The Mobile Web is Becoming the Default Web
When smartphones first debuted they were a novelty, but that has rapidly changed. Today, not only are smartphones abundantly popular, they’re the most popular way to access the web.
- Nearly half of US seniors own a smartphone
- 64% of low-income households own a smartphone
- 12% of US adults have already ditched the desktop
- An estimated 2.87 billion people will have smartphones by 2020
- Mobile web use now outranks desktop use
See the picture? In a matter of years, smartphones have become more popular than traditional computers, and mobile devices have become the most common way to access the web. If you’re not designing for mobile, you’re not designing for most users.
Mobile is Easier to Scale
Whether you’re building a brand new website or redesigning an old one, you need to consider what your website is going to look like to your users. While smartphone screens seem to keep getting bigger, the simple fact is they are still much smaller than laptop and desktop monitors. Trying to crunch all of the functionality of a robust, data-filled desktop site down into a small-screen form factor can result in a cramped design that no mobile user will enjoy.
If, however, you build for the mobile user first, you’ll have a website that will work well on the small screen and can easily be enlarged to fit desktop users. It’s much easier to enlarge a small design than to shrink a large one if you want your site to be functional for all your users.
You can add more graphics or features as you scale up if desired, but when building the framework of your website you’ll serve most of your users best by thinking small.
Mobile Helps You Decide What Matters
For all the popularity of smartphones, the fact is their small form factor and touch-based interface makes them a little tougher for developers to work with. You don’t get as much screen real estate to play with, and what you do have needs to be easy for users to navigate with their comparatively large fingers instead of the precise mouse cursor.
All of those factors add up to mean you’ll need to think really hard about what’s important. You may have a wealth of information to convey to your users, but you need to decide what they should see first, without scrolling or digging too hard, because that’s what’s going to appear on your mobile site. The core focus of your business becomes abundantly clear when you’re constrained by the size of a
Desktop sites do still matter, but if you’re still looking at mobile functionality as an afterthought than you’re behind the times. To succeed on the modern web, you’ll need to catch up with your increasingly mobile audience.
Don’t let user trends leave you in the dust. Get mobile with your website redesign.