Thinking Small: Design for Mobile

How freaked out do you get when you reach for your cell phone only to realize that you do not have it and you have no way of getting to it? Doesn’t it sort of feel like when you lean back in a chair just a touch too far and there is that moment before you fall that you know there is nothing you can do to stop it?

Scientists have actually coined a term for this feeling: Nomophobia. It describes the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. One recent study showed that being cut off from mobile phone access for some people can go so far as to cause anxiety on par with wedding day jitters.

How did we get so attached to our phones? A big part of it has to do with how much of life's necessities have been folded into our phone. In the past, almost everyone carried a wallet, watch, cash and keys with them everywhere they went. And who can forget dear old dad's briefcase: overflowing with rolodexes, calendars, day-planners, documents and folders.

In today’s mobile world, our phone replaces all of these items. And while it may be scary to have everything all in one place, the convenience far outweighs the fear as the growing number of smartphone users illustrates.

The volume of consumers jumping on the mobile bandwagon is staggering and shows no signs of slowing. While the sheer number of users should command your attention, the really interesting thing for those trying to grow a business is what these mobile users are doing with their smartphones.

According to Google/Ipsos, 79% of smartphone users use their phones to help with shopping, and 74% of those users tend to make a purchase as a result. That’s right: smartphone use is actually driving commerce. Reaching thousands of users on Facebook may feel good, but what is the point if these people aren’t actually spending money on your business? Reaching consumers via their smartphone is actually producing quantifiable results.

And this is definitely not a fad: research by communications firm Walker-Sands revealed that mobile traffic now accounts for more than one quarter of all website visits — a 283% increase over January 2011. Google is predicting that by the close of 2013, more than 50% of all web traffic will be on mobile devices.

Just like with your website designed for a desktop, if people like what they see when they get to your mobile website, it will yield positive purchasing behaviors. The big difference between consumer reaction to bad desktop sites and bad mobile sites is that studies suggest a lackluster mobile presence is having a much, much greater negative impact than most business owners realize.

According to Google, 52% of customers who have a poor experience with a company’s mobile website are unlikely to re-engage that business. And 55% say that a frustrating experience on a mobile website negatively impacted their opinion of the company overall.

The mobile era introduces new, distinct elements to web browsing: it is real-time, always connected, always with you, and location aware. Combine these features with a built in camera and audio recording device and the possibilities for reaching customers are endless.

The businesses that capitalize and leverage these distinctions now will be the ones who separate themselves from the crowd. Mobile may end up being the fastest growing technology wave the world has ever seen. If your organization is to be relevant and viable going into 2014, you need to prepare the ground now.

Doc4 is a full service agency in Rogers, Arkansas that is designing for the mobile era. We will help bring you up to speed no matter where you are in the process of taking your online presence into the mobile world. Drop us a line and we’ll get your organization ready before it's too late!

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Michael White
Michael White
Business Specialist at Doc4 Design

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