W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > March 2015

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

From: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2015 09:52:48 +0100
Cc: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <A9619E74-641B-4853-A24C-8E18C8FFF06E@rivoal.net>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>

> On 26 Mar 2015, at 00:14, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

Yes, TVs' viewports tend to be way too large, and as you have stated, we
shouldn't be designing features to work around bugs.

Hopefully we won't get into the situation where, due to problematic legacy
content just like we did on mobile with the viewport meta-tag and @viewport,
we had to introduce a switch to ask the device to behave the way it should
have in the first place (or at least, I'm hoping that the viewport meta-tag
and @viewport will be enough to deal with it this time as well).

> 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.

There definitely is a difference in design between the so called "lean back"
mostly passive TV experience, and the "lean forward" way computers/tablets/phones/...
get used.

This is also overlapping with single user vs multi viewer experience. (Although
maybe not completely: a TV is multi-user lean back, but a game console might be
better described as multi user lean forward).

Given that this is quite strongly tied to the nature of the device, this may
be something we can reasonably expect a device vendor to be able to expose.

But I'm fairly reluctant about introducing this while:
* TVs are the dominant lean back device on the market
* Most TVs have a broken (way too large viewport)

Under these circumstances, introducing the (lean:back) media query is 
almost certain to be used by authors as a TV media type which they will
then use use to show bigger buttons instead of relying on the css px doing
its job (and screaming at TV vendors to fix their viewport sizes).

Also, there are some who argue that mobile should be though of as
a lean back medium, so it may not be all that black and white.

 - Florian
Received on Thursday, 26 March 2015 08:53:14 UTC

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