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45,000 Slightly Different Ways to Optimize Mobile Websites
Industry chooses differentation over standards
By: Robert Demmer
Aug. 18, 2009 06:30 PM
A recent article on www.storefrontbacktalk.com by Fred J. Aun takes a look at, "Mobile Site Design: A Standards-Free Wild West."
The ever-increasing number of mobile devices hitting a global marketplace with minimal standards in place poses a real challenge for the development of mobile websites, applications and services. Standardization body attempts to provide clarity and guidance have fallen short with the industry focusing on differentiation over standardization.
When all those device idiosyncrasies are taken into consideration and carrier characteristics are added to the mix, a retailer wanting its M-Commerce site to appear properly on every device must have a system that can optimize the site in about 45,000 slightly different ways, Farmers said. “We test devices and we know that there are 750 to 800 different things about every device,” he said. “It’s a pretty big effort just to keep track.”
Their article concludes with the W3C’s best practices recommendations:
In regards to standards, it certainly looks as if we have some way to go. Handset manufacturer and service provider alliances and business strategies often conflict with one another, particularly under the existing economic conditions. Consumer market factors will contribute to the standardization problems with varying consumer budgets influencing the types of bundled technologies, thus the devices overall capabilities. Local and regional factors in law, language and culture will also add another dimension to the issue.
It is certain however that there will be a steady stream of smartphones driving the adoption of mobile websites, applications and services. The good news is that there are companies out there who are taking the device fragmentation problem seriously and working to serve end-users with the best possible mobile experience.
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