Another good way to test a site for suitability for handheld devices is to download the Opera 7.2x and try the SSR (Small Screen Rendering ) mode by clicking Shift-F11.
What this does, is change the layout of the page and “fold” it into a format suitable for handheld devices, losing some layout, but making the content easily available. If there are stylesheets for @media handheld, Opera will use those styles and not SSR.
This technology is available both in Opera’s desktop versions and on all the mobile versions that are currently being shipped with Nokia devices.
Using this technique also shows a major shortcoming of the Slashdot redesign. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the article, but the redesign isn’t perfect yet. Which shortcoming am I talking about?
SSR renders the page in order it encounters the content in the code. In the redesign, the code containing the actual content of the page, the articles, is at the end of the file. So when I turn on SSR, I first get a huge list of links, sections, logins etc. before I finally see the content. When using SSR on the normal /. page, the content is at the top.
So for the redesign to be even better than it currently is, it should try to move the code around, putting the actual content more towards the top.
Another tip for making pages more suitable for handheld devices, is to write a separate stylesheet for @media handheld, and to hide certain sections that are irrelevant to handheld users, like Poll, bookreviews, freshmeat etc. This can simply be done with display:none; in the handheld stylesheet.