It’s no surprise that digital media consumption is growing. And it’s no surprise that mobile consumption is booming, growing 90% between 2013 and 2015 (ComScore). What might surprise you? Despite the claim of “desktop is dead!” being thrown around the digital landscape, desktop consumption is still growing as well—16%, in fact, during the same period.
So … what does this tell us? For one, digital consumption isn’t a zero-sum game. As technology grows more intuitive, the way we communicate and manage our lives is evolving. Desktops, laptops, iPhones, iPads, Amazon Echo, the Internet of Things—if anything, we have more options than we did before, not fewer. Don’t get me wrong—mobile is a force to be reckoned with, but it’s not a monopoly.
Being a 24 year-old young professional/hipster hybrid with both millennial and silent generation tendencies, I can use 5 different types of technology in a single day—or all at once. While my phone is usually on my person at all times, I switch between my iPad and smart TV to view Netflix or Hulu (what even is cable anymore?), while all of my “adult work” is still primarily done on my laptop. It’s a wash.
We already know print isn’t dead, but in 2015, print better be integrated with digital if you want a chance for high engagement. The same applies to desktop. In a recent focus group with high school students, we weren’t surprised to hear the prevalence of mobile use in their daily lives. We were surprised, however, that this very young generation would switch from mobile to desktop on certain sites. The consensus was they had a feeling they weren’t getting the full story from the mobile site.
This is why mobile and desktop must work together. Not all websites are created equal. At Sanger & Eby we’re in the business of knowing that, and knowing how to fix it. This is where responsive design comes into play.
Responsive design has been our philosophy for years, and we’re glad to see that it’s becoming the standard—it proves us right. As the digital landscape evolves, a single website—and URL—must provide an optimal user experience from desktop to mobile, and any platform in between.
Responsive design isn’t the only solution, and there will surely be new developments as the field continues to evolve, but if I was in the market for a website, I’d certainly put my stake in it.