- Alex Karei, marketing director for Webspec Design, blogs about web strategy.
Returning from PubCon, a recent national online marketing conference, one of my coworkers shared a staggering statistic about mobile with me. Did you know that on average, we spend 177 minutes on our smartphones per day? So you don’t have to do the math, that’s nearly three hours. When that average was reported, it was shown to be a 15-minute increase in a nine-month period … and the statistic was calculated almost a year ago now.
So, think about it - do you spend three hours on your phone each day? Probably not that you’ve noticed. But start by thinking about the small bits of time you spend. Me, for example. Granted this isn’t a scientific study, but I've seen it to be a pretty regular pattern.
On my average morning, I might spend:
5-10 minutes on Twitter while laying in bed after my alarm goes off.
5 minutes checking the weather and my schedule for the day while brushing my teeth or drinking my first cup of joe.
10-15 minutes messing with random apps or reading the news while eating breakfast.
5 minutes catching up on Slack and email while waiting for my computer to boot up and my coffee to brew at work.
Adding it up, we're only at 9:00 a.m. and I have already potentially surpassed 30 minutes, depending on the day. Looking at it that way, it’s not that hard to see how quickly you could reach the average of three hours by the time you hit the hay at night. Granted, I could be on the high end of mobile use. After all, I am a millennial (at least one of you thought that) and that’s just our nature (which I would beg to differ - I know millennials not glued to their phones). Regardless, I would urge you to give some careful thought to what I’m saying, and think about your own mobile habits.
Then ask yourself: am I considering that potential clients may be accessing MY website during their 177 minutes? And if they are … what’s their experience with my content like?
It’s fair to say that mobile is on the rise, but also accurate to say that it’s already risen. Mobile is here - and if your website doesn’t take mobile users into consideration, visitors are probably struggling, at least mildly, with receiving your content. However, in some cases, you're probably losing them completely.
Still not convinced? Open your website on your phone and do the following:
View the site as a whole. Do you have to pinch and zoom to read the content? How many times?
Try to click some buttons. Are you angling your finger or thumb to fit into a too-small box? Are you successful in clicking what you meant to click?
Fill out a form or perform an action that's applicable to your site. Is there anything that doesn’t work as expected?
Making the time or budget available to retrofit your site to be mobile-friendly can be difficult, but it’s a worthy investment.
And before you say that your 80-year old ideal clients don’t use mobile devices to access your current website, you should probably know that user experience isn’t the only reason you should be thinking about mobile. There's more to it than that! But we can talk about Google’s search preference for mobile-friendly websites another day.
Alex is the marketing director for Webspec Design, a website design and development and digital marketing agency in Urbandale. Connect with her on: