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site to work on a small screen??? help


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hi, can some one give me some advice as to how i can make a working website, similar to sites such as ebay, amazon etc into a small screen? so it can be accessed witha mobile phone or PDA?

 

make a whole new wap site? or configure existing site so it works elsewhere?

 

some advice please ? how can and would i do this?

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That's a good question and I don't think many people make their websites suitable for small screen resolutions.

 

You can use javascript to find out what the screen resolution is and then use javascript to redirect to a completely different web page, or use javascript to use a different stylesheet where all the elements and images have be resized in width, but many web pages will not be easy to squeeze up narrower.

 

I would like to know what other people do about this.

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I've been using Google a bit and have discovered that many mobile devices don't support javascript so PHP server-side detection is preferred, but is more complicated, and you then use the detection to feed a different stylesheet or a different page.

 

If you have the Opera browser you can use View / Small screen which gives an indication of what your page will look like on a small screen as it makes it very narrow and reduces the size of images to fit. Paragraphs with text generally look alright but tables and lists get displaced into vertical blocks when they were side by side in a larger resolution. It's interesting to check this in Opera.

 

Here are some useful links:-

http://webdesign.about.com/od/pdas/a/aa070207.htm

http://webdesign.about.com/od/pdas/a/aa060500a.htm

 

Mobiles often have resolutions of only 150*150px.

Edited by Wickham
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If you build a web site flexible and accessible, odds are it will work on most mobile devices, mine does.

 

JavaScript is a way to do it... but few mobile devises support JavaScript.

 

WAP exists, but not well supported.

 

There is an actual designation for mobile devices in CSS... but again not well supported.

 

Mobile devices are the wild west. there are two well documented browsers to work with. Opera and one other one that slips me at the moment. Firefox is to go mobile but I do not think it is released yet. Outside of that, just about every web capable cell phone for example uses one or the other wanna-be browsers that their developers thought up. Standards are really a rare animal.

 

Funny, in 2006 and before that I was preaching about mobile devices and US developers for the most part laughed me off as they were so few and surfing per cell so expensive. But Europe and Asia have been doing it for years. 99% of Germans in 2004 owned cell phones, 78% of those surfed on their mobile devices. In the US it was no where close and people felt they could ignore the issue. Now American developers are once more behind the times. nice to see someone actually ask about the subject.

 

So, design for screen resolutions that work with 800 x 600 as that is the equivelant of mobile resolutions according to a regular here, not sure who it was.

 

Ensure you follow the WCAG 2 guidelines for web accessibility, web accessibility is about disabilities and choices people make as to how to surf as well as supporting alternative user agents which wild card in house browsers on cell phones are.

 

Avoid Flash and JavaScript as support of these things are really poor on the majority of mobile devices. PDA's of course are just Mini computers/Operating Systems so usually have better support then phones.

 

Ensure that images are not important, and if so, be sure they have the correct and useful alt attributes. Many mobile devices scram images to cut down and bandwidth. So if the images are gone for the most part the web site still has to work.

 

ideally make the site so it works anywhere on anything. That is the goal. But if you do choose to have a extra mobile web site in a separate folder... do not clutter it with lots of images and colors etc.. small screens can really suck and bandwidth can be expensive. Being out on the boundaries fo coverage can mean slow loading. So keep it simple and to the point. people do not surf with mobiles for the Oooohhhhh-Ahhhhhhhh effect. they want info quick and get off before they are bankrupt.

 

 

NetFont is the one I could not think of. Wii uses Opera.

 

I have not kept up so some of these are older, but do a search and you will find more up to date articles.

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I've been using Google a bit and have discovered that many mobile devices don't support javascript...

 

Man, and to think I have never preached against using JavaScript because the vast majority of Alternative user agents do not support it... :lol:

- Reverand LSW

 

 

PS - Not meant as a shot against you Ben... just in general at all the JavaScript arguments I have had here. LOL Good thing for Google...

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