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GLOBAL – How many times have you wanted to access a website or software on your phone only to be told you need new hardware to reach it? The issues of backward compatibility and maximum accessibility are a pain for everyone in the tech world. So with the introduction of a new browser, Nokia was determined to meet these challenges in order to reach as many customers as possible.

Leading web developers Yiibu were asked to make the launch site work on at least 70 Nokia devices. But directors Stephanie and Bryan Rieger met the challenge and some, by making the beautifully clear browser pages accessible on over 250 Nokia handsets, from a classic N70, released in 2005 to the latest Symbian^3 and MeeGo touch devices.

Canadian Stephanie, who still regularly uses her first Nokia 6600, told Conversations: “Our number one priority was to make the content quickly and easily available on as many devices as possible. After all, the site was linked to three different browsers, each optimised for devices with different screen sizes and capabilities.

“So we created a site with graded levels of support, starting with the most basic browser then progressively enhancing and optimising to suit more modern capabilities.

“To achieve this, we used the best of old and new techniques including CSS media queries and both server and client-side detection and optimisation.”

By adopting the principle of “mobile first” in their design, Yiibu have turned traditional design on its head. After all, if the website works on a smaller screen, it’s relatively easy to make sure it works on a bigger desktop version.

Many designers still build for PCs and desktop computers first.

But many any people today are experiencing the Web for the first time on a phone. Already in China, phones are the most popular way of accessing the Web and pretty soon that will apply globally.

Stephanie added: “Series 40 browsers are available on so many phones and some are three to four years old.

“A new browser breathes new life into a phone: it’s like the user has a new device.”

It’s a tribute to Stephanie and Bryan’s work that within a month of launch, the browser site received hits from 156 countries and more than 150 Nokia devices.

The development means that millions of Nokia customers can become part of the web community without having to buy a new phone.