By Rik Barwick, Managing Director of Creativitea
I'm writing this whilst on the train to London to meet a new potential client about a website they'd like my creative team to design. I'm on my iPad and using my Googledocs account to write this in the 'Cloud'. Our lives are becoming more dependent on mobile technology to work and play; from software, to Cloud storage, to office solutions.
During the day I'm a 'techie'. I love technology and gadgets and find myself glued to many electronic devices. I currently surf the net on a 27in iMac, a 15in MacBookAir, an iPad, an iPhone and a little 13in PC notebook. These all pose dilemmas for my online activity, as each device has a different screen resolution and screen size, thus displaying websites differently. I can’t tell you how annoying it is zooming in on content or having to fill long complicated forms out trying to make a simple purchase on an e-commerce site! Most of the time, I just give up and wait until I'm on my larger screen.
Now this wouldn’t happen if people made their sites more mobile friendly. A site just needs to respond to the user. That’s it folks, there's that famous word that sends chills down some website owners spines - 'User’. What are their habits? What do they use to access your site? What do they want to see?
In 2010, 31% of people surveyed said they used the Internet whilst out and about. In August 2011 this neared 50%. With the continued rate of increase set to be near the 70% mark and the increase in sales of tablets being three times those of PC’s you can be reassured that users will be wanting to access, view and possibly buy from your site via their mobile device. There are more mobile phones in the UK than people, 50% of people in the UK have a smartphone and 28% of global internet usage is from a mobile device.
When designing your website, the answer to this is reasonably simple: Think mobile first.
It doesn’t have to be a significant investment. Yes it does cost more, it does take longer to design and build - but what an improvement it can deliver. Making a responsive website which is mobile-friendly is likely to increase page views, sales, and decrease your bounce rate. You’ll be at the cutting edge of technology and are future-proofed for the inevitable diminishing sales of PC’s. One of our clients with offices nationwide just told me that in 2013 they are removing ALL their PC’s from their offices and replacing them with tablets. Can you afford for these people not to be able to view your site? This is just one company, who knows how many others are doing the same!
It’s pretty clear that mobile is here to stay. Eventually I can see PC’s becoming more obsolete and we’ll be working increasingly via mobile devices. Website owners need to make sure they are putting provisions in place to allow for the increase in mobile traffic.
Statistics taken from http://www.gpmd.co.uk/blog/2012-mobile-internet-statistics/