Multiscreen UX Design

Source: “Multiscreen UX Design — Developing For A Multitude Of Devices”

Holistic approach

A holistic approach will increase your chances to cater for your customers in a way they naturally expect. I discovered, aggregated and expanded a number of helpful principles and patterns which you can utilize during the conception, design and development of cross-device and cross-platform services.

  • Different devices or information services can and will more and more be used simultaneously.
  • Different pieces of information may complement one another.
  • The display of information or content can be shifted to a separate device or be switched from one screen to the other.
  • Devices can influence, control and complement both each other and the information displayed on the screens.
  • Information has always to be synchronized between devices and thus kept updated to the same extent on all devices.
  • You can also extend and distribute the display of information across multiple screens.
  • Individual features must be optimized for device capabilities, type of use, and context of use.
  • It is advisable to concentrate on the most important and the most challenging device(s) first. The smallest or most limited screens (concerning size) force a meaningful structure of information.
  • If you develop initially for small or limited screens, owing to the necessity for size reduction, will result in a better structuring of the information.
  • Informational offerings should function similarly between devices and offer a uniform and fluid user experience.
  • Content should be as flexible as possible, to be easily used and published across different channels and devices.
  • A service is emotionally more attractive, if it is fun and supports a device fragmented daily routine.
  • A game factor can motivate people if it is challenging and provides relevant goals.
  • Get the small things right and try to focus on details to enhance the user experience.
The diagram shows the most important terms and topics (and their relations) that are discussed in the book.

Four key aspects

Besides these patterns there are four important parameters of a useful and user-friendly multiscreen offering: Firstly knowing the devices and their capabilities; secondly understanding the users and their capabilities; thirdly considering the context in which users use these devices; and finally knowing how to gather, organize and publish content and map it to multiple and various user interfaces.

Multiscreen strategies and examples. There are various patterns, principles, methods, and approaches that you can rely on during the conception of cross-device and cross-platform services. Some of them are based in part on the classification and definition of precious design studio. We have expanded, aggregated, and adapted these patterns.
Content Design and UI Architecture for Multiscreen Projects (compact)
Multiscreen UX Design (ISBN-13: 978–0128027295)

Think Multiscreen and embrace the uncertainty

Live and breathe multiscreen and your job will be a lot of fun. It is easier to create appropriate services and future friendly concepts when you’re frequently using multiscreen services and ecosystems in your personal life instead of only picking them up when you need them. Bringing your own experiences to the table makes your research a lot easier. You’re doing user research on yourself.

About the author



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Wolfram Nagel

Wolfram Nagel

UX Designer (@TeamViewer), UI Architect, JTBD Practitioner, Author of “Multiscreen UX Design”, Initiator of the “Design Methods Finder”. I love my 👪 and ⚽️🚵📸