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Mobile Web is Just Web

Web Development

The current buzz around town (in Stockholm at least) is Mobile Web, it’s an exciting field and I’m very happy that more can see the opportunities in creating slick, polished mobile web sites as a complement or alternative to their native mobile apps. However, it seems as if everyone wants to jump on the train and create mobile web sites and mobile web apps using magic techniques such as HTML5 and jQuery Mobile. The truth is that these standards and frameworks are just tools, they are quite powerful but nothing more than the final polish of a mobile web solution. The foundation of a mobile website is much more basic than that, but let us start by finding out the characteristics of a good web solution

  • Focus on purpose and content
  • Clear and logic page and content structure
  • Linkable pages using pretty and unique URL’s
  • User experience adapted to the users screen resolution and browser capabilities
  • Clean, semantic and SEO-optimized HTML
  • Separated logic and styling (CSS and JavaScript)
  • Optimized page loading times through minimized file-sizes, compression and the number of http-requests

And then let’s find the defining characteristics of a good mobile web solution

  • Focus on purpose and content
  • Clear and logic page and content structure
  • Linkable pages using pretty and unique URL’s
  • User experience adapted to the users screen resolution and browser capabilities
  • Clean, semantic and SEO-optimized HTML
  • Separated logic and styling (CSS and JavaScript)
  • Optimized page loading times through minimized file-sizes, compression and the number of http-requests

The characteristics are identical, I’ve marked two that really provides the base for a mobile web solution. The only difference between “desktop” web and mobile web is in the implementation and that’s no different from making a website compatible with Internet Explorer on netbooks versus Safari on the 27″ iMac. It’s still just about creating a good user experience across all supported platforms and using the possibilities of the target platform.

A developer who wants to create a mobile web site by adding stuff hasn’t grasped the most basic concepts of web, that it’s always about adjusting and adapting and not about adding stuff. The most obvious exampel right now is jQuery Mobile, it’s a fantastic framework for creating an app-like UI-experience but it still needs a solid web-based foundation to stand on. Mobile web is just web, anyone who says different just doesn’t have their basic web development skills figured out.

Do you want to read more posts like this? I now blog about Web Development at cleanwebdevelopment.com.


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