W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-mobile-dev@w3.org > April 2010

Re: mobile versions

From: Francois Daoust <fd@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 09:30:17 +0200
Message-ID: <4BCC0689.6080100@w3.org>
To: Alexander Berger <alexander.berger4@gmx.at>
CC: public-mobile-dev@w3.org
Hi Alexander,

Alexander Berger wrote:
> I hope this is the right place for my post. I have tried to go to some websites like 
> https://www.bwin.com/de/Default.aspx
> or
> www.gmx.at 
> on my handheld but they aren’t shown like at my PC and I have problems to navigate there.
> Where can I find the mobile version of a website? Are there links at the "normal website" or do I have to put something like "mobile.bwin.com" to the URL??

That is a very good question. There are a couple of answers to that.

I take it for granted that you refer to the "mobile version" as a 
version of the page that shows well on your mobile phone. It could mean 
something slightly different, for instance a version specifically 
tailored for people on the go with limited functionality but enhanced 
user experience. The difference is thin but important. On the one hand 
you get the same level of functionality, on the other hand, you get a 
trimmed down version (or on the contrary that makes use of advanced 
mobile features) of the Web site.

For the first case, the W3C pushes for a very simple answer to the 
"Where should you look to find the mobile version?" question: *right at 
the same place!* There is one and only one Web. The Web site should 
detect that you are browsing with a mobile phone and adapt the content 
as a consequence so that it renders well on your mobile phone.

In practice, this is hardly ever the case. Web sites usually prefer to 
design more specific mobile versions. In that case, they are right to 
use a different URL, but no rules can be used to infer the mobile URL 
from the desktop one. Commonly used schemes:

At the very least, the Web site should provide its users with a link to 
the mobile version in the desktop version (and vice versa) so that users 
may choose their user experience. If you cannot find one, that usually 
means the mobile version simply doesn't exist.

> Sorry, I am a real newbie but would be glad if someone can help me. Perhaps these informations are helpful for more people and you should tell the people how they can generally find the mobile versions.

If you would like to know more about One Web, note that I tried to 
explain it in a short series of articles last year:

Also, the advise to offer users a choice of experience is emphasized in 
the Mobile Web Best Practices document developed by the Mobile Web Best 
Practices Working Group within W3C:


> Cheers
> Alex
Received on Monday, 19 April 2010 07:30:45 UTC

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