Rather sweetly and fondly I remember the television set from my childhood – it was an item of furniture in its own right. It commanded a corner in our sitting room, slung on a sturdy table which developed a weary wobble over the years. The grey molded screen sat in a wood-plastic like casing; the back of which extended further than anyone could guess in black perforated plastic. The controls were 4 sturdy buttons which hurt my fingers when I pressed through the three channels. If no one could be bothered to move from the sofa, a wooden pool cue could be swung at these fake silver buttons and with a good deal of effort and skill, a flick through the channels took several minutes.
The screen always started, from a small central white point which clouded and then expanded to reveal a lined, grainy color picture. The sound was always slightly marred by a tiny distant hum, behind the movie voices.
Now, well televisions are thinner than many books, are backlit cinematic extravaganzas with 24 hour programming from all over the world. I can sit tight and change channels remotely, change resolutions, volumes, call up programs and record things weeks in advance. My sound can be adapted to the room, or characterized through several options or even built into my living space via wireless speaker systems for ultimate surround sound.
So much has changed!
Exactly the same could be said for the PC and gaming electronics – once a bit of a mystery which seemed to require knowledge of another language and would break down into strange strings of codes – and the graphics, well we can remember them! Responsive website design was a thing unheard of!
Think now, to the phones we carry in our pockets – smaller than an old television remote control – and think what is in this little device. It is not just about making and receiving calls – I can make movies, play games, store documents, take notes and shopping lists without need for paper and pen; I can capture a scene with a really great camera, record my voice and post all of this on a range of social network sites. I can listen to an attic full of music, read a shelf of novels and research every major library in the land. I can buy myself new shoes, look up how many calories I have eaten since breakfast and at the end of the day, meditate with the help of a website.
Responsive website design is the trick to much of this; and not only does this ensure that my big screen PC looks great and shows me great looking stuff, but it also ensures my phone shows me stuff too. Such design ensures that I don’t leave my phone off for research or shopping and makes my phone an even more usable and portable pocket tool. I can pop onto my daughter’s tablet and ensure she experiences the great world of all of this and my son, on his smaller tablet, can read, direct, play and research without using the PC.