Busting through the jargon web Part 2 - Mobile Optimization & Responsiveness

Part 2 in my ‘tech-speak’ jargon busting series looks at ‘Mobile Opimization’ and ‘Responsiveness’.

Mobile optimization and responsiveness means your website will display in the best way on a mobile device such as a mobile phone, ipad or tablet. Computing 'on the go' has become 'the norm' in recent years with a large increase in the number of people accessing the Internet in this way. Here are just a few UK statistics that show why you'd be daft not to make your website mobile device friendly.

A report from Ofcom in August 2015 shows Smartphones have overtaken laptops as the most popular device for getting online, Ofcom research has revealed, with record ownership and use transforming the way we communicate.

Two thirds of people now own a smartphone, using it for nearly two hours every day to browse the internet, access social media, bank and shop online.

A third (33%) of internet users see their smartphone as the most important device for going online, compared to 30% who are still sticking with their laptop.

Mobile Optimization Blog Main Image

The rise in smartphone surfing marks a clear shift since 2014, when just 22% turned to their phone first, and 40% preferred their laptop.

Smartphones have become the hub of our daily lives and are now in the pockets of two thirds (66%) of UK adults, up from 39% in 2012. The vast majority (90%) of 16-24 year olds own one; but 55-64 year olds are also joining the smartphone revolution, with ownership in this age group more than doubling since 2012, from 19% to 50%.

The surge is being driven by the increasing take-up of 4G mobile broadband, providing faster online access. During 2014, 4G subscriptions have leapt from 2.7 million to 23.6 million by the end of 2014.

We now spend almost twice as long online with our smartphones than on laptops and personal computers. On average, mobile users spent nearly two hours online each day using a smartphone in March 2015 (1 hour and 54 minutes), compared to just over an hour spent online by laptop and PC users (1 hour and nine minutes).

So as more and more people use mobile devices as their primary source of internet access it is vital that they can view your website in the right way on these devices.

The images below show how a website design can be ‘optimized’ or act ‘responsively’ to display more effectively on a mobile phone. This may mean displaying only the most 'essential' items on your web page and hiding less meaningful things such as some imagery or limiting the amount of text displayed or resizing and reordering things to make them easier to look at on a mobile which has a smaller display screen area than a laptop or computer.

Mobile optimisation image

Busting through the jargon web series

This is part of a series of posts in which I will be sharing more basic explanations of these jargon loaded terms. Some of you reading this may know these terms already, some of you are highly likely to be more expert than me in understanding their application, but for those of you who ‘feel in the dark’ by search terminology, I hope this series will help you feel a little more empowered and less bamboozled! At the end of the series I will put everything into a downloadable PDF for you to access easily on my website.