W3C mobile best practices

“Best practices” documents must always make some judgment calls, but this new summary from the W3C is a good checklist for evaluating a project before it goes public.

The emphasis is on HTML development (“do not use tables”, “do not use frames” etc), but lots of the recommendations are good for any runtime engine: strike a balance between similar experience across devices and using device-specific capabiloities… use emulators early but be sure to test on the varied devices themselves before release… minimize auto-refresh without audience disclosure and control… doublecheck contrast and color use under various viewing conditions… my favorite: “Use clear and simple language” (which implies acceptance of language-neutral imagery and appropriate animation).

There’s a longer version available too, but it’s good to keep the summary bookmarked, both for personal checking and as ammunition in internal workgroup discussions.

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