Mobile Web Design (Book review)

The number of mobile phone users that can access the Web from their phones is increasing quickly, as is the number of people who actually do use their phones to access the Web. I wouldn't be surprised at all if, in a couple of years, there are more people worldwide who connect to the Internet from mobile phones than from personal computers.

So what does that mean for us who design and develop sites and applications that are deployed on the Web? Does it matter? Do we need to change the way we work? How can we accommodate the needs of mobile phone users? In Mobile Web Design, Cameron Moll tries to answer those and many other questions.

Cameron has had the mobile Web on his mind for a long time. Among other things he has held presentations on the subject several times and written a series of articles on mobile Web design. He has clearly done a lot of research and thinking when it comes to designing and developing for the mobile Web. And now he has written and published Mobile Web Design, a PDF book based on his findings, to help those of us who haven't spent the time or energy on researching the options available to us.

The book starts with some background info explaining how mobile phones have developed over the years, a look at the incredible growth of the number of subscribers, and emphasises that the mobile Web is not just a crippled version of the "normal" Web.

After that the book contains plenty of practical tips and examples. The article series I mentioned earlier is revisited, and the following four basic methods of handling mobile phones are detailed:

  • Do Nothing
  • Reduce Images and Styling
  • Use Handheld Style Sheets
  • Create Mobile-Optimized Content

The next few chapters cover subjects such as XHTML/CSS Development, Testing & Validation, Beyond Simple XHTML Pages, and Promoting Your Content. All very well-written and easily digested.

At 104 pages, Mobile Web Design is a quick read, but priced at USD 19 for a PDF download I still think it's a bargain. On top of that, if you buy your copy before September 14 you will be entered in a competition where you can win an iPhone, a conference pass to Future of Mobile in London, or a conference pass to Future of Web Design in New York. Competition details in iPhone winner + another iPhone giveaway.

Mobile Web Design
Author: Cameron Moll

Posted on September 5, 2007 in Reviews, Mobile Web, Browsers