Friday, April 20, 2012

The Continuing Saga of: "To Mobile or Not to Mobile" Pt. 1

image via what's your digital IQ
Adoption of Smart Phones is rapid. People in my age group are probably some of the last hold-outs, but most of us will likely adopt them, because it will make sense. If I didn't work from home, I imagine I would already have one.

So is it time for your small nonprofit to get a mobile website? I'm afraid that - for me - the answer is once again yes and no.


Smart Phone Adoption Data

A year and a half ago, I read that smart phone adoption had increased by 17% and was expected to explode. According to this study by Google and Ipsos*, what I read was right.
Consumers are clearly shifting from feature phones to smartphones. Smartphone penetration reached 45% in the UK, 38% in the US and France, 23% in Germany and 17% in Japan.
And according to this study:
Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones for Internet access. Germany saw the biggest increase with the percentage of smartphone owners using their device for daily Internet access jumping from 39% to 49%, while Japan had the highest percentage accessing the Internet daily on their smartphone at 88%.  A little over two-thirds of smartphone users in the US and over half of smartphone users in the UK access the mobile Internet daily.
This means that it's likelier than ever that people will be checking out your website from a smartphone.

Based on that information alone, it would be a good idea to make sure that what they see is not this ==>

Bad for Mobile

All your information is there, but things may now display correctly and users will probably find it difficult to use. Since no one these days seems to be long on patience, you will probably lose them.

So what to do?

There are actually three ways you can go:
  • Get a separate mobile-friendly site
  • Redesign your site to make it mobile-optimized
  • Forget the whole thing and hope for the best
In next week's Part 2 post, we'll talk about these options and the technical can of worms involved in options 1 and 2.

Got an opinion or question on mobile sites? Leave a contribution in the comment box.

* Ipsos is a private 'think/tank marketing firm' and this info was released in support of mobile advertising. Draw your own conclusions, but it's likely not too far off the mark.

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