With the 17" Macbook Pro going away (already gone) and now the iPad screen size scaling back, it made me think about screen sizes and where product designers get their user needs from. Yes, I realize other manufacturers are making other decisions and everyone is trying to stay ahead and on top of what users want. There are obviously many ways to figure out what that is, but the most basic is trial and error from the industry or your own new product. Was the push for larger screens just "because we can", and to accommodate the then-current model of web content? Has the trend of mobile and responsively sized content changed the screen sizes up and coming in web enabled products, or are users simply trending toward more mobility? Did we want that mobility before but settle for the large screens because we didn't know any different and it was beautiful? And what about working on them? Media specialists and designers surely use their devices in a different way than content consumers do, including home editors. More consumers are becoming household photo and video editors than ever. Do we still need larger screens for pixel-focused editing?
I say, it's all about options and designers and developers need to continue to embrace the size variety.
I'm looking forward to the display and user interface improvements on smaller devices and screens that are just as beautiful BECAUSE of their portability. As a designer, I'm honored to be a part of that wave! This shift also shows that many types of user and consumer testing, trends and statistics are becoming more important than ever in making great decisions.