Design guidelines for information sites

Information Sites which are especially designed for the Pocket Internet Explorer should concentrate on the essential content which is the core information of that site. It makes no sense to show any links that Pocket Internet Explorer user are not likely to view anyway like videos, audio links or large picture slide shows.

The presentation of news and information on small screens like that of the PPC works best by creating short pages of the articles and pointing to the continuation of the article with a "click here to read more..." link at the bottom of the page. Remember the pages should not exceed 268 vertical pixels (320 - 2 x 26 pixels for the menu and caption bar) for the best possible appearance on the screen of the PPC. Today already numerous news and information sites apply this methodology, apart from they do not design pages for this screen size, instead they develop their pages for large desktop screens capable to display 800 x 600 pixels or even 1024 x 768 pixels. However, this practice might cause some problems when the Pocket Internet Explorer is used in an offline scenario. Most users do not change their link-depth in the Mobile Favourites and keep the default (zero). As a result when they try to click on such a link to read the full article they will get a "page not available" error. Even if the user is aware of the possibility to change the link-depth, it is very hard for some users to figure out what link-depth they actually should use. This scenario can easily be avoided by creating a short introductory page containing the links to all pages of the article. This still necessitates the user to change the link-depth to "one" but makes it more apparent for him. Even a hint on that page, telling the user what link-depth he should enter in his synchronization options, can be added.

Copyright © 2001-2003 by Rainer Hillebrand and Thomas Wierlemann