Janus might almost be the appropriate god to typify this particular topic. Janus you may remember was the Roman God usually represented as two-faced looking both backwards and forwards. January the starting month of the year is named after him. It's a time to look backwards and to look forwards.
The original genesis of this Forum was rooted in the cross-browser problems that are so apparent around us all. So many web designers design for Internet Explorer and then are surprised when their web pages 'break' in Mozilla Firefox. However that is very much a now and in the past view. Looking forward, there will be many new devices available to stay aware of what is happening on the Internet. So if you wish to communicate with these users of new devices, how well are you doing? Looking backwards, this Forum might have been named the Cross-Browser Assessment Panel, CAP. Looking forward there was no choice but to call it the Cross-Browser Device Assessment Panel, that's CDAP for short.
This topic can only hope to sensitize you to the possibilities since there is intense activity on a number of fronts. If you're interested we give below a number of initiatives you should be aware of.
If you hadn't realized that this is a now problem, then current mobile phone developments should make this clear.
Use Of Mobile Data Services Hampered By Poor User Experiences
Samsung Phones To Include Macromedia Flash
Macromedia Looks Flash in Cell Phones - businessweek
An interesting series of posts by Cameron Moll broadens the discussion to examine design and usability for different handhelds.
The W3C is now embarked on its own Mobile Web Initiative. "The Mobile Web Initiative's goal is to make browsing the Web from mobile devices a reality," explains Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the Web. "W3C and mobile industry leaders are working together to improve Web content production and access for mobile users and the greater Web."
In 2006 Stanford's Persuasive Technology Lab will focus its research on a new and exciting area: mobile persuasion. They hope to develop a theory of what makes mobile devices (mobile phones, PDAs, handheld gaming systems, etc.) uniquely persuasive. It goes even beyond that. A recent blog item suggests that this offers A Platform for Mobile Lifestyle Communities. It discusses BiM Active, a mobile service offered on Sprint, that uses GPS and persuasion to help people reach fitness goals. The presenter in this demo says the service "is about community -- communities share". These are not just alternative device choices.
With momentum like this behind the questions raised by other devices, it is important for anyone who aims to reach the broadest audience possible to consider how they will reach these new audiences.
Edited by bwelford, 06 March 2006 - 08:54 PM.