Designing for Mobile - A Browser Vendors Perspective

3 comments
Thread Title:
The Mobile Dilemma
Thread Description:

In December we talked about Targeting Small Screens and took a look at Douglas Bowmans ecellent essay on The Status Quo of Mobile Browsers. As a follow up to that, those interested in targeting mobile should take a look at this post by Steven from a browser vendors perspective. Sorry, i couldn't find any details on him but have asked in the comments on the post.

Among other things he lists some of the common problems associated with web content on mobiles:

There are, however, some problems that plague us, and probably all of our competitors:

  • bandwidth is awful - even on so-called 3G networks, the browsing experience is reminiscent of dial-up.
  • screen is small - 480x640 pixel VGA screens are on the horizon, but currently the high-end is 240x320 pixel QVGA screens.
  • screen orientation is “wrong” - most cell phones and PDAs have “portrait” screens that are taller than they are wide, while most desktop computers have “landscape” screens.
  • poor user input devices
  • low power CPU, too little RAM
  • legacy WAP sites

And a small ray of hope for the future:

The small screen is a huge problem for everybody, and nobody really has a solution that is enviable. This means that we generally don’t have space for sidebars and wide navigation bars, which happen to be two web design mainstays. The “wrong” orientation makes the problem even worse. However, there is hope on this front. As VGA screens become mainstream over the next few years, a rotated display will have 640px across, which should be within reason for web developers to just adapt their desktop-oriented design rather than throw everything away.

Comments

Cleaning Bill Coming Your Way

I'm sending you a cleaning bill, as this post made me spit coffee all over my keyboard, monitor and the wall behind it. Really, you shouldn't inflict your readers with that much ignorance before 9 a.m. It's not right.

I was going to address Steven's points bullet-style on my weblog, but I probably won't bother my readers with it. His post is wrong - factually and philosophically - on every statement. The guy is an absolute moron. Seriously.

Come on Nick, more signal, less noise.

-Russ

Thanks Russell

Im feeling my way with this stuff, im glad you point out that im wrong for posting it, but could I persuade you to tell us why it's wrong?

I can only really look at these things and make a judgement call as to whether they're good or not, im certainly not right all of the time :)

So, tells us the key points we're missing here Russ...

Cheers!

No sign of Russell...

I did ask Steven Huang of OpenWave Systems, the author of the threadlinked post to come answer Russell but he said "answer what?" hehe...

There really isnt anything to answer i guess so in the absense of an opposing view im going to treat this as i first did: An interesting perspective from a browser engineer.

Thanks Steven, interestin' stuff to a mobile n00b :)

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