(Site Identification)

'Eye' Focus: Web Support Tutorials

Web Style: Design Considerations

Sample view of the Oregon State University Campus Map as it might be seen with an Opera Browser on a mobile device.

Dealing with the Small Screen: Mobile Devices

Ever wonder how your sites would do on the small screen? Well it seems that, at least with Opera, there may be some hope for the web on mobile devices.

The image seen to the right is an example of the Oregon State University Campus Map as it is rendered with Opera's Small Screen mode (press Shift+F11 to toggle in and out of small screen mode).

If all the small screens could support such transformations it might be good for us all and we would only have to make one site. A small screen version of Opera is provided on SmartPhones and some PDA's.

However, you should keep in mind that the full web design is still transmitted to the visitor, not just what is displayed. This means the download times could be quite long unless preparations are made to trim-the-fat for mobile devices.

Here is some articles I have found for designing for the small screen:

Emerging Technologies

Besides having to design for the 'normal' visitor (and possibly the small screen), we also have to worry about emerging technologies. Tablet PC's come to mind here, especially since it is a fast growing environment right now.

The Tablet PC screens generally come with a default resolution of 800x600, today's default for a standard monitor, but there is a catch. The screen is rendered in portrait mode, not landscape mode.

The new screen format means the screen is actually 600x800. The result is that even your sites that were designed to fit 640x480 will most likely side scroll with the new resolution. Designs need to be able to shrink to 560 pixels wide to prevent side scrolling for Tablet PC users.

[Updated: Sunday, November 18, 2007]