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[mediaqueries] Use-case for "viewing context" MQ

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:14:49 -0700
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDD8yVVmXaWjgB=DcP219=Q0pVXiKLd6iQ4oNjJuK-ms1A@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Over in Specifiction I recently had a good conversation that boiled
down to the person (Jonthan Fielding) asking for the ability to
discriminate between "viewing context" - how the user expects to
interact with the current device.
<http://discourse.specifiction.org/t/media-feature-for-viewing-distance/534>

Specifically, he brought up some examples of apps that have a "TV
version" and a "tablet version" which, while technically presenting
the same information (in a way that would be completely doable in a
single page with MQs and script) present it in substantially different
ways.  Quoting Jonthan:

# Tablet #
* Swipe through content
* Text is smaller as you are close to device
* Takes advantage of gestures to swipe content, while this is a
functionality difference it effects how it looks
* Buttons are medium sized, just right for clicking on

# TV #
* Step through content,
* Text is big and bold
* Buttons really big and bold
* Bigger iconography

Several of these are nothing more than having the viewport set up
correctly - my 40" TV is actually only 800px-1000px wide, by a quick
eyeball estimation.  I suspect a lot of TVs have far larger viewports
than they actually should, which is why people developing for TV have
to explicitly user bigger fonts and buttons, as noted in Jonthan's
list.

But there's still an interesting quality here that's not captured by
anything - how we expect people to interact with the page.  People
*don't* interact very much with TVs; this is partially because our
input devices (mostly remotes) are terrible, but also just because we
tend to "watch" TV while chilling on the couch.  On the other hand, we
"use" our tablets, which implies a lot more interaction and
willingness to explore and such.  This difference affects the UI that
should be presented.

I don't know if it's realistic to actually capture this in a MQ, but
it was good feedback, and I wanted to preserve it on the mailing list.

~TJ
Received on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 23:15:36 UTC

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