HWG-News Tips Late August 2000
Design tips for handheld devices
HWG-News features member-submitted "tips" in each issue, in the space
between articles and announcements. These were the tips submitted for
21 August 2000
newsletter, for the following category:
Design tips for handheld devices
Now that webphones, Palm Pilots, and other handheld devices
are accessing the web, how do you code your pages so that
these users can access your site?
This issue's winner!
To make sure pages are accessible to all kinds of devices, separate
presentation and from content, make sure everything validates (with
e.g. http://validator.w3.org/) and comply with the Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines that you can find at
-- Submitted by Kjetil Kjernsmo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Other design tips for handheld devices
turn it off and make sure your site still works. Fancy navigation menus often fail,
leaving an unbrowsable site.
-- Submitted by Jordan Reed <email@example.com>
Working for the government and during our recent training and work around
the 508 issue in congress we've been having to make our sites work for the
blind reader machines and software. This not only helps people with visual
disabilities better explore and use the internet but it also helps the
handheld devices which work on similar technologies as they strip the
graphics and other such things out of a website and focus on the content.
If you want to know more about how to code your website for ease of handheld
use, you might want to check out the W3's sections on Accessibility.
-- Submitted by Teanah <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It is a good idea to try to follow W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
when designing a webpage. By following these guidelines, pages will
be viewable by monochrome screens, by text-only browsers, and be readable
by screen-reader software. These guidelines can be found here.
A convenient checklist is here.
-- Submitted by Chris G. <email@example.com>
We may have stopped using the NOFRAMES tag because most major browsers
support frames. Avantgo on the Palm does not support frames. The NOFRAMES
tag will allow the Palm Avantgo user to still see your pages that contain
frames. Without the NOFRAMES tag, the Palm users will only see a blank
-- Submitted by Jim Travis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When I design pages that apply the recommendations outlined in the HWG course on 'Designing
universally accessible pages', and which pass the 'Bobby' proof test for access by blind users,
they are accessible from a cell-phone screen. So many features that enable audio text readers
to access web-based material are not unsimilar to those that enable other devices with small
screens to access the material.
The HWG 'Introduction to XML' course also provided useful ideas on this issue. I would suggest
that web developers keep a close eye on the XML development. Reported predictions are that
by 2002, 75% of all web-browsing will be via hand-helds, cell phones, TVs and a variety of
other 'non-standard' devices.
-- Submitted by Patsy Clarke <CLARKE@nu.ac.za>
Are you using a small in-line GIF for a "Bullet"? Don't forget the ALT
component of the IMG tag. Instead of ALT="Red Ball", on that
SRC="redball.gif" use ALT="*" or ALT="#". These are characters that LOOK
like Bullets in non-graphic browsers.
-- Submitted by Richard Cheshire <email@example.com>