Google has joined hands with a handful of mobile device manufacturers to produce a set of guidelines for developers to use when designing websites for mobile phones.
A Reuters report states “The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), a group backed by 30 industry players, hopes to improve on this percentage by creating 60 guidelines for developers to design sites that are easy to use on cell phones, which have much smaller screens and tiny keypads.”
A recent study has found that only a small number of customers who have Web-enabled devices actually use that Web functionality. Nokia, Vodafone, Google, and the other members of the W3C hope to change that.
One charge so far has been that mobile surfing is inferior to its PC counterpart, in many cases by a long shot. Large, time-consuming graphics are not at all friendly to mobile users, who have graduated from the school of DSL and broadband, not the dial-up of the generation before. This is all certainly true, and mobile device developers are working on ways to combat this.
Another and more inherent problem is the smallness of the mobile screen. Unless you’re carting a UMPC with which to do your Web browsing, you’re probably surfing on a device that has a small screen. More than likely, you’re squinting to see all that rich Web content. This is something that cannot be easily overcome, but developers are still keen to try. The W3C guidelines are aimed at guiding that development as well.
This seems to us like a scenario in which everyone wins. Google wins because it will likely have a strong leg up on its competitors in the mobile browser wars. Nokia and Vodafone win because they are in on it early on. You the consumer win because the result will be better for your mobile viewing pleasure.