Though today the laptop/desktop computers are still the most commonly used devices in the USA, Millennials have already started to revert this tendency. They are choosing their smartphones as their preferred device.
In 2018 an average of 52% of the world’s web traffic came from smartphones, 57% in the U.S. As more users turn to their mobile devices it is crucial that web design adapts to this change.
Mobile-Friendly: App vs Responsive
Yes, there is a difference. Having a mobile app used to be the common practice when the first generation of smartphones were developed. The apps were created specifically to run on smartphones, and other mobile devices, and allowed for a higher level of control in terms of what users would see on their devices, and most of all what they could do.
App development was, and still is, very expensive and therefore only within the reach of big companies. When mobile devices started to turn into the norm rather the exception, new technologies started to develop and gain traction. These technologies allowed web developers to create websites that could load and be usable both on computers and mobile devices. Responsive design was the answer that web developers implemented to turn regular websites into mobile-friendly applications.
At this point it became clear that it is essential that the users should be able to navigate a website on whatever screen they are using for viewing it. Now it's all about mobile-friendly experience, because as it turns out the user's on smartphones experience web navigation in a different way.
How customers interact with your website on their phone is a top priority when creating a new website for your business. We know that the vast majority of smartphones are touch-screen, so the cursor on a laptop/desktop that was once so precise has been replaced with the rounder more robust human finger, making precision tougher.
Having a user-friendly website when it comes to mobile means the less you have to tap the better the user experience will be. When a user interacts with the elements on a webpage, things must be fine-tuned to suit this new way of interaction. This means dropdown menus must be put in place, and CTA's must be bigger, using less space for content and graphics so that the site doesn't look cluttered (which is a great lesson for web design in general by the way).
Search Engines Like The Mobile-Friendly Website
In this web we call the Internet, search engines are the hubs. When people search through Google or Bing, they are searching for websites that can answer their questions or find the product or services they are looking for, and what is displayed on that first page of the results has a huge effect on the traffic rate. Traffic rate equals how many new and returning customers come to your website, low traffic can mean low sales or leads. It will take a well designed website to get on that first page. Without a mobile-friendly website this has now gotten even more difficult, because search engines check how your website appears in mobile devices, if it isn't fully up to the standards then that will negatively impact your website’s ranking.
So, Why a Mobile-Friendly Website is Good For Your Business?
Well let me tell you:
Only 56% of small businesses have a website design that is mobile-friendly (Source: Clutch). That is way too few, and that creates a unique opportunity that can give your business a competitive advantage.
When users were asked what is the most important element in content viewing, in either their personal or professional life, 73% of both sectors chose "It displays well on the device I’m using" as most important.
Losing a customer to a competitor because your mobile site was not designed to be user-friendly is something you cannot afford.
Business is a dog-eat-dog world, and so if designing a mobile-friendly site gives you a competitive edge, it's imperative that you get that done.
The future of content is mobile, don’t fall behind!