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they are unable to see the previous elements already entered and can-
not see the items to come. This disorientation makes it harder to get
forms right in a mobile setting. You might consider breaking your large
form into multiple smaller forms, letting users incrementally enter their
information. If you take this approach, make sure you validate data as
you receive it; don't collect six screens of information and then force the
user to return to the first screen to fix an error.
14.4.4. Layout and Presentation
The mobile web is not the place for fancy layout and slick content
presentation. The limited tags in XHTML Basic help ensure this, and the
prudent mobile designer will not try to go beyond those limits. While the
transition from the feature-rich desktop browser to the minimal mobile
environment can be difficult, designers must remember that the point of
content design is to inform the user, not to impress your designer peers. Stylesheets
All is not lost for those wanting to create attractive mobile content. Good
designers use stylesheets to separate their content from its presenta-
tion attributes. This also makes it easier to have a single content source
whose appearance is controlled by different stylesheets depending on
the user device. Because inline styles are not recommended or suppor-
ted in the standard for mobile content, use external links to your mobile
content stylesheets. For example:
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="handheld" href="sheet.css">
In this link, the media attribute is key: it ensures that this stylesheet will
be applied when your content is viewed on a mobile device, and will be
ignored otherwise. You'll want to keep your stylesheets small because
they contribute to the delay required to load your pages over a slower
mobile connection.
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