A recent headline on Business Insider states ’Mobile Apps are now bigger than Web’ this alludes to the fact that people are more frequently accessing content via mobile smartphones and maintaining their sessions on those devices for longer. It stands to reason really that the only device you are likely to have on your person at all times is the one that is the most used. The figures now wholly quantifiably support the notion that people are spending more time accessing content via Mobiles than any other format - and significantly over 50% now.
The idea of Mobile being bigger than the web is a bit of a misnomer though. At the upper end of popularity and session length you will find several social apps - things like Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Facebook. Yet to a large extent, and beyond the most obvious stand-alone games apps and travel utilities, the greater part of the mobile spectrum is still driven by dynamic database content initially gathered and hosted via some form of website entity. People still search for answers, and responsive websites appear at the top of those search results.
We have a number of Clients whose customers still access their website mostly through desktop - professional services and the like. Although this can be in part to do with legacy setup, and what format of content is available.
Most busy executives I know, avail themselves of the ever-so handy Yahoo News Digest and / or The Economist Espresso. Executives with busy lives are likely to be held up at the airport or train station, or waiting for an appointment of some description and similar scenarios. You need to provide them with handy bite-size chunks of content as well as smart tools - which they can quickly fire up on their mobile devices and easily access at such inbetween moments.
The ideal scenario is a consistent and uniform user experience across devices and platforms, which mean a Responsive Website. And even though your users may most naturally access your site via desktop at work, you still need to make concessions to how they fit you in with their commuting and travelling lives / lifestyles. Trading systems which have so much wealth and detail of data can only be successfully rendered on larger screens. Yet there are a myriad of tools and utilities that are handily accessed by those same traders on the move.
You need to consider doing smart digests, quick news feeds and intelligence updates - market snapshots and the like in a handheld format. I often find myself with several windows open on my desktop - with multiple tabs split into dual-view mode, and I still find it necessary to access a third screen (mobile) for related or additional tasks. So even in desktop scenarios I occasionally make use of my smartphone too.
You need to be thinking in terms of maximising your likely contact with your end user or consumer. Even though they mostly inhabit an office environment and are within easy reach of their desktop, there will be significant parts of the day when they are away from that device - in a lunch queue, on a train or at home. To maximise your opportunities you need to provide a fully 360° environment which provides value-added services at all times.
You have to be thinking what your users could benefit from having on the move - when they are at a Client meeting or otherwise away from their desktop - which tools and utilities would help them in those situations.
In terms of Apps vs Mobile Web - most people won’t download more than a handful of Apps - several of which simply just feed through existing website content. To ensure you have maximum reach, and optimal traction, you really do need a flexible responsive website framework which can fully provide the professional environment your customers desire.
In terms of the length of session - it is about how captive / captivated your audience is and how easily accessible the information is that they require. A busy executive sat in an airport lounge waiting for a delayed flight - has time on their hands. Time that could be occupied by your content and utilities. So put yourself fully in the mind of your customer, with a view to how your business can impact positively on their working lifestyle - right around the clock ...