I’m sure there are exceptions, but design has almost always followed function in software development. That was never a great situation, but today’s reality of the constant additions of new form factors forces us to figure out how build function and design in a more parallel and earlier iterative environment.
Responsive design is an important approach to dress up the past and get started with workable multichannel publishing, but its scale is limited.
See Josh Puckett’s discussion in Modern Design Tools: Adaptive Layouts for some great ideas and links to other discussions.
Since our tools shape our thinking, it’s critical that we have design tools that allow us to go beyond the static thinking that has encumbered us for so long. While it’s technically possible to design and optimize for various layouts and orientations today, it’s tedious and difficult, which means that we often don’t do it.
Design tools should have the same properties as the medium for which we are designing… Let’s take a look at how a modern design tool might work for designing an iPhone app. Read more