Friday, October 26, 2007

Converting web pages to work on mobile phones

The World Wide Web consortium are doing some useful work on how to get the web on to mobile phones. Ideally content should be designed from the start with this in mind and their W3C Mobile Web Best Practices checker is useful. For converting existing web pages they have just produced a new guide called the: "Content Transformation Landscape":

Mobile Web Best Practices [BestPractices] encourages content providers to produce "made for mobile" experiences of their Web sites. While the number of such Web sites continues to increase, there are still many Web sites that are unaware of mobile presentation. Those Web sites, when accessed from mobile devices, do not present a satisfactory user experience or may indeed cause failure of the user's device. In order to mitigate this unsatisfactory experience, mobile network operators and others use proxies to transform the content of these sites.

At the same time there are an increasing number of highly capable mobile devices that offer enhanced browsing experiences designed to assist users of mobile devices with their typically small screen and limited input capabilities to navigate sites designed with larger displays, pointing devices and full keyboards in mind.

The W3C MWI Best Practices Working Group recognizes that on the one hand transforming proxies can diminish the value of sites that have been designed specifically for mobile presentation. On the other hand transforming proxies can enhance the mobile experience of sites unaware of mobile presentation. Yet again, transforming proxies can diminish the value of such sites when presented on devices that are capable of simulating a desktop experience while mobile. ...

From: Content Transformation Landscape 1.0, W3C Working Draft 25 October 2007

ps: Just for fun here is what the W3C Web Site looks like on a mobile phone.

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