11 April 2013

Developing a feature phone website

Client wants to focus on low-end feature phones first, statistics prove bad decision

The last couple of weeks I have been focussing on a mobile site for feature phones such as a low-end type of Nokia. Although most mobile traffic (32% of all traffic) in the past year on my client's website consists of Android (44%), iOS (28%) and BlackBerry (26%) devices (both tablet and smartphones). Feature phone operating systems Symbian and Nokia joined together cover less than 1% of all mobile traffic.

It was quite a challenge to get it working on such a device. The office has prepared me a Nokia 2690 with a resolution of 128 by 160 pixels, assuming that is the smallest resolution available for feature phones that support mobile internet browsing. The device uses the Opera Mini browser and is very limited in displaying graphical content. Technical note: CSS3 border-radius is not supported. Unfortunately, this is the only feature phone device made available for testing by my company so I cannot check the results on other (similar) feature phones. This annoys me quite a lot because I cannot guarantee a good result on other feature phones based upon one device; that's just a wild guess!

The feature phone website is highly compressed and optimized to reduce download time and the navigation works very nice for the Nokia I have been testing on. Tomorrow afternoon I have a meeting with the client, let's hope they like the result so we can finally start working on a website for smartphones! And after that a tablet version! I can hardly wait!

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