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Mobile Design and Development by Brian Fling

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Strategy #3: Device Targeting

The third multiserving strategy is device targeting, or calling out specific devices by class or model and delivering an experience designed with that device in mind. In this strategy, we don’t assume that browsers are trustworthy enough to get to where they need to be. Therefore, in this strategy, the first step of multiserving is to reliably detect the device.

Once the device and browser are detected, you route the user to the best experience. This can be done by checking the HTTP headers, starting with the User-Agent string, in order to recognize the device and browser and then deliver a device-specific site.

One of the more common examples here would be wanting to treat a device like the iPhone differently than the rest of your mobile devices; the markup and styles used to create the iPhone experience could be quite different than what you might use for all the other mobile devices. In these cases, each experience is often built as a standalone product, with little to no adaptation taking place.

Though you could certainly perform dynamic adaptation—something I will discuss more in the next strategy—in this strategy, it is common for developers to utilize a more simplistic approach, relying on the content management system or web application framework to create multiple experiences from a single data source. Create specific experiences for targeted devices, then route devices accordingly.

Because device detection is such a crucial component of this strategy, ...

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