Wednesday, March 06, 2013

New Tabloid Sydney Morning Herald Mobile Web Better

In conjunction with its move to a tabloid size print format, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper also made changes to its website. I ran some routine tests which showed problems with the web format of the newspaper. However, there is also a mobile SMH website, which scores better on webtests:
  1. W3C Markup Validation Service: 4 errors (down from 228 on the standard site). None of these errors is serious and are easily fixed.
  2. W3C mobileOK Checker: Score of 75% (up from zero on the standard site) for mobile friendliness, with zero  critical (down from 4), 1 severe (down from 3) , 2 medium (down from3) and 3 low (down from 6) failures. In particular the size of the page has been reduced about 94% (down from 1.5Mbytes to 86Kbytes),  which is a boon for those paying for downloads on mobile plans.
  3. AChecker Accessibility Review (Guidelines: WCAG 2.0 Level AA): 6 Known Problems (down from 29). However, there appears to be no alternative text for the link to the home page and as a result people who can't see the images would have difficulty navigating back from sub-pages to the home page of the site.
The web browsers on most smart phones and tablet computers don't identify themselves as "mobile" devices and so the standard website will be displayed by default. I could not see a link to the mobile version on the standard version.

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