The Path to a Mobile Drupal: Techniques, Tools and Failure

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Recently, I received an email invite for a webinar on mobile device development. I tried to sign up via my iphone, but was told that my mobile device wasn’t supported. True story.

As mobile device usage grows exponentially, the web developer community’s assumptions about user experience are being challenged. We’re realizing that what we thought we knew about how to build web sites was becoming too formulaic, treating our users as cookie cutter entities. Fortunately, many have started exploring ways to deliver appropriate user experiences, not just for “mobile” users, but for all users.

The main approaches we’re exploring can be summarized:

  • Responsive designs
  • Adaptive designs
  • Mobile First sites
  • Mobile only sites

But what is the right path for Drupal to take? What’s the right path so our users are given an experience tailored for their needs? What are the right questions to ask when building a new site? I’ll give you a hint; it’s not “What mobile devices should we support?”

In this session, we’ll discuss the main approaches to “mobile development“, try to define the mobile context, explore technology like media queries, fluid grids, and responsive images, and explore tools like adapt.js, 320 and Up, and WURFL. And one critical element that is often overlooked: performance.

Finally, we’ll look at how Drupal is uniquely positioned above most frameworks to provide mobile solutions: Its low cost of failure.

About The Presenter

John Albin Wilkins is one of the top 30 Drupal contributors to Drupal 7 and is listed a few times in D7’s MAINTAINERS.txt. He maintains several well-used contrib projects, including the Zen theme, Menu Block and Menu Position. He’s also the co-author of Drupal 7 Module Development, co-host of the Using Blue design/ux/theming podcast, and a Senior Front-end Developer at an awesome Drupal shop,

Intended audience

Front-end developers, designers, site builders and even decision makers will find this session essential in understanding the Drupal mobile landscape.

Questions answered by this session

What does “mobile context” mean?

What are the performance implications of mobile devices?

Which mobile technique is better?

What Drupal modules will help you build websites for mobile?

How does Drupal’s low cost of failure help all of us?

Comments (4)

Heinz 57

Great presentation. The bit about the significance of 57 with the Heinz brand is bollocks though.

"While riding a train in New York City in 1896, Henry Heinz saw a sign advertising 21 styles of shoes, which he thought was clever. Although Heinz was manufacturing more than 60 products at the time, Henry thought 57 was a lucky number. So, he began using the slogan '57 Varieties' in all his advertising. Today the company has more than 5,700 products around the globe, but still uses the magic number of '57.'"

Session material?

Is it possible to get slides also from this session? Thanks!

Looks great. Just to be sure:

Looks great. Just to be sure: Native app development is not in the scope of this talk, right? Thanks!

– Roy, your friendly co-chair for the Design & UX track

Native app development

I’ll definitely mention native app development, but I’ll be focusing on mobile web site development techniques.

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