5 Fascinating Facts About Mobile Devices

mobile devices

Over the last 5 years, mobile devices have taken centre stage from a growth point view compared to desktops. Statistics show that their use is spreading faster than desktop use at its peak. So amongst the latest mobile sector facts and figures, which ones really stand out?


A few years ago, reading emails used to be an activity limited to the office or home. Now it seems that these boundaries have been truly obliterated with over half of worldwide email opens (51%) taking place on mobile devices during the December 2013 holidays (Source: Return Path). According to a study undertaken by Litmus, last year, 43% of emails were opened in mobile devices. This is expected to rise to more than 50% in 2014.


According to a recent study by Comscore, mobile commerce spending totaled $4.7 billion in the 2nd quarter of 2013. M-Commerce grew by about 24% compared to the previous year. In the 1st half of the year, spending on mobile devices represented 10% of total digital commerce.

Mobile Use

By the end of 2012, there were over 2.4 billion Internet users globally, which represents an 8% growth compared to the previous year. Mobile users on the other hand grew by about 30% with a total of 1.5 billion subscribers worldwide (source: M.Meeker).

Mobile Traffic

As more people are browsing the internet on the move, mobile internet traffic rose from 0.9% to 15% of worldwide internet traffic between 2009 and 2013 (2013 Internet Trends, KPCB)

Mobile devices winners

In 2013, around 1 billion smartphones were sold globally. Google’s Android OS was the most popular device, except in the US where Apple’s IOS topped the charts in terms of sales.

To get more information about how mobile web traffic is growing , visit our visual presentation on “Time to get responsive“.


Can Waiting Time be Turned into a Positive Experience on the Web?

ux design, uxIn today’s fast paced society, waiting has become something that many of us like to avoid wherever possible. This is just as true on the web as it is in the real world. Studies have found that we are not only much more aware of the passage of time (or apparent lack of it) when waiting, but the more we have to wait, the more we focus on counting minutes that end up seeming like hours. Of course, sometimes having to wait is unavoidable, so just how can this experience be turned into something positive?

Firstly, it’s important to identify a few rules that apply when we wait. Apart from time passing slower, there are some key points that standout. Uncertain and unexplained waits tend to feel much longer than ones that have a time limit or reason. We are also more likely to wait if we know we are going to receive good service (or a good product) at the end. Both of these aspects are fundamental when it comes to transforming our waiting time into something positive, and a number of web design companies have already implemented inventive ways of doing just that.

By addressing the two aspects of unknown waiting time and unexplained waiting time, a design agency can ensure that customers stay interested and browse a site for longer. Some ways of achieving this include adding simple solutions such as a large, clear progress counter, or simply displaying what is being loaded while the visitor waits. This is a great way to balance sites that offer high quality, elaborate features. These features often enhance the user experience, but inevitably take some time to load. A distraction can be the ideal antidote to a boring waiting process. Some sites for example, incorporate a small mini game as a time sink while the loading takes place, or utilise an amusing loading image or progress bar.

Waiting times can also be used to build brands by using recognisable loading images associated with a company.

Photo Credit: www.irisys.co.uk

The Challenges and Opportunities of Multi Device Usage

responsive design, mobile design

The huge potential of multi device usage is still something that we’re getting to grips with. While it may often seem that being able to complete tasks on multiple devices is a good thing, there are still a number of aspects and processes that need refining in order to truly reap the benefits that are on offer. It’s estimated that in the UK, we switch devices about 21 times per hour. In the early days of mobile technology, Palm Pilots meant that there was one standard device for sending and receiving information. Nowadays, there is not only a huge range of devices, but also software types and standards that have made this process much more complicated.

While the range of devices has increased, we are becoming much better at synching between these devices (Apple devices provide a good snapshot of how to create a fairly seamless syncing experience across a range of devices). However, there are still many challenges. People need to remain focussed when it comes to design, and it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of obsessing over screen design. If it isn’t people friendly, ultimately a design won’t work. Security is another challenge. As the range and variation in devices and software increases, so do the loopholes that allow hacking. Creating unified and secure networks is a priority.

There are of course many more challenges. How do we balance the reliance we have on digital technology with real world interaction? Questions like these are crucial to any design agency, but the good news is that the technology is there — we are only limited by our imagination in solving these problems.

Acknowledging the extent of multi-device usage is the first step. For example, any savvy web agency will make sure that their content is accessible and comfortably usable on tablets, smartphones and desktop computers. By simply acknowledging our reliance on multi-device usage, we are halfway there. Ultimately, the opportunities provided by this technology are only limited by our approach.