Three years ago I was fortunate enough to attend the Inman Real Estate Connect conference in New York. It was a life affirming week, clearly confirming things I knew were important, and inspiring me to continue the development of our own real estate portal that we ran at the time. Loads of new ideas were presented, and I came away bubbling with enthusiasm. Within three months we had totally redesigned the portal.
One of the main trends that was highlighted was the ongoing shift in web browsing from PC to mobile. It moved me to blog about this (‘Trend for 2010: it’s mobile stoopid‘) which generated little enthusiasm back here in Australia! At the time mobile traffic was barely 3% of total traffic, yet was being predicted to be over 50% by 2013. Three years on, I can see this prediction coming true. Mobile traffic has rise to 28% of all traffic, 43% at weekends. With the introduction of the iPad tablet in 2010 came a whole new phenomenon. Within months there were iPads everywhere, and within two years rival devices. Now, the iPad is the single biggest consumer of traffic of any device out there.
And so to my point. If you are looking to design (or redesign) your web presence this year, do one thing. Design for tablet. As designs tend to last two to three years, get on the curve, not behind it. You will be designing for the device that will consume your site most, if not now, on a few months or so. Last January saw an explosion in iPad use for web browsing as more and more people got them as Christmas presents. I predict it will further soar this month. Most households have more than one iPad now, and then there’s the iPad mini, Samsung Note, Google Nexus…
Tablets are getting smaller, smartphones are getting larger. But one thing is sure, these devices will eat up more than half of your Internet browsing traffic by the year end. Design for tablet first, and the site will be fine on a regular PC. Design for PC, and it might look clunky and not be easy to navigate on the Tablet.
You have been told!