posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 by Josh Wilkerson
Your website doesn’t live only on your desktop anymore. Every day, more and more people are browsing the web via a mobile phone or tablet. In fact, you may be reading this post on your phone or tablet right now. Smartphone ownership and mobile web usage has grown at a staggering rate during the past few years.
Currently, the population of the United States is around 315 million people and according to a 2012 report conducted by Edison Research, 44 percent of which now own a smartphone. Allowing for the continued growth of smartphone users, let’s assume that as of March 2013, around 50 percent of the U.S. population (about 157 million people) owns a smartphone and have option to view your website from a mobile device.
So what do these statistics mean and why should you care? The answer is usability.
If you’re a smartphone user, chances are you’ve been to a website on your smartphone where you have to pinch, zoom, squeeze or rotate just to find the information you’re looking for. Because this browsing format is still relatively new, most previously designed websites don’t make any allowances for the smaller screen and it turns into a frustrating and downright unpleasant experience for the user. This is where the magic of responsive web design comes into play.
Web developer and early advocate of responsive web design Ethan Marcotte describes it as “a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices.” In layman’s terms, a responsive site uses CSS code to determine the size of the users’ screen and tailors the content and look of the website to fit all devices while making sure the content is easily viewed.
According to a survey by a Google research group, 72 percent of all mobile users said “they are more likely to revisit a mobile-friendly site.” When asked about e-commerce sites specifically, 61 percent of mobile users said “they are likely to leave if the site isn’t mobile-friendly.” So according to these statistics, 113 million potential mobile users are more likely to return to your site if you take the time to make it mobile-friendly, and almost 96 million mobile users are more likely to make a purchase using your site rather than finding another website that’s easier to use.
So what’s the bottom line?
Are you building a website? Don’t forget to focus your time and attention on the mobile aspect and risk missing out on a huge group of users that are looking for an easy-to-use, mobile-friendly site.
Maybe you are already working with an agency to develop a new site. Listen to your friendly, neighborhood web developers when they bring up “responsive web design” because it’s not just a passing fad.
Still want to learn more? As you can probably tell, we at DVL we can talk for hours about all things web. But more importantly, we would really love the opportunity to work with you to create and develop your online presence that will effectively reach your audience, regardless of their browsers’ screen size.
Tags: a list apart, CSS code, dvl, Edison Research, Ethan Marcotte, mobile phone, mobile users, mobile web, mobile web usage, mobile-friendly site, pradical, responsive web design, search engine watch, smartphone, tablet, usability, web design, website