I generally like how these flow on a mobile / tablet device:
edit: I think BBC set a cookie. So first time in a given browser, if it loads in desktop view you need to scroll to bottom and choose Mobile Site
. To go back you choose Desktop Site
I think the main things they have in common are that they are not too busy and are able to collapse the content to a single column so there is less (or no) sideways scrolling. They should also load quickly whether on Wi-Fi / H / 3G connections.
Longer term I suggest it will be best not to assume too much about the device width. And pages still might be viewed in portrait or landscape.
You used to be able to say that width less than 550 pixels was probably a handheld (portrait) as common sizes were 320x480, 480x800, 540x960. But as the smartphone sizes drift towards 600x1024, 720x1280 or higher it will be hard to tell from size alone whether it is a laptop, TV or handheld.
Also I think we eventually need to get away from separate URLs for "mobile versions" of sites. I see these as a transitional measure, expect perhaps for a landing page to set a cookie for "mobile view".
For the way of what a web URL is supposed to mean, it is not ideal to have 2 or 3 URLs for each resource when it is only specifying a different layout view
of the same resource
, so it would be better for the content to be usable and layout able to adjust or flow to a range of device / screen sizes. Multiple URLs are also not useful for incoming links and search results.
This would be as originally intended for HTML (in sending the marked-up content to the device without knowing exactly what the device is and how it will render
it - which may include reading it out for example) and contrasts with the more recent obsession of clients asking developers to make pages look visually
identical + pixel perfect
on a range of (usually desktop) browsers.
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Edited by prlzx (Sat 02-Mar-13 21:43:26)