RWD or separate page/site for mobile?
Posted on 2013-12-29
The application that I'm re-writing, which is more interactive-analytic as opposed to content consuming, requires a main screen with a three part view: a single wide div on the left and two narrower divs on the right (say 67% left, 33% right). There will be menu presets that will re-size these three divs in relationship to each other (i.e. make one of the two on the right larger), and some drag-resizing after that, and zoom sliders for each window (or at least the left window).
Part of the requirement is that the main screen will be used in interactive group sessions, so the basic div layout needs to stay relatively fixed to maintain a common visual/cognitive view for all participants. So, no free-floating divs.
Plus there needs to be a lot of little controls within each div, e.g. to click or double click on an element to call up context menus or show information popups.
I can see this basic layout working from a PC down to a 7-inch tablet. I'm having a hard time imagining that this is going to work in the same basic way on a phone.
=> I don't know that RWD (i.e. Bootstrap) is going to help much, because it's not a matter of content flow (but then, I may be making mis-assumptions about RWD).
=> Phone use would have to rely on browser-provided pinch-and-zoom to be able to effectively read (and interact with) the content of the three divs.
=> It seems like the little controls within each div would have to be configured differently for the phone (i.e. at 48 dp per control they would be too big)
=> but maybe pinch and zoom could overcome this.
=> a "pure phone" approach might sacrifice the "3-div view" for viewing each div one at a time, with alerts about when to look at the others (or something like that).
=> Session participant will also likely be talking on the phone
=> Phone participants could be given lower text-input capabilities.
On the other hand, webex provides a phone app, so maybe it's possible. Not sure how much interactivity that has; I'll have to look into that.
I'm thinking what I need to do is design my app primarily for PCs, take into account the touch orientation of a small tablet, and then make concessions for use on phones where it doesn't cripple the needed analytic/interactive features that are possible at the PC level. But if the PC/Table design doesn't translated easily to phone, then write a separate GUI for phones.
Any thoughts, suggestions or pointers to articles that would help me think about this would be appreciated.