It’s 2015 (almost 2016!), and well over half of America is carrying around a smartphone. It’s hard to remember the time when the majority of people I encountered on a day-to-day basis didn’t have a slab of communication and computing power in their pocket. It’s pretty awesome, especially when you consider all that the smartphone revolution has done to broaden communication options, quicken the speed at which information moves and ultimately shrink the globe.
Even more interesting is the growing list of things that people are engaging with on their smartphones. In the early years of smartphones, practically nobody would consider handling online banking on their mobile device. Now about 57 percent of people say they have managed some aspect of online banking on their smartphone. And it doesn’t stop there - a large percentage of users have reported getting health information, researching and conducting real estate transactions, partaking in educational materials or classes and submitting job applications. Even Marty McFly would be impressed!
Another interesting trend in the world of smartphones and the internet is the growing number of people who are “smartphone-dependent,” defined as having no broadband internet access at their home, and few options to get online outside of their cell phone. It’s around seven percent of the population, which may sound small, but that adds up to around 18 million people in the United States alone.
So you’ve got 18 million adults (and growing) using solely their smartphone data connection for anything from banking to doctor appointments to continued education - how is this possible? The responsive web is how. Websites today are facing a paradigm shift in the environment in which they are displayed. From the conception of the personal computer in 1975 to the first readily available internet access in the 1990’s, the internet had been a personal computer resource. No longer.
Today, the average user of the internet expects a website to be available at their desk at work, with a tablet on the couch and on their smartphone in a cab. As the statistics show, a growing number are relying totally on their smartphone to visit a website. This means your website needs to be just as friendly to both the weekend warrior meeting deadlines on a powerful desktop computer as it is to the 20-something out on the town making an impulse purchase on their iPhone. But how?
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