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Web Design; The Mobile Revolution, a Global Phenomenon! 

In our last blog post we discussed Web Design trend predictions for 2013; Responsive Web Design (RWD) was at the top of the list as more and more people turn to their mobile devices as their web platform of choice. This "mobile revolution" is leading to major changes in Mobile Web Design and Mobile Web Development; it needs to be taken seriously. Marketers must ensure that they do not neglect the increasing number of mobile web users that are now discovering brands and products via their tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. Businesses can do this by creating an optimized web experience for mobile users, helping to convert them into solid leads.

Rise of the Smartphone

It is estimated that there were 106 million tablet users in the USA in 2012 and the number is set to grow to 148 million tablet users by 2014. It is predicted that US consumers will spend approximately $13 billion USD this year while shopping on their smartphones. That amount will likely grow to $24 billion by 2016.

Rise of the Tablet

It is estimated that there were 54 million tablet users in the USA in 2012 and the number is set to grow to 90 million tablet users by 2014 (36% of all internet users). In the UK and in Germany, both countries counted approximately 10 million tablet users in 2012. That number is set to grow to over 23 million in both countries by 2016: that’s 1 in 3 people in Germany. In fact, the EU’s 5 largest economies saw a 130% annual increase of tablet users in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, smaller tablets have also begun to flood the market: it is estimated that 34 million 10” tablets will ship globally in 2013.

The Big Picture

eMarketer reports also show that Mobile Commerce sales, or mCommerce sales, in the USA grew by 81% in 2012 to reach $25 billion USD (this amount excludes all travel and ticket sales). Moreover, it is predicted that US consumers will spend approximately $24 billion USD this year while shopping on their tablets alone. That amount will likely double by 2015 and account for 16.9% of the entire eCommerce market share in 2016.

Email Mobile Readership rates

In early 2012, at least 20.63% of all email opens were occurring on mobile phones and 6.76% on mobile tablets: this means that in early 2012, at least 27% of email opens were ‘mobile’. What about desktop open rates? The rate of email opens on desktop platforms dropped by 9.5%. It is estimated that these numbers would have been much higher if content had been optimized for mobile readership: better rendering of emails on mobile devices, more attention to the ratio of pictures, a careful streamlining of text and the use of mobile friendly call-to-action buttons and zones. This data further shows the relevance of offering a Mobile Optimized Web Design online experience.

Harness the Power of Mobile!

Research shows that mobile web users are much more likely to visit your website, follow your links and interact with your call-to-action buttons if your web content, including your web design, is optimized for mobile devices. Responsive Web Design will offer your mobile users an optimized web experience without sacrificing the experience of desktop web users by automatically optimizing website features such as font, image and call-to-action button sizes.

This process is not as simple as retrofitting RWD into your existing websites and email marketing templates: as a key to your corporate mobile web strategy, your website will need to be completely revisited, from the ground up, to incorporate RWD features. This will allow your business to create a unique mobile experience for your mobile web customers.

With Internet Explorer now supporting SWD, 2013 will also most likely see a rise in Scalable Web Design. SWD allows the creation of websites that can be viewed on screens with both low and high pixel densities (smartphones to desktops) since it foregoes the use of rasters, using instead vectors which allow the flawless scaling of website elements.

Finally, the rise of tablets and smartphone web browsing is also pushing Flash even further to the sidelines as it is replaced by faster loading HTML only websites. In fact, as web browsing behaviours evolve, mobile optimized websites - those that offer a mobile friendly web design and web browsing experience - need to be leaner and more performance-focussed; think restrictive mobile data plans!

*Above quoted mobile usage date was gathered in part by eMarketer.

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