By taking a quick glance at mobile web statistics, we can see an obvious increase in mobile phone users. Every indication points to this trend only continuing to grow. According to an analysis by Morgan Stanley, it is estimated that the number of Internet users who access the Internet through mobile units will exceed the number of users who access the Internet from traditional computers in 2014. The analysis is from 2010 and whether the results will prove true in 2014 is hard to say, but larger and better screens on smart phones, more powerful processors and flat-rate data subscriptions have an influence on the process.
The need of more smart phone available websites
As explained above, the forward increased Internet use through mobile units requires a focus on optimizing websites to support mobile units. On many websites, especially older ones, the creators have not at all considered that users also need to access the websites through mobile units with screen sizes down to 320x480 pixels.
If a website only is optimized to screen sizes with more than 1024 pixels across, it causes problems for mobile user experience and likelihood of a repeat visit. Mobile users typically lose the overview of the site, because they need to zoom in to read the text. At the same time, buttons and navigation are developed for mouse and keyboard use, instead of touchscreens.
But a 1:1 development of a mobile version of a website is often an expensive solution, especially if external consultants is needed for the development work. Furthermore, technical challenges may arise in relation to how the solutions should be created. Most people know that iOS (iPhone, iPod and iPad) don't support Flash.
User pattern on mobile units
Normally, the user patterns on mobile devices are different from what are seen from standard PC-users. The statistics show that the involvement and the time spent on the websites is low and the bounce rate is high. All this tells us that the mobile users don't "surf" the net, but are instead looking for very specific information.
The same pattern shows when we look at which content the mobile users view. They typically access sites with information on opening hours, contact information or prices.
Analysis data for a mobile strategy
Because of the difference in user behavior when accessing websites through mobile units, it is important to look at the structure of a website. As mentioned earlier, a 1:1 solution where the content is transferred to a site optimized for mobile units is often an expensive solution, but it's possible to use the analysis data to create a strategy to determine which pages should be optimized for mobile units.
Try to map out the behavior of those users who visit your website through mobile units and look at the involvement as well as what content they most often view. You will see a clear tendency in what the users look for when they visit your website through a mobile device.
If the top 10 visited pages are 90% of the page views in connection with mobile access, then it would be a good starting point to optimize those 10 pages and make them functional to users who access the website through mobile devices.
Doing this can make a seemingly impossible web project, the development of an entire mobile version of your website, reduced to the optimization of few strategic pages.