General design guidelines

The first and also most important aspect, which has to be well thought-out is the limited screen size on the PPC. Therefore, applications should be designed keeping in mind this small screen size. For usability reasons the need to scroll vertically and horizontally to view a complete Web page should be avoided. Thus it is important to fit all information onto one page.

The resolution of the Pocket Internet Explorer is stated as 240 x 320. However the usable area for the display of information is somewhat smaller, as the user interface of the PPC defines two areas that cannot be used for content in the browser:

Each bar takes 26 pixels space off the vertical resolution of the PPC screen. Therefore, a page, which shall be displayed completely on the PPC screen must not exceed 240 x 268 pixels. If the page exceeds 268 vertical pixels the vertical scroll bar will appear and reduces the screen width to 229 pixels. If the option to switch off the address bar is ON, additional 23 vertical pixels are available for the displaying of information. However there are no means for a page to determine the state of the address bar. Thus, these additional 23 vertical pixels should not be used.

A web page exploiting the available 240 pixels will cause the horizontal scroll bar to appear, too. This is because Pocket Internet Explorer needs to provide a way to reveal the remaining 11 pixels with the vertical scroll bar. If pages are designed in a way that does not require a horizontal scroll bar, 11 additional vertical pixels are gained.

In general the Pocket Internet Explorer can render static content only, as DHTML is not supported. XML and XSL as well as JScript and the document write method can be used to do some dynamic updating of pages.

Of the four Office applications: Access 2000, Excel 2000, PowerPoint 2000, and Word 2000 only PowerPoint 2000 does a browser version check prior to displaying the page. It delivers up a page that tells the user that this may not correctly display in their browser.

The Microsoft Office 2000 suite should not be used to author pages for Pocket Internet Explorer. Using Office 2000 it is easily possible to add unintentionally too complex features which will typically generate issues in the Pocket Internet Explorer.

Copyright © 2001-2003 by Rainer Hillebrand and Thomas Wierlemann