Mobile Device = Privacy?

Mobile devices create a feeling of privacy for their users. The truth may be far removed from this feeling, but it’s real. Take a look at this graph that illustrates Facebook’s revenue from mobile traffic (graph from Business Insider’s “Future of Digital: 2013” report). While the data driving the graph is for revenue it must also reflect the quantity of users on mobile and the amount of time they spend online with Facebook. Mobile usage on Facebook is huge. Why?

Let’s think about it. Facebook is (somewhat) a private experience — or is perceived as such by Facebook users. When you use Facebook on a desktop or laptop the screen is huge and feels like it’s available for everyone to see. Try that same experience on your mobile device and it feels more like you are whispering into the ear of dear, long-time friend. It’s a different experience, physically and emotionally.

The obvious conclusion is that mobile devices create a sense of privacy as your finger presses against the smooth, glass interface. Because it creates that sense of privacy, it has been quickly embraced by the Facebook audience. Using a mobile device is more intimate. Using a mobile device feels a bit more safe than a (relatively) huge desktop or laptop screen.

Now let’s think about how that my impact your website. Will your audience feel more comfortable interacting in a private-ish environment? Or will they be completely comfortable revealing to anyone within 15 feet their time spent on your website? Consider this — is your audience viewing your website while they are at work? Might they want to keep it a bit of a secret they are surfing through the pages in your site? Is their supervisor nearby? You may be surprised exactly what websites will encourage the private-ish experience provided by a mobile device.

With that thought in-mind, is your website delivering the best possible experience on mobile devices?

Think about it.

Smartphone Tsunami

Smartphones are swallowing the World Wide Web. I sometimes try to imagine what it must be like to be confronted with a massive wave of water heading in my direction. I have seen the video footage of rogue waves and the arrival of a tsunami surge. I don’t know why I am attracted to pondering this feeling, but there it is.

Today I’m reading a report from Business Insider called “The Future of Digital: 2013” — really, it’s a series of “slides” from a presentation by Henry Blodget for their “Ignition” event. Scrolling through the slides reveals one graph after another that simply looks like a tsunami of smartphones hitting the shoreline of the internet. It’s very impressive. Not surprising, but impressive.

As I view these images, one after another, I realize my subconscious  is wondering, “why do we still have any amount of discussion about creating a great website experience for the smartphone?”


Just look at this graph that illustrates how PCs are an incredibly small segment of all online devices — it looks like a killer wave about to swallow the Jersey shore!

Then take a look at this illustration that shows 60% of online devices are now smartphones or tablets. What do you see? Yep, another compelling visual of the tsunami of mobile devices!

What do we know? The debate is over. Smartphones win. Mobile devices continue to rapidly increase in quantity and online time. If you are creating a website, don’t even begin the conversation thinking about desktop or laptop browsers — just forget it! Step one is considering the mobile audience. The mobile audience rules. Mobile devices have swallowed the shoreline and now we must adapt!

Next time, think “mobile first.”