The W3C Mobile Web Seminar being held today, 16 November 2006, in Paris, France is an important event bringing together authors, pioneers, visionaries, web designers, enthusiasts, and many others. Its theme is ‘Accessing the Web from Mobile Devices‘, in other words using the Web while on the move. W3C’s Mobile Web Initiative (W3C-MWI) was launched in 2005 to improve the mobile experience on the Web. The W3C-MWI work is focused on developing best practices for “mobileOK” Web sites, and device information needed for content adaptation.
Philipp Hoschka, W3C Europe Deputy Director and Mobile Web Initiative Leader, is chairing the event. One of the most important building blocks in this is covered by Andrea Rus, MobileAware in a presentation, ‘Embracing Device Diversity‘ (PDF). One of the key processes in achieving Thematic Consistency, which is a prime objective of the One Web Principle, is what is called Adaptation.
He describes what is involved in even Simple Adaptation:
He summarizes the benefits achieved through Embracing Device Diversity:
It all sounds pretty challenging for all but the professionals. Clearly the advantages to be gained are enormous. However a nagging question remains. Can Adaptation ever produce satisfying user experiences on all mobile devices? Very different screen resolutions imply very different abilities to handle information. Does mere thematic consistency deliver what is required? We wait to be convinced on that.