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What is Context Responsive?

In a recent tweet, I mentioned that #mobileUX now means much more than usability, and with the new world of wearables must take context into account. Applications must not only be mobile responsive, but “Context Responsive.” But what does context responsive mean?

For mobile responsive, we generally mean that websites, given the context of displaying on a mobile phone or other device (than a laptop or desktop), will sense what the device is, what the screen size is, and optimize the user experience for viewing on that particular mobile device.

So what makes wearables mobile and different than a mobile phone? We do! Let’s think of our current paradigm to let our imaginations roam:

  • We get our eyebrows permanently tattooed
  • We get our eyes operated on, replacing the lens or cutting it to change the shape
  • We get surgery to remove fat

Why not get a technology implant? Who will offer that first? And when we have implanted “wearables” — I guess they’ll call them #TechImplants — context will be forever changed and so will the term Context Responsive. Wearables will be with us continuously, and have sensors that collect information (context) about everything. Context Responsive will mean:

  1. Taking into account all of the contextual attributes including but not limited to where we are, who we are with, what we just ate, our bodily functions (heart rate, blood sugar level, perspiration, blood pressure, etc…) how fast and in what direction we are moving, and countless others.
  2. Then responding appropriately, optimizing the user experience or their satisfaction in terms of comfort, security and trust (for instance); the application that the wearable is tethered to (called the mothership mobile smartphone); and then optimizing the application and personalizing its function for the user’s usage and benefit.