I just recently got an Internet-capable PocketPC, and I was amazed to find how many web sites are truly unfriendly toward those types of devices.
Google, so far, is the only site I’ve browsed that specifically caters to handheld devices. MapQuest is still usable on handhelds, but it’s not very pretty. Yahoo! is almost completely worthless on my handheld, especially when trying to mess around with my Yahoo! mail.
Google.com actually re-directs handheld visitors to a special site that is designed specifically for those users. The site contains no extra items. It’s just a Google logo, made to fit on the screen, a textbox for your search terms, and a form submit button.
MapQuest doesn’t really cater to handheld visitors, but their site is still usable. When you visit MapQuest, you see exactly the same site you see on your desktop browser. However, MapQuest has not really employed any elements in their site design that would be specifically offensive to handheld visitors. Visiting and using their site simply requires the visitor to scroll quite a bit in order to view the maps and directions in a readable manner.
Yahoo!, however, seems to have completely alienated those of us visiting their site with handheld devices. When you enter your Yahoo! mail, you are extremely limited as to what you can actually do. You cannot compose new messages, because the “Compose” button seems to be disabled for visitors using IE mobile.
Another common item I’ve found on web sites that really hurts those of us browsing on our handhelds is the “onlcick” link. By this, I don’t mean conventional anchor links. I am actually talking about list items and table cells that use the “onclick” event handler to act as the link. A lot of web designers seem to be employing this method of linking nowadays, and are not included the conventional anchor link in addition to those types of links. Unfortunately, because there is no “mouse” on the handheld, there is no “click”, which means the “onclick” event handler is never called. Obviously, this means that you cannot click on those types of links, which means you can’t go anywhere on those sites.
Please share your experiences browsing the web with handheld devices. As I said, I just recently acquired an internet-capable PocketPC, so I’ve only just begun my experiences with IE mobile.