Wireless communication is poised to become the next big thing since the advent of the Web. This article discusses the specific challenges associated with designing and delivering information in the wireless world and examines the impact that the wireless exchange of information will have on the creation of business and consumer services. Specifically, the article explores 1. Tools and technologies of wireless communication such as WAP and WML 2. The challenges of wireless communication and techniques to overcome them 3. Methods for designing information for the wireless world The article examines the interrelationship between technology and communication. It should help technical communicators understand the potential of wireless communication, its impact on our profession, and its new possibilities.
The WAP Backlash has started in Europe: Most speakers at last week's NetMedia 2000 conference in London proclaimed WAP a temporary aberration that delivers substandard services. British and continental newspapers are full of stories about WAP phones that don't work and services that are difficult to use. Many commentators point out the simple fact that since you have a phone in your hand, most tasks are faster to perform by simply placing a voice telephone call than by using WAP.
Following a UK field study, 70% of users decided not to continue using WAP. Currently, its services are poorly designed, have insufficient task analysis, and abuse existing non-mobile design guidelines. WAP's killer app is killing time; m-commerce's prospects are dim for the next several years.
Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a result of continuous work to define an industry wide standard for developing applications over wireless communication networks. The WAP Forum, originally founded by Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, and Unwired PlanetWML was formed to create the global wireless protocol specification that works across differing wireless network technology types, for adoption by appropriate industry standards bodies. WML (Wireless Markup Language) is a markup language based on XML, and is intended for use in specifying content and user interface for narrowband devices, including cellular phones and pagers. WML is designed with the constraints of small narrowband devices in mind.
The Wireless Markup Language (WML) is the markup language used to make sites suitable for viewing using a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) device. If you don't have a WAP device to view the pages, you can get a simulator by downloading the Wireless Companion from YourWAP.