If you are like me, in the last 24 months or so you most likely have started using your mobile phone more and more for browsing the Internet. Larger mobile screens, voice recognition software, and better wi-fi access are just a few of the advances that have made this possible.
The usage stats that I have found support this tremendously. Approximately 15% of all web traffic in 2013 has been mobile. I see no slowing down in this growing segment as the phones keep getting easier to use while more and more websites are becoming responsive (mobile friendly) websites.
It used to be for e-mail (and a phone call)!
My first 2 smartphones were Blackberry’s and their primary purpose was phone and e-mail. On my last Blackberry I started taking photos and sending them thru e-mail. That was great and it certainly gave me a level of connectivity with customers, family and friends that I really enjoyed and used. When I was travelling to Australia it really become obvious to me how valuable a tool this was.
I didn’t really start actively using my mobile phone for a web browser until I had upgraded to an Android (in 2011) when I started reading the news on my phone (in the bathroom – and let me tell you it was just as enjoyable as a newspaper!).
We started developing mobile websites around 2010 when we saw initial demand for mobile sites. Creating the sites generally required separate templates from traditional desktop websites (and lots of development work to make the sites work) but it really wasn’t as clear back then what people would actually use mobile websites for. Today every website we produce is responsive (which includes a mobile friendly version) and this is now a standard with Bear Web Design.
SO what do people use Mobile Websites for?
The answer seems to be more and more obvious today – any web based task that can be accomplished on the mobile in a gnerally short period of time (and without the hassle of turning on a computer and finding a suitable work location). Of course this is my definition but here are some of the things folks now do on mobile sites:
- Reading, Viewing and updating Content (News, Social Media, Entertainment)
- Social Media Engagement (Facebook, Twitter & Google+)
- Personal calendars and contact info (remember back when Day Planners were so popular?)
- Online Banking and Online Shopping
- Browsing QR Codes (in areas such as Real Estate and Retail Shopping in particular)
- General information searching (Just like we do on a normal desktop with google
- Maps and directions (locating nearest shops and restaurants)
- E-mail (Voice activation which makes it even easier) & Phone
I am sure there is a lot more to this list, but the reality is if I can do something on mobile – say, transfer money from one bank account to another while sitting in the living room watching TV, versus getting up and getting my laptop and turning it on letting it boot up and then having it sit awkwardly in my lap “OH THE ABSOLUTE INCONVENIENCE OF IT ALL!” then frankly I am going to use my mobile. Its more convenient and ultimately easier to do and based on that I suspect we are all going to continue to use our mobiles more and more in the future.