Recent data shows that more and more people are accessing their favourite websites from their phones instead of their laptop. Websites were once desig
Recent data shows that more and more people are accessing their favourite websites from their phones instead of their laptop. Websites were once designed with larger screen monitors in mind, including an ever-evolving resolution ratio, but today they simply have to be mobile optimised to properly engage with a customer.
Mobile traffic now accounts for more than half of all internet traffic, with tablets also eating into desktop’s market share, which has dwindled dramatically during the last ten years. And as more people get their hands on Android and iOS devices and become more familiar with using the technology, that trend is set to continue.
In this article, we will examine the factors behind our changing habits.
The first phones to offer internet browsing utilised WAP technology, allowing users to browse a much smaller selection of adapted websites that tended to focus on information and text, primarily because the phones used to access the websites were monochrome and incapable of handling photography, video or basic graphics.
But as phone technology improved, including the introduction of colour screens and more powerful processors, the emerging ‘mobile web’ evolved to deliver a more complete and engaging experience.
The introduction of 3G technology in 2006 and 2007 was a real game-changer, as it delivered much faster connection speeds, making streaming content like audio and video a reality for the first time. This helped unlock the true potential of the internet on phones, and many of the web’s biggest brands scrambled to adapt their products and services.
More data, more possibilities
For many of us, phone ownership once meant keeping your credit topped up to call and text friends – and downloading huge amounts of data seemed unthinkable. The introduction of data plans helped make things clearer for the consumer, although it’s only relatively recently that consumers have been able to make use of bigger or even unlimited data plans.
With networks now providing larger data bundles, users are less worried about how much they consume online using their phone. And with the vast majority of early smartphones supporting Wi-Fi, people need not worry about racking up huge bills.
This was great news for brands operating online, who took full advantage. This includes platforms like YouTube; initially primarily a desktop offering, the video service developed a mobile app that has since been downloaded 70 million times on Android alone.
Other sectors such as the online casino industry have also taken note to offer a colourful and engaging experience to players on their phones. This is another platform that’s adapted its offering, including staples like poker, roulette and blackjack, from PC and desktop to mobile, For example, all of the games available online at Space Casino have been carefully optimised for enjoyment on a small screen.
In truth, brands in this sector simply can’t afford to be left behind as consumer habits change.
With displays getting bigger, battery life increasing and processing power becoming greater, brands can continue to explore ways of delivering an immersive experience on mobile.
However, it is also worth remembering that many smartphone users in developing countries are purchasing entry-level devices, so while pushing the potential of the experience is important, it’s perhaps equally crucial that platforms find ways to deliver their product or service in a way that doesn’t exclude consumers new to the marketplace.
Striking that balance between offering a basic experience to everybody, while developing graphics and performance for higher-end users, will be a key strategy.