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Mobile Web Design & Development Fundamentals
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Designing mobile-friendly pages


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Mobile Web Design & Development Fundamentals

with Joe Marini

Video: Designing mobile-friendly pages

There are some basic design guidelines that you can follow to ensure that your pages will have a good solid foundation for working well on mobile devices. To begin with, design your pages to be finger-friendly and not require a highly accurate pointing device like a stylus. Of course there are still plenty of stylus-based devices out there, but designing for the finger will usually result in the design that suits the stylus as well, and the reverse is not true. Fingers can do a lot more than stylus pens. They can easily flick, pinch, stretch, and perform all kinds of gestures that pointing devices like a stylus are not suited for.
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  1. 2m 48s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 46s
  2. 29m 25s
    1. Understanding the mobile context
      8m 5s
    2. A survey of mobile sites
      11m 44s
    3. Targeting mobile browsers
      4m 31s
    4. Previewing a complete mobile site
      5m 5s
  3. 27m 20s
    1. Designing for one web
      3m 43s
    2. Using well-defined web standards
      3m 45s
    3. Designing mobile-friendly pages
      3m 40s
    4. Being crisp, clean, and succinct
      5m 45s
    5. Minimizing input where possible
      6m 47s
    6. Focusing on the core scenarios
      3m 40s
  4. 1h 13m
    1. Installing the tools
      3m 52s
    2. Setting up a local web server
      9m 13s
    3. Installing device emulators
      17m 5s
    4. Using device emulators
      13m 9s
    5. Downloading Modernizr and Mobile Boilerplate
      6m 22s
    6. Building a first mobile web page
      5m 43s
    7. Developing mobile pages with desktop browsers
      8m 6s
    8. Exploring useful mobile web development resources
      10m 23s
  5. 53m 26s
    1. Reviewing mobile markup languages
      5m 10s
    2. Understanding content adaptation approaches
      10m 32s
    3. Controlling the viewport layout
      12m 50s
    4. Designing forms
      13m 30s
    5. Using CSS media queries
      11m 24s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Detecting client capabilities with script
      10m 8s
    2. Caching information with local storage
      9m 16s
    3. Determining position with geolocation
      12m 52s
    4. Minimizing HTTP requests with data URLs
      7m 39s
    5. Understanding user agent detection
      9m 8s
    6. Using server-side detection with PHP
      6m 52s
    7. Using server-side detection with ASP.NET
      4m 54s
    8. Using HTML5 Boilerplate for mobile
      11m 6s
  7. 39m 22s
    1. Measuring performance
      7m 41s
    2. Creating full-screen web apps
      6m 30s
    3. Customizing the user interface
      5m 14s
    4. Detecting orientation changes
      3m 58s
    5. Detecting device movement
      5m 21s
    6. Using touch events
      10m 38s
  8. 47m 14s
    1. Taking a look at the finished site
      7m 40s
    2. Examining the header and background image style on the Home page
      10m 10s
    3. Examining the hover effect and layout styles on the Tours page
      6m 42s
    4. Examining mobile forms on the Contact page
      9m 45s
    5. Viewing and testing the mobile site on emulators
      8m 11s
    6. Viewing the site on devices
      4m 46s
  9. 2m 34s
    1. Goodbye
      2m 34s

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Mobile Web Design & Development Fundamentals
5h 47m Beginner Jul 20, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course surveys the core principles and techniques essential to building web sites for mobile devices. Author Joe Marini introduces the mobile context, sheds light on its unique coding requirements, and discusses interface design techniques that enhance existing sites for mobile viewing. The course shows how to approach designing for mobile form factors such as smaller screens and finger-based interaction, along with how to incorporate CSS3 and HTML5 capabilities, such as geolocation, local storage, and media queries.

Topics include:
  • Implementing well-defined web standards
  • Working with Modernizr and Mobile Boilerplate
  • Building a first mobile web page
  • Understanding content adaptation strategies
  • Designing forms for mobile
  • Detecting client capabilities with script
  • Using server-side detection with PHP and ASP.NET
  • Working with mobile browser capabilities
  • Viewing and testing the mobile site on device emulators
Subjects:
Developer Web Web Foundations Mobile Web
Software:
HTML
Author:
Joe Marini

Designing mobile-friendly pages

There are some basic design guidelines that you can follow to ensure that your pages will have a good solid foundation for working well on mobile devices. To begin with, design your pages to be finger-friendly and not require a highly accurate pointing device like a stylus. Of course there are still plenty of stylus-based devices out there, but designing for the finger will usually result in the design that suits the stylus as well, and the reverse is not true. Fingers can do a lot more than stylus pens. They can easily flick, pinch, stretch, and perform all kinds of gestures that pointing devices like a stylus are not suited for.

As more and more mobile devices become touch-capable and more browsers implement touch-based events in JavaScript, your pages can become ever more interactive and take on the feel of a native application. Fingertips are typically 40 to 80 pixels in size, so you need to make sure that your clickable targets are large enough and spaced appropriately to be able to respond to finger taps unambiguously. A good size to consider is that click targets should be a minimum of seven millimeters in size. Optimize your pages for vertical scrolling and minimize or eliminate the need to pan left or right.

Vertical-scrolling web pages are also easily usable with just one hand. While the user is holding the device, they can use their free thumb to scroll up or down on touch-capable devices or use arrow keys, or some other navigation element. The vertical-scrolling mode is one that most users are already familiar with, since they already know how to scroll web pages, and it simplifies the number of gestures that a user has to perform in order to read the content. It also reduces the chance that the user will miss important content that they don't realize they can pan left or right.

Finally, avoid certain technologies that don't work well on mobile browsers or are known to cause problems. Framesets, for example, are just a bad idea on mobile pages. While most mobile browsers can handle them just fine, they take up a lot of screen real estate with their borders and they are hard to read. Scrolling their contents can also be troublesome, since it usually requires a different gesture to scroll within a scrollable page element than to scroll the page itself, and many users may have trouble discovering that. Tables that are used only to achieve layout positioning should also be avoided.

Using tables to layout content is a bad idea in general, even on desktop pages, but they are especially bad for mobile devices since it's harder to adapt to varying screen sizes and the added table code tends to bloat the page size. Nested tables just make the problem even worse. Now to be clear, tables that are used to display tabular data are just fine. That's what the table tag was invented for in the first place, but don't use them to position elements. That's why there's CSS. Image maps also present a usability problem on mobile devices.

Now they work for the most part, but the problem with image maps is that they typically rely on some kind of mouse-over behavior in order to highlight a part of the map that should then be clicked on. Most mobile devices that rely on touch events don't have such support. There's no way for the browser to detect that a finger is hovering over the image map in order to trigger the hover event to highlight the map parts. In fact, for this reason, hover effects such as dropdown menus are a bad idea in general on mobile devices. And lastly, most mobile browsers don't provide support for things like plug-ins or extensions, so don't rely on them, or show the user any pages that prompt them to try to download them.

Following these guidelines will help you establish a solid foundation upon which to build mobile web pages that work well across a variety of mobile devices with varying capabilities that are easy for users to consume and interact with.

There are currently no FAQs about Mobile Web Design & Development Fundamentals.

 
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