Saturday, February 19, 2005

Checking Web Page on Handheld

Opera, an undiscovered gem of a web browser, allows you to see what a web page would look like on a handheld device. Just open a web page and press <shift> <F11>. I've been playing with this using web sites I work with, as well as well-known sites. While it's been interesting seeing how the web pages transform themselves, what I've noticed is that a handheld user usually has to go through a number of navigation links before getting to any content. Just think about it -- most web pages have their navigation on the left side under a banner. So, the handheld would read the banner first and then move back to read the left column -- the navigation -- before moving to the next column. This problem is the same one those that use screen readers have. If a browser is reading the web page to you, it will be read in the same sequence. There's something to be said about moving navigation to the right side or providing a link to skip it all together.

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