Mobilize vs. Miniaturize

There are two schools of thought with respect to creating Web pages for handhelds. The first says the whole reason we have separated content from design in the first place is so we can leverage that content with a CSS style sheet specially designed for the small screen. This system is efficient and agile, and facilitates both the creation and updating of such pages.

The second school says the difference between Web pages for computers and Web pages for handhelds does not end with their display size. What a visitor might need when they're on the road with their phone will be quite different from what they're looking for from home or the office, and simply miniaturizing that information is not going to be sufficient. These folks believe that pages should be rewritten with mobilization in mind: deciding what information is particularly useful for the mobile visitor and providing it to them with the least amount of scrolling, clicking, waiting, and downloading.

In the short term, I think it makes perfect sense to take advantage of what you already have working and make it as useful and accessible to visitors who come to your site through a handheld screen. In this chapter, I'll discuss what XHTML and CSS features are most appropriate for handheld browsers and how to get a CSS style sheet for handheld browsers up and working.

In the long term, you should probably think about whether you need to create a separate site that caters to the mobile visitor by offering features that are particularly useful to them.

Figure 13.2. Here is Google's familiar interface for desktop screens. It is clean and clear and could easily be adapted for the small screen.

Figure 13.3. Google does not just miniaturize its regular page, however. Besides reducing the size of the graphics and layout, Google offers mobile visitors who visit the opportunity to search the Mobile Web, read current news, and check Gmail accounts.

HTML, XHTML, & CSS(c) Visual QuickStart Guide
HTML, XHTML, and CSS, Sixth Edition
ISBN: 0321430840
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 340

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