The Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 is a useful and detailed guide directed toward Web Site owners, developers, and operators, who intend to improve the user experience when accessing the Web by mobile devices. The document was prepared by the Best Practices Working Group (BPWG) and it is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendations.
I was most impressed by the amount of restrictions that website developers have to cope with in order to create a pleasing user experience. Some examples of these limitations – or recommendations, presented in the document are: minimal navigation at the top of the page, identification of target links, limitation of scrolling to one direction, use of sufficiently contrasting colors, and division of pages into usable but limited size portions. The document emphasizes the importance of readable content in different types of devices and the need of creating an optimal user experience, considering screen size and users’ difficulty to enter text into their cell phones.
The Mobile Web Best Practices guide is interesting because it explains what the best alternatives are, how to configure a web page for mobile use, and what to test. The document provides very good insights of what to stress and what to leave out when creating a page that may be visited by mobile users.
1. In the 5.4.6 Image Size topic (p.21), the authors suggest the resizing of images on the server because it reduces the amount of data transferred and the amount of processing the device has to carry out. How does this process occur?
2. New application markets have been emerging recently and, consequently, more independent and amateur applications and content are available for cell phones. Do amateur pages usually respect the mobile best practices? Is there also a Mobile Applications Best Practices’ guide?