This Christmas season is turning into the season of Android, with the mobile operating system reaching nearly 20 devices currently, and another half dozen expected to be released in the next few weeks. With Android now on all US mobile providers excluding AT&T, which has the iPhone, and Blackberry still as strong as ever in the business market, more and more websites need to consider their website on a mobile scale.
Is Your Mobile Audience Different?
If you do currently use an iPhone or have an Android phone or a Blackberry, do you use the internet differently when you’re out? Chances are, you’re using it purposefully. Whileas you might wander around Facebook or browse Wikipedia on a laptop or desktop, the mobile screen does not lend itself to such casual browsing, because of the form factor. Because of this, when we are using our mobile browsers, we’re more likely to be doing something purposeful. A perfect example of this is the brick and mortar store. On a regular computer, people are likely using it to look at products, or checking the status of a past order; they are looking for things that are not time-sensitive. On a mobile browser, however, you are much more likely to see people looking for store hours, location directions, and phone numbers, all things that are important when you’re away from home, and likely traveling to the store.
All of these things can be tracked via your Analytics software. In Google Analytics, for example, you can track mobile users by creating an advanced segment containing a list of the major mobile browsers. Most analytics software will provide some way to filter traffic by browser or operating system. Each business will have different results, but typically, you will find that mobile users are looking for purposeful information, rather than passive information.
Do You Need a Mobile Website, or just a Mobile Stylesheet?
This comes down to the current state of your website. For starters, separate your mobile users in your Analytics, and see what they’re looking at. Now, look at your home page in a mobile browser. Is it easy for a mobile user to accomplish what they need to do quickly? If so, you may not need to do anything at all. Likely, you may notice some minor formatting issues that can be fixed with a mobile stylesheet. However, if the things a mobile user needs to do are near impossible, perhaps you should start considering a mobile website. In either situation, considering your mobile users is one step in keeping ahead of the competition.
Categorized in: Web Design
Published On: Oct 13, 2009