yep, plenty of division ;-)

...but while Sheldon is correct that responsive design can cater quite
well to the most popular mobile devices, there are still a heap out
there that don't recognise media queries or any of the other building
blocks of responsive design. In some parts of the world these more
basic handests dominate internet traffic. If you're targeting the
affluent, western middle class, then you'll probably do alright, but
there are plenty of countries where more basic handsets still reign.

Your specific question, however, was about Accessibility and
Standards. While Standards can be perfectly catered for by a
responsive design, I'm not so sure about Accessibility. Certainly, the
technical aspects of Accessibility can, but there's a wooly area of
Accessibility regarding perceivability that sites can run foul of if
the text and interactions aren't built specifically for mobile. The
most common problem is simply too much text, but there are also issues
around context and mobility that can be better catered for by a
specifically designed mobile site. Probably the best example of this
is a bank or an airline - it's well worth creating a specific site in
their case, because a 'mobile' user quite likely has different needs
and priorities to the desktop user.

It's been said before, but it's more relevant than ever: Know your audience.

It's definitely not for everyone, but if your audience is large, and
your content complex, I think it's worth taking a tiered approach - a
small, dedicated mobile site for the top handful of suitable
interactions; responsive design for the vast majority of adaptable
content; alternative fallback versions for 'difficult' content. In
fact, there's a tier above the dedicated site - the stand alone app -
but that's another argument altogether :-)

And while I've been rabbiting on writing this email Enid has come back
and made a similar point far more economically than I.

Andrew Harris

~~~ <*))))>< ~~~

On 16 May 2012 13:12, Doc2626 <> wrote:
> Grant, I think it's likely that you'll find a lot of division on this
> question. But I'll go ahead and offer my own opinion.
> I think it's an unnecessary expense and expenditure of energy to build a
> redundant site simply to suit mobile devices. There is a very workable
> solution using HTML5+CSS3, where a single site design can display quite
> satisfactorily on anything down to a 320px iPhone. Accessibility and
> usability needn't suffer in the process. If properly implemented, the user
> experience can maintain quality across all platforms.
> Additionally, if you're not enthusiastic about HTML5+CSS3, you can
> accomplish the same thing using XHTML+RDFa. In fact, since RDFa presently
> enjoys a bit more adoption than HTML5, the SEO benefits can be even greater.
> If you're interested, I recently posted a very brief explanation of the
> HTML5+CSS3 technique and will soon be posting a similar item on the RDFa
> option.
> Sheldon Campbell
> From:
> Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 7:43 PM
> To:
> Subject: [WSG] Mobile sites
> Hello,
> I was wondering whether having a dedicated mobile site represents an
> improvement with regard to accessibility and standards, or whether it is
> acceptable to have a single site that is adaptable to different screen
> widths (e.g. by means of CSS media queries). Of course, setting up a
> separate mobile site requires additional work and therefore expense.
> I would be grateful for comments.
> Thank you and regards,
> Grant Bailey
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