Jul 09 2013

Mobile Devices Change Viewer Behavior

It is easy to see how mobile devices change viewer behavior as they interact with websites. Mobile internet usage has rocketed up due to the massive distribution of smartphones, WI-FI access and tablet devices such as the iPad. In 2008, mobile devices used less than one percent of overall internet traffic but that has grown to fifteen percent in only 5 years. An important part of this change is that internet users behave differently from PC users. If you want to succeed online, you must have a mobile-friendly web presence to attract and keep mobile viewers.

Small Screens – Big Fingers

Navigating is easy on a standard desktop website using a mouse and a 15″ or larger screen, but that’s not always true when you are using one finger and a small screen on your mobile device. Fat-fingering, accidentally touching or typing something you didn’t mean to, can slow you down and frustrate you. A mobile website must also be easy to navigate because you don’t want mobile users to feel less important just because they use a mobile device. A simple layout and a few large finger-sized buttons make mobile users feel valued so they will stay now and come back later.

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Mobile devices provide almost immediate access to solutions and information. Those who use them expect to be able to use them at any time, day or not, weekday or weekend, and from anywhere, not just the office. This “always on” mentality means that the most important features of your website have to be on the mobile site and the desktop site. And because they might be looking for something in the few minutes between meetings or before their child comes up at bat, they want a fast-loading, easy to navigate website.

Mobile Email Leads to Mobile Searching and Browsing

One recent study showed that over 40% of all email is viewed on mobile devices. Many emails contain links to web pages, and many other emails cause the reader to search for information. You don’t want users to have to go to the office to see your company website, so you need to have a mobile website optimized for the smaller screen so you can capture them right then. And, if you use marketing emails for subscribers, then creating mobile-optimized messages is also just as important as a mobile-optimized website.

Future Growth and Importance

There is still strong desktop and tablet internet access, but the trend toward a mobile lifestyle is adding many thousands of new mobile users daily. The daily demands of work, the desire for more efficient time management, long commutes and many other factors make mobile internet access such a convenient service for many people. Once you start using mobile, you just won’t feel right when you are not connected. In 2014, internet users in the US are expected to access the web via mobile devices more than they do via non-mobile devices. Businesses of today have to take actions to grow their customers from both types of users.

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