This post was adapted from a talk I've been giving this year (BD Conf and Forge were awesome and you should register next year!). If you're interested in the slides, you can find them here: https://slides.com/dantello
Why another web vs native discussion?
When I started as a Front-End Dev at Viget four years ago, building for "mobile" was still sort of a novelty. Today, everything we build is responsive, but it's been a slow journey figuring out how to translate the "wow" factor we have on desktop down to the tiny touchscreens in our hands.
While researching for a previous talk on mobile-first design, I found it incredibly hard to find exemplary, mold-breaking, mobile web experiences. Many "award-winning" sites featured on places like the FWA or awwwards.com either had no mobile experience at all, or displayed a dumbed-down version that lacked whatever it was that made the desktop experience stand out.
Why is there such a disparity between native and web apps?
Meanwhile, all the native apps coming were beautiful. Designs were crisp and clean, interactions were slick, animations and transitions were smooth and well thought out. Everything was perfectly sized for your screen, and the content and navigation were focused and easy to get to. Why was I seeing such disparity between native apps and web apps? It seemed disproportionate to any limits of technology that might exist between the two.