More and more Web content is being accessed from mobile devices. The Introduction to the W3C's Mobile Web Best Practices course is designed to allow participants to understand, and have first hand experience of, the mobile paradigm. What is different about the Web when accessed from mobile devices cmpared with a desktop or laptop computer? What can you do the same and what must be done differently? What tools are available to help? These are the kind of questions the course is designed to answer.

The syllabus is presented here in a relatively formal manner. A more general description of the course and how W3C delivers it is also available.


By the end of the course, participants should:

  1. Understand the opportunities and challenges presented by the Web as experienced on mobile devices. In particular:
    1. The current and potential usage of the Web on mobile devices.
    2. The restrictions on presentation compared with the Web as perceived on desktop devices.
    3. The impact of factors such as: reduced bandwidth, network latency, increased data cost, limited input methods, limited processing power, the effect of processing and network usage on battery life, ambient lighting conditions, user context and intention.
    4. The impact on advertising models.
  2. Understand why certain techniques are inappropriate in the mobile context and be able to demonstrate the use of suitable alternatives. There is no need to learn inappropriate techniques, however, students should be able to adapt content that does use techniques such as frames and pop-ups for display on mobile devices.
  3. Understand the concept of the Default Delivery Context and demonstrate the ability to exploit device capabilities. Participants should be able to employ various techniques to provide an enhanced user-experience without relying on them; that is, users of devices that do not support those features should still be able to use the content/service. Key examples of such techniques are:
    1. CSS, fonts and colors;
    2. Tables;
    3. Scripts and Objects;
    4. Cookies.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to create code successfully for mobile Web content, bearing in mind particularly:
    1. The need to minimize scrolling;
    2. The need to optimize navigation;
    3. The need to deliver images of an appropriate size;
    4. The targeting of specific devices or classes of device;
    5. The use of mobile-specific stylesheets.
  5. Understand the One Web philosophy: what it is and why it is important. Understand that thematic consistency means that mobile and desktop presentations are closely related, not that they are identical, or that they contain exactly the same information.
  6. Be familiar with the W3C Mobile Web Initiative working groups, Recommendations and tools. In particular, participants should be familiar with:
    1. Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 - Basic Guidelines;
    2. mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0;
    3. The Mobile Test Suites;
    4. The mobileOK Checker.
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This work is part of the MobiWeb 2.0 project supported by the European Union's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7)

Last updated: $Date: 2009/05/15 15:26:30 $

Phil Archer,, Mobile Web Initiative

Introduction to W3C's Mobile Web Best Practices