Responsive web design has become the main method of developing and designing websites. With it, it is much easier to “start from mobile” and create websites running on portable devices.
For the pioneers of responsive design, it was common to create breakpoints using CSS for specific screen sizes, such as 320 px for iPhone and 768 px for iPad, and then test the site on devices and track the results. As adaptive design develops, we increasingly begin working with content and set “tipping points” where content breaks down. As a result of this work, we have a set of only a few breakpoint, sharpened under the content, but not tied to specific form factors or devices that could be used for tests.
We can only guess how our design will work on devices of different classes, form factors and with different models of interaction. But we must not guess, but constantly monitor the effectiveness of the design with the help of real traffic data.
Content-bound breakpoints are a good solution, but using them, analysts should be especially careful to see where the site is “broken”. Having this data at hand, it is easy to determine on which types of devices and form factors it is time to test the site.
Google Analytics has great features that take into account the work of the site on different devices , but we, adaptive designers, work primarily with form factors – not with devices. Guessing is not necessary.
Why form factors?
It is always easier to speed up the site or optimize the user experience for a specific device or family. But in practice, it is simply impossible to develop a separate experience for every existing device on the market : there are too many of them and their number will only grow. However, each device can be attributed to a particular form factor. Luke Wroblewski , author of "The First Mobile » ( « Mobile First »), identifies three characteristics for classification polzovatelkoy experiences for different devices:
the scope and position of the user's body,
data entry method
output, or screen.
The combination of different signs gives us all the diversity of form factors. Therefore, it is logical to use form factors as the main parameters for tracking indicators of an adaptive site. So we find out which devices to test the usability of the resource.