While media queries are typically used to handle a site’s transition between different devices and screen sizes, they can also be used to enhance the desktop experience.

Why use media queries?
Many enterprise users have wider monitors, so as designers we should take advantage of this horizontal screen real estate to deliver a stellar user experience – and use media queries to deliver additional tools on wider monitors.

Property management applications underutilize the right-hand side of the screen. Property managers live by inquiries – travelers emailing them regarding property availability etc. Most companies find that the faster they respond, the higher % conversion rate the inquiries have (they convert from inquiries into bookings). So delivering a new inquiry instantly to a property manager is of paramount importance to their bottom line.

Solve the two-monitor problem
Classically property managers have two monitors – one with their business applications open, and one monitor for email. Why do these need to be distinct applications? If we can get access to emails, why not use the right-hand side of the screen to deliver emails instantly to a property manager? That way, no matter how deep inside of their application they are, they can be alerted about new inquiries instantly.

PM-Dashboard-Newsfeed from Jonathan Simmons on Vimeo.

Applying this to property managers makes this use case pretty narrow – and yet there are lots of opportunities to gives businesses information like this – many businesses could benefit from an interface that can sense browser width and deliver an appropriate experience.