It’s 2017 and Websites Have No Excuse But to Cater for Mobile Users
To the modern technology user who switches between devices with as much regularity as the ocean tide, it can be seriously annoying when you pick up your mobile, try to open a webpage, and find that it is only compatible with desktop browsers. Long gone are the days where smartphone internet browsers were supposed to be swiped and pinched as users tried to explore web pages from the smaller screen of their handheld device. But why aren’t all websites still not catering to the mobile user?
With advanced mobiles like the iPhone 7 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 now available with 750 x 1334 pixel displays and Quad-core 2.34 GHz CPUs, smartphones have entered an era in which they can rival the desktop computer visually as well as on a functional level. In terms of being able to surf the internet, quickly send emails and messages, they have surpassed their chunkier keyboard-clad counterparts. Look around on any train in any city and it’s packed full of commuters checking their small smartphone screens on the way to work, without an impractical laptop in sight.
The number of people using mobiles has steadily risen above laptops since mid-2013. And in 2016 there were over 2.16 billion people using the handheld devices globally. Successful businesses have leapt on this fact and scrambled to make their products or services accessible to this new kind of internet user. They have done so by making their sites compatible with both desktop and mobile, so that whatever platform you log on from, the site’s pages adapt to that screen. This is either responsive or adaptive web design, but both cater to any size screen, including mobiles and desktops.
The online casino sector is one that has quickly evolved and aligned itself with the mobile trend. bgo.com is a prime example of a site that caters to both desktop and mobile users. When logging on from a desktop the site’s pages are designed so that different aspects pop up when users hover over sections with their mouse - namely the games sections at the top of the screen. But when using the bgo site from a handheld device, players have to touch the same logos with their fingers to see the different options. Slot game providers like Microgaming are now considering mobile platforms first when creating their award-winning games like Jurassic Park and Mermaids Millions. The games expand to fit the whole screen and allow users to touch the buttons to spin the reels. Other sites that offer mobile casinos include Lucky Nugget Casino which also provides Microgaming slots, and Silver Oak Casino that has a partnership with Realtime Gaming.
Another industry that has successfully gone mobile is retail. Long gone are the days when shoppers didn't have a choice but to push a trolley around the supermarket. Now more and more people are using mobile apps to do their shopping online and get it delivered to the door. Using mobile can even help customers save money. MySupermarket in the UK for example, allows shoppers to compare prices for items from Tesco, Sainsbury's, and Asda, so they can find the best deal. Pricegrabber is a popular one for residents in the USA, and is also an example of a website that adapted to mobile by creating an easy-to-use app. It not only finds the best offers, but also checks customer reviews to get users the best product available.
The site and business owners who haven’t adapted for mobile need to take note of the success of companies that have. Failure to diversify in this modern market could lead to a loss of customers and earnings. It isn’t difficult to see what needs to be done. Site owners should open up their web pages from a smartphone and see if they are accessible and easy to use. Some techniques to improve design are to go for simple layouts with large fonts, and use buttons that are big and easy to touch with a fingertip. There are also the options to use adaptive and responsive designs when building a website for the first time.
The news caps years of sales declines and losses , and, more recently, January's announcement of the closures of 150 stores. In addition, there are new players that have further revolutionized the market, namely online sales giant Amazon.com.
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