Impact of mobile technology on web development

With the untimely death of Steve Jobs, and the recent release of the latest version, the iphone  is even more at the forefront of everyones mind. In the web development industry, the introduction of the iphone (and smartphone technology as a whole) created a new “industry within the industry”.

More focus is now being placed on websites and web applications functioning correctly on mobile devices, and giving the end user the same or highest quality experience.

Optimizing your site for web applications can create new value for customers, grow your community and allow the customer to view your product as a complete package at anytime, anyplace and on any device.

Techniques that are being employed by developers to optimize a site for mobile technology are:

  • Mobile stylesheets; creating alternative css styling that is optimised for mobiles using the same html markup.
  • Media types; signalling to a device to use certain stylesheets based on their “media type” e.g
  • Use fluid layouts; not setting fixed heights and widths on elements will allow  div elements to fall into themselves, and also using % or .em widths, will allow the device to resize elements based on screensize.
  • Hide unnecessary content; using “display:none” in your mobile stylesheet to hide certains areas of markup that is not essential for the mobile customer.
  • Platform specific stylesheets; as above have a specific stylesheet for each mobile platform. Be it  Apple iphone; Google android or windows mobile. 


As technology progresses and new handheld products are introduced, web development will have to adapt to the user’s needs, and soon the norms of website development from the last 20 years will be replaced by new methods, practices and technologies. Adapt!