New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Mobile Web Design & Development Fundamentals
Illustration by

Targeting mobile browsers


From:

Mobile Web Design & Development Fundamentals

with Joe Marini

Video: Targeting mobile browsers

Before we can start building sites that target mobile browsers, we first have to understand three things: what are the most common mobile browsers, what the mobile browser market landscape looks like, and then how to go about building sites that will work across the largest number of browsers. First let's begin by taking a look at what the most common mobile browser rendering engines are. There are four main rendering engines that are prevalent in the mobile space. WebKit is the engine behind browsers such as Safari on the iPhone, Chrome on Android, the newer BlackBerry browser starting with BlackBerry 6, and some other phones.
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
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

Targeting mobile browsers

Before we can start building sites that target mobile browsers, we first have to understand three things: what are the most common mobile browsers, what the mobile browser market landscape looks like, and then how to go about building sites that will work across the largest number of browsers. First let's begin by taking a look at what the most common mobile browser rendering engines are. There are four main rendering engines that are prevalent in the mobile space. WebKit is the engine behind browsers such as Safari on the iPhone, Chrome on Android, the newer BlackBerry browser starting with BlackBerry 6, and some other phones.

The Presto engine is what powers Opera mobile. The Gecko engine is what powers the Firefox Mobile browser. And finally, Trident is used on Windows phones and is the rendering engine behind IE9. Each of these rendering engines provide good support for established baseline web standards such as a HTML 4, CSS 2.1, and JavaScript 1.4. They also provide pretty good support for more advanced web technologies like HTML5 audio and video, Canvas, SVG, localStorage, and Geolocation.

These technologies enable you to build some pretty advanced mobile web sites. One of the major differences from the Desktop browser market that you will find is that due to the diversity of these rendering engines, the prevalence of each varies throughout the world in each geographic market. Opera, for example, is the leading browser for mobile devices worldwide, followed closely by BlackBerry, iPhone, and Nokia, and then by Chrome on Android. Other browsers like NetFront round out the rest of that lot. In North America, the picture is a little bit different. The WebKit engine is more prevalent, with Android in the lead, followed by iPhone and BlackBerry, and then everyone else.

In Europe, the iPhone has a clear lead, than BlackBerry, Android, Opera, and Nokia, followed by everyone else. And the important point to remember is that the mobile browser landscape is much more diverse and seems to be in much more flux than the desktop market is. Indeed the market positions of these rendering engines may have changed dramatically by the time you are viewing this course. So what does this mean to you as a mobile web developer? Essentially, it means you're going to have to make some important choices about how you deliver your content to your mobile web users.

One choice is to just pick a lowest common denominator among the browsers out there and deliver a common experience to all your mobile visitors. While easy to develop, that clearly doesn't deliver a good experience to users that have more capable phones and who are probably receiving much better support from other sites, including perhaps some of your competitors. Another choice is to pick one or maybe two platforms that you optimize your site's experience for and then deliver either a down-level experience for other browsers, or just hope for the best that the experience turns out well for them.

While that may work for a significant percentage of your users, there are problems with that approach too. The mobile browser landscape changes quickly, and today's popular device might not be the market leader in another year's time. Two years ago who would have guessed that Android would have surpassed the iPhone in market share. One year ago who would have guessed that Windows phone will come out of nowhere to establish a viable platform, or that BlackBerry would get serious about its web browser? Going back to the days of 'this site best viewed in browser X' is clearly not a good solution, especially since some smartphone platforms don't even let you install a competing web browser.

The solution that I recommend is to create a tiered approach to delivering mobile web content. Figure out which features your site will need to use, then use a combination of feature detection, progressive enhancement, and perhaps browser-engine detection to deliver a rich experience to a class of browsers rather than specific browsers. One of the good things about the mobile browser market is that mobile browsers are typically newer and more capable than many desktop browsers that are still in use.

There is also a good set of practices that you can follow to detect the browser capabilities instead of using old- school browser sniffing to determine what level of experience to deliver. For example, based upon your site and your user audience, you might create two or maybe three tiers of support: a rich experience for highly capable modern mobile browsers; a light experience for less capable browsers; and a text-only, or even no experience, for older or far less capable browsers.

This will help you broaden your reach and avoid tying your site to one platform or browser.

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

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Mobile Web Design & Development Fundamentals.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.