It’s no secret that people are becoming more and more reliant on their mobile devices. Our mobiles have almost become extensions of our brains. They pretty much do everything that we used to use the left side of our brains for – remember phone numbers, birthdays, appointments, shopping lists, solve basic maths equations etc. And We have them with us at all times, the whole internet in our pockets – a world of information, ready for the googling.
It is predicted that by 2015 people will be accessing the internet on mobiles devices more often than on a PC and smart phone sales will surpass PC sales worldwide by the end of the year and already most Android and iPhone users spend over 30 minutes a day using mobile apps. The old desktop computer is location specific and has to be turned on, it has to load, it requires a desk, it takes up space, there’s wires to deal with. A lap top solves some of these problems, but it doesn’t fit in your pocket.
The mobile is right there, ready to search the internet at your beckoned call. You could be having a drink with friends at a bar, you clink glasses and say ‘cheers’, then someone ponders, “Why do we clink our glasses?” and the answer is seconds away.
I am a person who, unless I’m at the computer already, will reach for their mobile to access the internet before I would think to turn on a PC – like I said, it’s right there, in my pocket, ready to go – and the most sure fire way for a website to find it’s way into my bookmarks is for it to have a good, fast-loading mobile interface.
It is a fairly easy retro-fit mobile template to your existing site, which can even include mobile-specific content – all while maintaining just one site. But many developers are now adopting a ‘mobile first’ approach to web design, where the mobile site is the primary focus. There are several reasons to create your site with mobile devices in mind, first of all, as mentioned already, mobile is taking off. But the other advantages are that within the constaints of a 320 x 480 pixel screen you need to focus on what is important and to keep it simple, which leads to an improved (and less cluttered) desktop experience also. The current PC first approach can also hold mobile development back, mobile devices with touch screens have so many extra features that the PC environment can not take advantage of – things like GPS, multi-touch gestures, the tilt of the device from the accelerometer.
As mobile web use grows a good mobile interface will become a natural expectation of internet users and fewer and fewer people will view your desktop website.