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Old 04-24-2005, 03:50 PM   #1
Colin Dunstan
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On the sad status quo of the Mobile Web

Russell Beattie is pointing out in a recent editorial how surfing the Net with a mobile browser can be an excruciatingly horrendous experience. We all know that on a mobile device typing is more difficult, airtime has cost, the screen is smaller, and everything is just slower; yet, most website developers seem to happily ignore their mobile visitors and to instead focus on cumbersome, slow-to-load and flashy web design. In Russell's words:
Quote:
What's wrong with them? Well, first is the content: Most of it is truncated down to just snippets of information. Why? I click on my mobile web browser, I wait 30 real-world seconds for it to connect and grab information. Finally it's there and what do I see? One paragraph of a story which tells me only the bare-minimum of information, or worse, a page of links for me to choose from so I can wait *another* 30 real-world seconds to get to some info. Great. I wouldn't have pulled out my phone to read a mobile website unless I had 20 or 30 minutes on my hands (I'm getting an oil change or I'm on the bus, etc.). I'm bored. I'm trapped. Entertain me, don't frustrate me!
Entertaining read, and he is so right! Time for a mobile revolution, don't you think?
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Old 04-25-2005, 10:15 AM   #2
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The problem isnt soley on website devleopers. The other issue is that mobile browsers are not standards compliant, thereby making it necessary to create seperate versions of a site for mobile use. Granted, some designers can take a meta tag and make a mobile command out of the print function, but then you have people complaining that they dont see all the pics and flashy stuff.

As a website developer I run into that issue quite often and it becomes more an issue of whom your audience is. If you want mobile visitors, you will create a means for them to view your site with no issue. Either you will pull a Google and let server side code determine what site they will see, or you will have ample advertising for the mobile formatted version of your site.

But there is no way to make mobile surfer's happy until the power in your hand matches the power of a desktop, then rich media and broadband speeds will be the norm and there will not need to be an additional version of a site to suport.
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Old 04-25-2005, 03:06 PM   #3
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Indeed. How I wish mobile browsers would support the CSS "handheld" media type!
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Old 04-25-2005, 03:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antoine/d-roC
Either you will pull a Google and let server side code determine what site they will see, or you will have ample advertising for the mobile formatted version of your site.
Or you could do it right, in a way that remains future-compatible, by using proper HTML (one version of the content, not different versions for each OS and browser), and two stylesheets (or one, if you get your styles right like we do). One for desktop browsers that have full voice, plugin, etc. capabilities, and one for those which do not (PDAs, printing, etc.)

There is absolutely no need to have separate versions of your content nor to have "browser detection" (a dead-end anyway). Just do it right and you won't have to worry about what browser the client is using, it will just work.
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Old 04-26-2005, 10:47 AM   #5
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Russ posted a follow-up: http://www.russellbeattie.com/notebook/1008430.html
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