I’ve been getting more and more curious about how people are using Obsidian Portal via their mobile devices. Being a technology luddite myself, I still use a cell phone that would be at home in the late 90s. However, I do recognize the potential that mobile devices represent at the game table. It would be incredibly handy to be able to reference your wiki or bring up a character sheet and have it actually be readable without needing to scroll or zoom (too much). With that in mind, I’m cautiously exploring what it would take to make Obsidian Portal more mobile friendly.
Before anyone gets too excited, let me lay out 2 important disclaimers:
1) This is a hypothetical discussion at this point. We may choose to work on it tomorrow, next year, or never.
2) We’re not going to make a dedicated iPhone app. Obsidian Portal is a web app and will stay that way for a while. I just want it to be usable for all you mobile gadgeteers.
The hypothetical plan
The most likely plan of attack would be to create a special stylesheet for mobile devices that repositions and realigns some elements to fit the reduced size of the screen. I’ve read a couple style guides, and the process is pretty straightforward, but usually involves cutting things out altogether. That’s by far the hardest part. For example, what about our sidebars? Could we lose them on a mobile version? They mostly display auxiliary information, but sometimes there are important controls there, like for editing a campaign or inviting new campaign members. I don’t really see these as things you would want to do while playing with the site via a mobile device, but who knows?
Since I’m mostly uneducated in these things, I’d like to hear what you have to say. What are the most frustrating parts about navigating Obsidian Portal with a mobile device? What are some things you could do without on the screen so it would clean things up? What are some examples of similar sites that do a good job of presenting a mobile version?