Do you have Device Divergence Anxiety Disorder?

If you are involved in technology-related aspects of your business, I am sure you have experienced anxiety over the wide range of platforms, systems and devices that you have to support (or deal with).  As it turns out that our dear friends at Elliance are going through the same problem. They want their site to be mobile-friendly as we all do. They are scratching their head over the situation nicely articulated by Brad Frost:

I call it device divergence anxiety disorder. It is very common nowadays. Obviously, this is a real concern and I am not sure if I have the cure but consider this:

If you think of it as a website,  you are right. It is very tricky. But if you see it as your message and your story, it is not that bad. Stories have been told through books, theater, radio, TV and word of mouth. These were all drastically different mediums; way more diverse than the situation above. Yet a great story is just that, a great story. No matter what delivery medium is used, the story is great if it can captivate its audience.

The part of the WEB that is supposed to captivate the audience, is the trickier part in my opinion. Once the audience is hooked, it’s all smooth sailing from there, assuming you have a remarkable story to tell. The answer may be in the context of interaction, not just content. This story is different because the audience is part of it.

I say, apply 20-80 rule. Ignore the long-tail scenarios. Cluster delivery formats into fewer versions to maximize your coverage. Let the delivery platforms (web browsers in the devices) take care of certain aspects of your experience. They all behave differently and they are coming out faster than you can test them. If you obsess over it, you will overdo it and there is a big chance that you might screw it up. Be a stickler and pay attention to details but don’t be a control freak.

Focus on your story and your value proposition. That has to be timeless and device-independentCaptivate your audience through the message, not its format of delivery.