Multiscreen Patterns

Patterns to help understand and define strategies for the multiscreen world.

Author: Christophe Stoll
Date: 26. May 2011

This post has originally been published as a guest post on the MobileBehaviour blog.
During the last years, our design studio has been involved in many different projects – from designing mainly websites and desktop software in our early days, to smartphone apps, prototypes for TV interfaces and more recently, applications for tablet devices.Working for all those devices was interesting and challenging. Not just because of the diverse screen sizes and input methods, but because we learned in our user research how different the contexts are in which these gadgets are used.Even more interesting, however, is the question how those devices relate to each other. What does it mean for the digital products and services we are designing, when PCs, smartphones, TVs and other electronic devices are connected? 

What implications does it have on the interfaces, if people are interacting in an ecosystem of screens?
We looked at many projects and studies that involved experiences across multiple screens – from biblical stories laid out on multiple cathedral windows and the first computer-based multiscreen installations, to current examples, which are popping up everywhere. We also closely observed ourselves and others using and shifting between different devices.To make these scenarios more tangible for ourselves and to communicate them better to our clients, we started documenting patterns we noticed. These patterns and associated examples were the core of many workshops we did in various constellations: with brand managers, advertising professionals and design students.Today we like to share this part of our research work: patterns for multiscreen strategies. It’s been a handy reference when discussing solutions for digital products and services. We hope you’ll find them useful too.We would love to get your feedback – please tell us what you think. If you know more examples or spotted additional patterns, we’re very happy to hear from you.

You might also be interested in our precious paper devices and precious user templates.
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