it is going to look in several different places.