Designing for Different Platforms

The Proliferation of Media

Today there are so many different platforms that require design - laptops, tablets, mobile devices, television, magazines, newspaper, online papers, packaging, advertisements, and many many more. That is why in today's design world it is vital to know the capabilities of all the different platforms and how to design for all of them, said Steve Johnson, Coordinator of Visual Production with the UF Journalism College Office of Communications.

Screen Size

With so many different devices of different sizes that can access the web, it is important to take into account the medium. After all, Marshall McLuhan said the medium is the message. Methods to take into account different screen sizes are Responsive Web Design, Mobile Sites and Mobile Apps.

Responsive Web Design - one website layout that changes based on the size of the screen. They are good because there is no need to zoom, there is only one url and one code, the same content is on all devices, and it is the easiest to develop. Drawbacks include that the sites aren't catered towards mobile users, it just rearranges the content, it can take longer to load since it has more code and banner ads are hard to place.

Mobile Sites - separate sites optimized for mobile devices. They are good because they are tailored specifically with mobile users in mind, people use the internet in different ways depending on the device, information can be tailored for easy on-the-go access and they take full advantage of mobile capabilities. Some disadvantages include the fact that two sets of code equal two sets of content to keep track of, do tablet users use the desktop or mobile version and will users know how to access the mobile

Mobile Apps - a specific app tailored for a phone. They have all of the same benefits as a mobile site plus they can be tailored for a specific phone. The disadvantages include barriers from there being so many app stores and apps needing approval from the app store.