Coding for the mobile web

An Opera developer writes up a comprehensive overview of the state of the mobile web design industry. Let me summarize, since it’s a long article:

  • The iPhone is one slice of a much larger mobile market
  • Mobile browsers are divided into two categories: full-featured (Opera Mobile and Safari) and constrained (WinWAP, Pocket IE, Blazer)
  • Javascript support on mobile devices is uneven, always provide a fallback
  • Design for 240 x 320; assume you’ll have a limited color palette to use and limited control over typography
  • Plan for two distinct user experiences: Don’t ever assume that your web-based user experience will be the same on a mobile device
  • Build one site that degrades well on mobile devices instead of building a second website just for mobile users
  • Make use of the “handheld” media type for CSS

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