Thoughts on technology and social web

April 24, 2009

Build for the phone and port it to desktop

Filed under: development — Ravikant Cherukuri @ 8:59 pm

I am tired of the mobile applications that look like they are struggling to fit into the form factor of my phone. Equally (if not more) hate the desktop applications that think that just because I have a 17 inch screen, try to fit every inch with stuff I rarely use. And when a desktop application wants to ride on the mobile wave, they do the unthinkable and squeeze the monster into my phone. The result is multi level menus and challenging navigation with a square inch of space in the middle that you are interested in.

Its time to invert this. Build your app for a decent mobile device. Then port it to desktop. There is nothing I cannot do on my cell phone these days if the software is rightly designed. And desktop apps should grow up and work on the same principle of respecting real estate and appearing only when user attention is needed. I think well designed mobile apps can scale to netbooks and desktops pretty well.

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