I remember the first time that I heard the term “Device-Agnostic”, it was 2012. At the time it seems really similar to “Responsive Design” for me or it was an approach to it. Since then, the landscape of the devices is radically changed and as we know, we are going to have a wider range of the devices in the future. With development of the wearable devices, Smart TVs and Internet of thing, the responsive design as we know today cannot provide an acceptable user experience anymore. Even from the first moment the responsive approach could not offer a consistent UX in many cases. The reason is in the nature of the responsive design which is completely focused on the devices, instead of users’ needs and context.
In my opinion the term Device-Agnostic can be back on the table but this time is not device focused and it does not mean only it suites the content for any devices without considering the users’ needs. The new device agnosticism must be focused on users’ needs and define how and which part of information will be presented to the users, based on their needs and contexts. in a better word we need a “Smart Device-Agnostic” approach.
In a smart device agnostic system, information has its own priority, based on the users needs and expectations. I can understand that there is a paradox in here when, I am saying device agnostic but we ask the system to recognize the device and the contexts to suites the content for the best UX therefore, I would like to explain that the Device-Agnostic approach is applied to the system but not to the UX and again I have to say that an optimal UX shaped itself around users’ needs and contexts not the devices. The system and the content must works in all devices (Device-Agnostic Approach) but it does not mean you have same UI and same features in all of the devices and you have access exactly same content in different arrangement and sizes. It means you have access to what you need in any devices in its special context which can build up the best experiences for you. This is what I call Smart Device-Agnostic approach of a system.