I recently had the great pleasure of collaborating with Brian Kelly, at our fellow JISC Innovation Support Centre–UKOLN, on a short piece for the latest issue of JISC Inform (#31…online at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/inform/inform31/)
The piece was a kind of follow-on from the Mobile Web Apps briefing paper and Brian and I looked to produce an easily digestible, ‘Top Tips for the Mobile Web’, that we hoped would serve as a nice jumping point for those people in institutions working on delivering services and content to mobile devices.
While I’m very pleased to see the article rendered so nicely and published in Inform I must confess to be kicking myself at how badly I’ve actually worded the first tip (the FIRST one!! So it’s immediately noticeable! Eek.)
You can see the piece at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/inform/inform31/MobileWeb.html
What appears is this:
There is no such thing as the Mobile Web
Design for the usual internet and then make your site adaptable for mobile devices for example decreasing the screen size using CSS media queries and then scaling up for larger devices like tablets and PCs by progressively enhancing access for larger audiences.
Now…poorly written, right? “usual Internet”? Decreasing screen size using media queries”? Crikey. Not quite sure what happened here but let me have a stab at making it a bit clearer (and sensible).
“There is no mobile web” – I think this is true from the POV that many people in education have jumped on the buzzwordy feel of the Mobile Web as a cool topic and then fall into the trap of thinking that the web on mobile devices (ie. smaller screens) exists as a separate entity. My view is that there is simply “The Web” and that we view it through different windows–desktop monitors, laptops, phones, tablets, television sets, etc–and we should simply see it as that. After all, we don’t call it the “Desktop Web” or the “TV Web” do we? No. Ok…let’s move on.
“Design for the usual Internet” – possibly the most nonsensical sentence I’ve ever written. And that’s saying something. What I actually *mean* is–as outlined above–think about your overall approach to developing content for the web in general and then look at how you adapt that content for the screen sizes we’re talking about when we talk “mobile”. Don’t think, “we’re going to make a mobile website because mobile is where it’s at now”. The web is where it’s at. Always has been, always will.
Decreasing for screen size? – A botched job of saying “take your website, make it adaptable and responsive to it displays properly in mobile browsers, then use CSS Media Queries to make the same content adapt to different devices: flexible layouts that respond to the browser capabilities and screen real estate on offer.
Larger audiences? – Wider audience…those that aren’t viewing on a mobile device. Again, one web that adapts to the different canvases we view it on.
So…hopefully that clarifies that tip somewhat. I think where I went wrong was in trying to pack 2 thoughts and 3 tips into one tip, while keeping it short (hence not mentioning <meta name=”viewport”>) but ending up with something that I read back and thought, “Good god, man…you’ll never work again!” ;)
I *think* I’m happy with the other tips though.