My Mobile Musings

WAP Page: winksite.com/hephail/news
Ideas from and about the mobile industry!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Mobile Web Best Practices?

I was going through the W3C Working Draft 13 January 2006

It still seems to miss out an actual understanding of what applications made for the mobile are actually able to do.



I posted a few comments, which are summarised as:

1. Device Limitations

The word "Device Limitations" is not right,

The main interest here, should be to first make note of the fact that the mobile device, has an evolution which is very isolated from the evolution of the PC.

The mobile device was evolved from the Telephone, rather than the Desktop PC. Hence, the mobile device as it currently exists, is an advancement of Graham Bell's invention, rather than a downgrade of Charles Babbage's invention.

Where it goes, from there, is advancement to a cornerstone of the virtual, online, World.

2.Advantages

The mobile device is slowly becoming a key component of the wearable computing phenomena, where multiple devices, will use the mobile device as a central point of control and storage.

Hence "Differences between the mobile device and the computer" would be the right word to use.

The mobile device has added advantages compared to a desktop or a laptop, which are:

1. Always On:This device is always on, and always has phone connectivity. Hence websites have the ability to directly connect a user with a phone number, or IP address, if the requirement exists.
2. Accessibility to near field devices, via infrared, Wi-fi, bluetooth and USB(but this option is far less used!), such as car audio systems, music players, cameras, gaming devices.
3. Added capability for Wearable computing , where the mobile device may communicate with other devices, using the means mentioned above.

The mobile is destined to be a universal point of data storage, and execution, rather than a data creator. This is greatly due to the various means of device-device communication available to the mobile, such as the operator network, Wi-fi, Infrared, Bluetooth, audio ports and USB ports.


3.Navigation and Links

All the URLs for each page, must be listed in the options(or right click) menu, so that if a user he/she wants to go to a URL on the page, he/she just has to scroll through the options(or right click) menu to reach the required URL.

URLs of Site Entry Points

Here, if URLs for a menu system running into more than 5 pages can follow a URL syntax containing page numbers such as:

http://wap.hephail.com:81/categories.php?page=59&category=11

then it becomes easy for the user to navigate between pages, just by changing the page number on the URL, through the bookmark. Of course, if the browsing application itself could provide a page browser using this syntax, the user's task of navigating through pages would be much easier.

Link Target Identification

The cost of following a link,as in the case of articles, should be identified in the number of pages which are required by the article, as is done by the BBC Wap page.

Hence we get a link at the bottom of the first page of the article, which says "Continued Page 2/4".
The user is then able to choose whether he/she wants to read a 4 page article, or whether he/she should look for another article.

Access Keys

Access keys, should be made accessible, according to prevalent usability standards.
One standard, would be that page up and Page Down keys, must be permanently hard-coded, to make navigation of a page, less arduous.
One suggested implementation, is to use a slider key for the volume, during the phone mode. Then, when the browser is activated, use the same slider key as a Page Up-Down key.