The Importance of Mobile

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The Importance of Mobile

Here’s the reality: everywhere you go, you have your smartphone with you. Waiting for appointments, commuting, working, resting - at any given time, you’re on social media, browsing the internet, or doing research. These habits aren’t new, but the medium that we view our content on is. What was once a desktop or laptop is now a mobile device, and recent research indicates that over 60% of web searches occur on mobile devices. By the end of this year, mobile traffic will surpass traditional desktop browsing, and it’s not difficult to see why.

Statistics and behaviour patterns aside, there’s really no question that smartphones and tablets are a staple in our lives, and are becoming more so every day. From communication and navigation, to audio entertainment and internet, the world’s most interesting and innovative industries are connecting with users on mobile devices. Phones aren’t going anywhere.

This dramatic shift in the way readers and clients engage with their media means that modern web design must include responsive design as standard, unless specifically requested as otherwise. Developers and clients alike are quickly realizing the implications of a mobile strategy and how it affects their bottom line. A recent survey of Google users suggests that 85% of adults expect a mobile site to be just as good as a desktop site, and if you consider the aforementioned viewing habits, that figure is not surprising. More than half of all smartphone users claim that if a company’s website did not work well on their phone, they felt the company did not value their business. Surprisingly, more than half of Canada’s businesses are currently not mobile friendly.

Adopting responsive design doesn’t necessarily mean your website will need a complete overhaul. Creating a mobile friendly website can be fairly straightforward if the structure of your site is built correctly. Some minor adjustments to the front-end code (HTML and CSS) should allow you to capitalize on the audience looking for you on their smartphones. Largely, it doesn’t matter what content management system (CMS) your website was built in - front-end adjustments can be made without affecting your CMS. However, the other side of that coin means that if your website is in dire need of a redesign, you’re better off starting from the bottom, developing a full refresh, and having it built with responsive design.

At the end of the day, a well thought out mobile strategy can make the difference between joy and frustration. There are product-specific instances where a separate mobile app might be appropriate (look out for a future blog post!), but at the very least having a mobile friendly website is more important than ever if you want to access and cater to your current customers and continue to grow your audience on a global scale. If you’re not building for mobile, it’s time to catch up.