In the national news this morning were the latest Ofcom statistics that 33% of Britons opted for smartphones as the device of choice in 2014, ahead of 30% who preferred laptops. But what does this mean for website owners? Ofcom said the toppling of the laptop was a "landmark moment" and we believe it should be the turning point in how people think about web design and development.
We've been exclusively building responsive websites for a couple of years now, not as marketing ploy but because we genuinely feel that all users deserve the best user experience, regarding of the device they choose to access the site with. Plus this news isn't really a surprise to the digital industry, it was just a matter of time.
So, how should this affect your decision making and planning process for your new website? Well if you're talking to a professional agency, they're probably already on the case, but ultimately you need to ensure that your website is being built responsively, which is a development technique that adapts the sites content to suit the screen size and user interface (keyboard or touch screen) automatically, to deliver the best user experience to all.
In addition to responsive build, you might want to discuss 'break points' with your developer. Break points, are the key screen sizes (laptop, desktop, tablet, mobile) at which how the website behaves changes, for example at a tablet or mobile break point, you might expect the content columns to reduce or a 'mobile menu' to kick in to replace the fixed desktop menu. We design for 5 break points as standard which are desktop, laptop, tablet landscape, tablet portrait and mobile. In terms of visuals we might provide break point specific designs/layouts for desktop, mobile and more often than not, for tablet. In response to their Google Analytics reports, some of our clients have asking us to design for tablet before desktop, which to us was a big indicator that the toppling of the laptop was imminent.
You can find out about which devices are being used to access your site on your Google Analytics account, by clicking 'Audience', then 'Mobile' and then 'Overview'. You should then see something like this:
You can see from this report that this site is still receiving 90% of traffic from a desktop device.
You can read about the Ofcom stats on the BBC website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-33777168
If you're looking to develop your new website, we'd love to work with you to achieve the best user experience for all your site visitors! Please call and speak with Anna or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of our responsive website projects to view: