Really good post from Ben Terret about the idea of Play Small. Spot on.
One thing that really brings home Play Small to me is iPhone web pages.
Most people would assume that a mobile web page is a compromise. Not as good or as rich as the main page. The thing is, more and more I’m finding I like the mobile pages better than the main pages.
Stripped of all superfluous content and navigation, devoid of over elobarate graphics, they’re like raw ‘what I came here for’ in one handy pocket sized rectangle.
I now find myself opting for the small version even when the full sized is next to me on the laptop. I prefer the BBC News small. I prefer Typepad small. Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Financial Times, Telegraph – I prefer them all small.
These aren’t iPhone apps. These are web pages designed for the iPhone.
Dopplr is pretty much the only site where the big version works just as well on the small screen, I’d even say it was better than the mobile version. Dopplr is very well designed and it’s also constructed around a very strict grid and I suspect this is why it works so well small.
The full Dopplr site is on the left, the mobile Dopplr site is on the right.
It’s a design truth that it’s better to design something with restrictions. And it maybe that size is just another restriction, but I think it’s more than that. Just like Wil’s sketches feel light and quick, so do iPhone web pages. Partly because they are quicker (quicker to load etc) but partly because they’re demanding less of my attention. I can get to where I want to go much, much quicker.
Make no mistake, we’re currently leaving the era of Baroque brands and moving into a new period of austerity in communication. And as we move towards Depression 2.0 maybe Play Small will become a vital tool for all designers across all forms of media.
Read the full article at Noisy Decent Graphics
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