This is the session I’ve been waiting for!

An expert panel discussion on Designing and Optimizing for Multiple Screens featuring Alexandre Douzet from TheLaddersLes James from CapstratRyan Manchee from MediaMind, Chris Stout from IBM and Aaron Schildkrout

Alexandre shares that many job searches actually start from a mobile device. That’s why is done in responsive design.

Ryan reminds us that you have to give consumers content where they want it, that means that it absolutely must work on all platforms. Ignoring non-desktop users has moved from dumb to dangerous.

Les talks about how it all about accessibility to him. You have to be able to break content free from preconceived containers and is a big believer in resolution independence.

Chris talks about the way IBM has a portal for their customers to use that so they can leverage the best practices.

The only downside of panel discussions is that you need good questions from the audience to keep the flow going, so I’m going to try to be that guy asking about how they get clients on board.

Les jumps in talking about stage 1 is letting go of the idea that you will control everything. Content has to be able to flow. That’s hard for designers moving into responsive.

Chris reminds us that there are millions of old devices that still need to be supported.

Alex talks about having to simplify when TheLadders moved to responsive.  What is the essential parts of the website.

Les remindes us that the web is naturally responsive and that we have made it unresponsive to exert more control over the look and feel.

Good question about how different people use different devices. For example many people use a tablet as a secondary device while watching television. Alexandre says that you can have dedicated features for certain devices to make it “just right” for each – of course testing is necessary to see if your hunch was right.

Les admits that responsive is not a solution for every single situation, but it’s close.

Chris touts the beauty of HTML5 and javascript being portable to almost every device and that’s a huge advantage.

Ryan talks about how tablets are used mostly in people’s homes, does that really make it “mobile”? Insights about how your audience are actually using your site and why can really help.

Question about television audience and second screens and the viability of the current tv advertising model.

Ryan tells us that more people are watching more tv right now than ever before. People are also accessing tv in new ways. Addressable tv means that advertising can now target people better than ever before. He thinks customized advertising is the future.

Chris is talking about real-time advertising that can even change if your watching live or DVR’ing content.

YES! Les says that using Lorem Ipsum as a place holder during design is a mistake. You must have real content since content is the core of your design.

Alexandre says that they start with the experience they want to create on each device and go from their.

Question about how are they testing?

Les jumps on that one and says step 1 is reducing edge cases. Chris says at IBM they actually have a big portfolio of technology that allows them to do deep testing. Alexandre also says he has stopped obsessing about the edge cases. He focuses on usability testing.

Les explains that he likes to start with mobile/phone first because it forces him to distill what is the most important parts of the equation and then you can add from there. Alexandre pipes in that he is in full agreement with Les and says that doing design that way makes you a better desktop designer.

Chris talkes about the frustration when you run an app that looks great on an iPhone and when you open it on an iPad and it doesn’t look any different.

Chris is talking about how CoreMetrics can help you make some general tweaks to your site using analytics, but also says that IBM just bought a company called TeaLeaf that tracks session level customer data.

Question about how do you go about creating a great experience.

Alexandre talks about how we’re in the era on “me”. You have to be focused on your visitor all the time, everything else will fail.

Chris talks about the art – brings up the IBM site they do for The Master’s golf tournament that is beautiful AND user centric.

Question about dynamic content and how it impacts design.

Les says that images specifically can be problematic. Right now there are some good hacks, but good art direction is also important.