I think it's worth noting that there is a lot of commonality between accessibility and mobile optimisation. When the W3C Mobile Web Best Practices Group began its work (way back in June 2005 - I'm feeling old) our starting point was WCAG. They're not the same, of course, but the ways of thinking do share a lot. Designing accessible sites means making very few, if any, assumptions that given features will be available to all your users and therefore coding to offer various fallbacks/alternatives. On mobile, you're targeting devices that *may* be restricted in their capabilities.

Others have advocated looking at logs to see which devices your users are accessing the site with. That's always an important data point of course, but beware: if the only mobile devices accessing your site are top end smartphones that could be telling you that those are the only mobile devices that *can* use your site, not that others (the majority) are not interested in what you have to offer.


I agree the RWD gets you a long way - we advocate and teach it on the W3C Mobile Web course that Frances de Waal and I run - but it only answers style adaptation. A properly mobile-friendly site is likely to offer (slightly) different content too. At a simple level this means different sized images but it's deeper than that. Mobile users will often have different priorities than those browsing on a desktop and that can affect what you present as well as how you present it.

My mantra is content adaptation should be done server side, style adaptation is done client side. Do it right and you almost certainly do not need a separate mobile site. More ramblings at http://philarcher.org/diary/2011/mobilecontentandstyle/

HTH

Phil.

--


Phil Archer
W3C eGovernment
http://www.w3.org/egov/

http://philarcher.org
@philarcher1


On 16/05/2012 03:43, grant_malcolm_bai...@westnet.com.au wrote:
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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