E-Business Alberta | The Alberta E-Future Centre blog
E-Business Alberta | The Alberta E-Future Centre blog


Websites for small screen devices

E-business and cell phones

Since the dawn of the internet, businesses have been striving to get their web services up to par with advancing technologies; when it comes to the cell phone, there are no exceptions. We are connected, now in a more mobile way than ever before, but it is still rare to see websites optimized for small screens. Optimizing the website for mobile devices is one way that small businesses can stand out from the competition. This may be E-commerce’s next challenge.

Smaller? More simple!

It seems that smaller would be better for mobile devices. While this may be true, simpler is what you should be going for. Will this have a negative impact on your site? The answer is no! Creating a well formed website not only makes a site more search engine friendly, but it also makes it easier to optimize for small screens. Pocket sized design, on alistapart.com, examines how to prepare your website to be mobile ready. The two most important elements are proper HTML markup and a special CSS stylesheet for handheld devices. With a separate stylesheet you can have essentially two versions of your website; one for regular monitors and one for mobile devices.

Here is a quick summary of the article:

  • Few images (if any, make them small)
  • Simple, short, text based navigation
  • One column design is best

Start some good habits

You may think that you have no reason to optimize your website for small screens, but there are two good reasons to start thinking about it.

  1. Whether you like it or not, small screen devices will increase in popularity as a means of accessing web content.
  2. Creating well formed websites which are based on properly formed HTML and CSS stylesheets saves time, money, and bandwidth; and makes them easier to index by search engines.

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