In your opinion what is the best method to delivering a mobile style to phones? If I had the time and capability, I would presume making an native app for
each phone would be the best solution. However, I am not at that development level nor do I have the time.
There seems to be various issues using server side and ua strings, and client side media queries don't always reach a good portion of users (from what I understand.)
Is it best to just link to a mobile from the desktop version? This would allow the user to define the experience.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your help and insight!
There are differing opinions on this, but one school of thought reminds up that HTML works fine on all devices, and that we can style web experiences appropriately depending on the device and its capabilities. See this, for example:
The first ever site on the web still works just fine on mobile. It was just HTML, of course.
So this presentation is basically saying to use media queries in your default style sheet correct? Some desktop browsers will ignore them? Then to reach the other platforms use some more media queries. Is this the just of it? The responsive design piece I get, understand, and implement, but actually serving it seems to be a bit tricky.
Thanks so much!
Yes, the idea is to start with a very simple design that all devices can handle, and then add in extra styles for smarter devices via selected media queries. The only downer is IE8 and under, which doesn't know about media queries, but you can serve up styles just for those browsers with an IE-specific style sheet via conditional comments:
<!--[if IE]><link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/css/ie.css"><![endif]-->
Chris Coyier has a handy set of media queries for a range of devices here: