We blogged recently about the amazing growth of smart phones. Smart Phones and Tablets (think IPad and the upcoming Android and Windows Tablets you will see next year) are going to be the dominant platform for accessing the web in the short to medium term. More people will access the web using these devices than PC’s. Let me assure you it is going to happen.
So what does that mean for websites? Well pretty much every single one has been designed for viewing on a PC so this means a lot.
We have long been pushing the importance of building mobile friendly websites and have been doing so as far back as late 2007. As mobile phones and tablets simply become more and more powerful, and 3G and (coming 4G) internet speeds faster, it is simply more convenient to use them to access websites and web services. The huge growth of social networking is also a strong driver of this user adoption. People start using their mobile to access Twitter or Facebook, and as they become increasingly comfortable with the medium, start using their phone to access all manner of content.
The future for real estate on the web is to provide a true cross platform experience to the customer. Whether it is via a PC, a mobile phone or on the ‘about to explode’ tablet and touch screen devices, users simply expect a great experience. This means delivering an experience optimised for that specific environment.
To explain a little further, the experience of accessing the web via a mobile phone is very different to accessing it via a PC. The screen resolution and functionality is vastly different, not to mention the environment in which it is done. This results in large useability variation between the two, which in turn requires a different design to your website or services and often a modification to the service itself. One simple example is sending an enquiry on a listing. On a PC the most common action is to complete a register interest form and send an enquiry via email. Mobile phone users are far more likely however to want to send an SMS.
We have just launched a website that demonstrates the difference in design for a PC to a Smart Phone.
Visit www.precinctpropertygroup.com This is a standard website when viewed on a PC however if you visit this site from your phone you will be automatically taken to a mobile friendly website at the following URL: www.precinctpropertygroup.com/mobile
You will note significant differences with the design and if you are using a smart phone, integration with your GPS, call and email functions – all making the website user friendly and actually useable!
To effectively target this every growing market we now recommend that our clients build a website for these very different user platforms. The additional cost really is not that great and the benefits are significant.