When creating a web experience, you need to keep in mind how your future website users will be interacting with the website. Will they be using it on mobile or mostly on desktop? The answer is most likely a little bit of both. However, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that desktop isn’t going anywhere.
Yes, it’s true that users are using mobile more and more, but that doesn’t mean they are using desktop less and less. As Mary Meeker showed in her annual Internet trends report, the time an average American adult spends on a computer hasn’t changed much in the last eight years. It remains between 2 and 3 hours. The reality is we are all spending more time on devices, while still holding onto our desktop and laptop computers. This is happening because each device serves a different purpose.
The typical mobile user has a different goal than the typical desktop users. Depending on what you’re doing, you may find yourself in both categories at different time in the buying process. Because most mobile device users carry at least one device everywhere they go, it’s easier to quickly look something up. Mobile users tend to have a shorter attention span because they’re using their phone while waiting for the bus or taking the electronic equivalent of a smoke break. When we’re on a desktop computer, we spend more time with the content and dive deeper into our research.
With all this in mind, you still shouldn’t be ignoring mobile because your data shows that desktop is where all your sales come from. Potential buyers usually spread their research out over multiple devices. They start on mobile, move to desktop once they have a few ideas and are ready to explore them, and may even go back to mobile to finish or check the status of a transaction.
While it is wise to focus a larger amount of time on mobile than you do on desktop, you can’t forget that customers still value a company’s desktop site because it serves a different purpose than mobile. There isn’t a battle between desktop and mobile. What’s really going on is people are spending more time on mobile because they have more access to it, but haven’t stopped using their computers.