15/05/2013 11:27 BST | Updated 14/07/2013 06:12 BST

Mobile Websites and the Power of Three


The mobile web is evolving at an incredible rate and is clearly here to stay. The web is changing so rapidly that many organisations are still unprepared for the future of consumer access. Mobile websites are now a number one priority for all serious brands. Building a user-friendly and a personalised customer experience is key and without it you are missing customer engagement opportunities and potentially alienating your target market.

Creating the ideal customer experience on mobile can be simple if you follow three simple rules from day one:

1) Make it work on every device

It may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many companies overlook this, and only create websites for the phones they think their customers have. Our own Web Trends Report last year showed that even if you create a website which works on the top 10 most used devices in the world, this will only account for 56% of your user base. What happens to the other 44%? In other words, it doesn't matter how flashy and impressive your mobile website is. If it doesn't work on every device and for every one of your customers, it's broken.

2) Optimise content for user requirements

Firstly, this means it needs to download quickly. Speed is incredibly important, and when creating a mobile website you need to be certain that it can render content to your customer's device before they leave. A study by Compuware in 2011 found that 74% of respondents said they would leave a site if it had failed to download after five seconds, and 60% say they will only wait for three. If your mobile website does not render efficiently on all devices, you will lose customers.

Secondly, it means serving up contextual content to customers that they need at a particular time. A smartphone user for example might want functionalities such as click-to-call and location based services and store mapping during the day. A rich mobile website with lots of features may render quickly for an iPad user on WiFi at home but more slowly for someone in an area with poor reception. Embracing context can make the difference between a good or bad mobile experience for your customers. It is crucial to understand and deliver adaptive and optimised content.

3) Utilise the full potential of your customer's devices features

If your customer's chosen device can only accept certain features or functionalities, it is your responsibility to serve up the most compelling experience for that device, from both a design and content perspective. User expectations today are higher than ever, and more and more consumers are expecting native-like experiences on any mobile website they visit. By not utilising the full potential of their chosen device, you risk delivering a broken mobile web experience to your customers and effectively slamming the door in their face.

A good mobile website must be optimised for every possible device, embrace context in order to satisfy all user requirements, and serve a compelling user experience for all device functionalities. These steps will ensure your mobile website isn't broken and delivers a fantastic experience to all of your customers, no matter where they are or what handset they're using.