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Preferred approach multi device design

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just curious what people prefer when developing a multi device / platform design for Desktop / iPad / iPhone / WD

Do you prefer to essentially create different versions of the solution inside one file and treat each target device as an independent solution?

Duplicate scripts for each device, so that navigation is targeted only to layouts for that device.

On startup establish the device solution is open on and navigate to that portion of the database.

- or - 

Create separate layouts for device dependent context - but reuse common layouts between various devices. Maintain one set of scripts for function and navigation but always testing for device / platform to target the results of the scripts (navigation)


do you prefer to have "device - context" layouts like: "iPad - Customers", "iPhone - Customers", "Desktop - Customers" etc. for said devices and also maintain a common utility layout such as "Customers" that has nothing on the layout but employs a layout script trigger to perform the navigation logic?


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I'm actually developing a new DB (everything from scratch) which is initially designed to be used on an iPad, though it may also end up being used on a desktop. My intention is to one day migrate the entire DB to the new DB in order to once and for all get rid of all the old crap.

I'll probably have to create some specific layouts for various devices, but I'm actually attempting to implement your second option. Reuse common elements between devices. I've spend considerable time now getting my navigation right, which will be used across all devices. Now that is right, I can focus on the security of things, making sure that is all good, and then copy layouts as needed. The navigation is dynamic and controlled through a menu table. I'm using the Selector-Connector principle that LaRetta pointed me to.

Due to the amount of content I need to display on desktops, I probably can't get away from having multiple layouts.

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  • 3 months later...

The latest solution I developed had to run in OSX, Windows, iPad and WebDirect. Of course I used the same layouts for every device, and each feature was tested on all platforms. It's better for everyone, just use a 1024x768 screen size and it will work beautifully. Navigation should happen in a single window which switches layouts with buttons on the top navigation bar. The iPhone obviously has to be a separate thing, the entire application workflow is often different.

Desktop users tend to like big buttons, so design an interface for iPad and it will work even on Surface (*ehm*) tablets which have touch screens. Also it's simpler for an user to have the same interface, and less a hassle for developers to propagate changes.

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