Mobile web browsing is a mixed bag for humanity. We all know how annoying it can be conversing with someone while they’re checking their email or watching cat videos on their smartphone.
We’ve also all been rescued from imminent disaster (getting lost, eating bad food, watching poorly-plotted movies) by our trusty portable devices time and time again.
What's clear is that people are experiencing the Internet differently than they once did, consuming and gathering information on smaller screens and often (but, research shows, not always) while on the go, amidst the razzamatazz and hullabaloo of the outside world.
This is particularly true for the pivotal millennial generation (née 1979-1994). (See our article on why millennials are crucial players in the longevity, vivacity and growth of your nonprofit).
Mobile Use Stats
In case you can’t tell just by looking around you how prevalent mobile has become, feast your eyes on these stats from a 2013 Pew Research study:
Mobile Device Use
- 91% of American adults have a cell phone
- 58% of American adults have a smartphone
- 85% of millennials have a smartphone and use it to go online (Nielsen)
- 28% of cell owners own an Android; 25% own an iPhone; 4% own a Blackberry
- 42% of Americans ages 16 and older own a tablet computer
- 63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online
- 34% of cell internet users go online mostly using their phones, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.
Screen Size Diversity
A study from Mobify Research and Development found that no one screen size has captured over 20% of the market. Check out Mobify's fun “Sizing Up Man’s New Best Friend” infographic at the end of this article, which likens our diversity in screen size to the diversity in size of our furry, face-licking friends.
What This Means for You
So we know that people are browing the web from their phones. But not from any one phone in particular, or any standard screen size. That makes mobile apps a complicated and costly thing to keep up-to-date, as you're rushing to catch up with every new trending change.
This is really important. If your website and email templates are not mobile-friendly, you are likely frustrating many of your visitors. They have to squint to see your content. Or pinch and expand the page, which makes it easier to read but harder to navigate. In most cases, this means a very short visit -they get what they're looking for and leave ASAP. That's simply not the experience you want them to have.
In light of these trends, responsive design has emerged as the chosen strategy for ensuring that every visitor to your website or email has an optimal experience.
Learn more about responsive design.
Mobify: Sizing Up Man's New Best Friend