Related to the discussion in How To: Designing Dashboards for a Tablet from a Laptop / PC - I wanted to break one of the common feature requests we saw in that topic into its own Feature Request so it could be voted on.
This particular request is for the ability to specify how many tiles wide a dashboard is. So rather than identifying the target tile size (eg. Medium = 160px) wherein the number of tiles on each row changed based on the device width (eg. 1280px wide = 8 tiles, 1920px = 12 tiles)… you would specify how many tiles wide you wanted the dashboard to be (eg. 10 tiles wide) and it would always stay 10 tiles wide.
Use Case / Examples
This would solve a common request for the ability to design a single dashboard that could scale across multiple devices of varying screen size.
A common use case is where multiple devices of a similar form factor are used - for example, an 8" Fire Tablet and 10" Fire Tablet or two phones of different screen sizes.
The use case would be to design a single dashboard where the tiles stayed in the same position when viewed on each screen size (and avoid having to use scaling in the browser or other approaches to match the size).
As noted in the Use Case section, this solves the problem of having to design a dashboard for each device that has a different screen resolution when they are a similar form factor.
Note that this does not solve the problem of designing a single dashboard for all devices. For example, a dashboard designed for a 10" tablet viewed in landscape is likely not going to scale well down to a 5" phone viewed in portrait orientation.
This approach would take advantage of much of the existing design that’s already in place with dashboards. Note that this does not change the fundamental way tiles are laid out, how tiles are ordered left-to-right then top-to-bottom, the need for spacer tiles, etc.
For example, an alternative proposal of added a ‘fixed canvas’ with free form layout would allow some advanced features like layering tiles, positioning tiles anywhere on the canvas (eg. no need for spacers), but would comparatively be a significant undertaking.