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Endeca is a search and business intelligence company whose focus is business on the web. When they wanted a new blog that would focus on trends and insights for eBusiness, the team at Oomph decided it was time to use CSS3′s @media declarations for responsive template designs to optimize the site for multiple mobile and desktop devices.
The result was a super flexible theme, built on WordPress, that scales according to the user’s device size. One set of templates displays content in a few different ways, optimized for the iPhone, Android, iPad and desktop monitors of all sizes. Visit the site, grab the window corner to resize it, and watch what happens. Just one catch: current versions of Internet Explorer don’t yet support CSS3 (version 9, which is right around the corner, does add support).
For the developers out there, read on for a quick run down of what we did and how it works.
After our previous post on [post="32" text="mobile-optimized websites"] it seemed to us that we should lead by example. That’s why we’ve released version 1 of “
C. Murray Consulting Oomph Mobile”.
For v1, we focused on the powerful and increasingly ubiqitous mobile WebKit, the website rendering engine used by the web browser on the iPhone and Google’s Android platform (available today on the T-Mobile G1) as well as some Nokia Symbian devices. It’s also the web engine behind the forthcoming Palm Pre. The core WebKit engine also powers Apple’s desktop Safari browser, and Google’s new Chrome browser.
As with any mobile project, there were two core principals that guided us. First, make it readable: minimize the amount of scrolling necessary and optimize the font for the small screen. Second, make it fast: minimize mobile load time by cutting unnecessary and weighty graphics and keeping the site light on client side scripting and complex styles.
If you have an iPhone or Android device, head on over to cmurrayconsulting.com and let us know what you think. We’ll be adding a check for other mobile WebKit devices, as well as a manual web address to check it out, soon.
Mobile-optimized websites have been on our radar for a couple of years, and while we’ve devoted some time for research and prototyping, until now, clients rarely considered mobile an important part of their overall web strategy. But since our e-calendars virtually flipped to 2009, we’ve had several clients revisit the mobile web question, and have already queued up a couple of exciting projects.
Some of our partners have been hard at work making their systems mobile friendly. Salesforce.com has a fabulous native iPhone application. Ning recently released an iPhone optimized version for their social networks. WordPress, one of our most popular content management platforms, has released an iPhone application for managing posts and offers several plug-ins for basic mobile blog views.
In a blog post about the progress of the mobile web this morning, Jakob Nielsen says that the Mobile Web of 2009 = the Desktop Web of 1998. Think about that for a minute. In 1998 there was no YouTube. Google didn’t exist yet, nor did Salesforce.com.
Seems to us, there’s work to be done.