Do you use a smartphone? A recent survey shows that 46% of Americans own smartphones (Pew Research, March 1, 2012). In the USA, 101 million people (13+ years old) use smartphones, and almost 50 million report that they use their mobile browser (TechCrunch, March 6, 2012). Are we making it easy for these web surfers to view our sites?
We all use smartphones to view websites differently than we do on our desktop or even laptop computers. Mobile browsers are used for shorter, more targeted browsing. When we’re away and have a few moments of wait time, we pull out our smartphone and check a website (or app, or game!).
When mobile browsing, we are looking for what’s new, to find directions or a phone number, or to catch a quick (meaning short!) read that we’ve been meaning to get to, or to link with something that catches our eye, i.e., specific to one’s location. Been meaning to buy a product? Want to register for that event? Need to pay that invoice? All can easily be done by a visitor accessing your website via their smartphone.
Mobile devices have constraints different from desktop/laptop browsing. Smartphones, due to their much smaller size and cellular network, have a lesser rate of data throughput (bandwidth); they just don’t download pages as quickly. Obviously they have a smaller screen size.
Well-designed sites show well on mobile browsers. Mobile-designed sites go a step further to present the information in a way that displays even better on the mobile screen, and may not present all of the pages, large images, or the entire information presented on the ‘normal’ site. Typically mobile pages are presented in a one-column format rather than a typical two- or three-column design. Navigation is also treated differently for easier clicking.
ActiveCanvas builds mobile sites using the same content as the conventional site (so there’s no duplication) and without adding a lot of code that needs to be downloaded (so there’s not extra download time). The mobile sites are responsive to the needs of mobile users, and any extra code stays on the server- not on the mobile device.
Got your smartphone handy? Check out our site (www.activecanvas.com) on your mobile browser. Let us know what you think, and let us know what smartphone you are using.