With the rise of smartphones and tablet computers, more and more people are now using mobile devices to access the internet. In fact in some countries such as India, more people are now using mobile devices than traditional PCs.
And though mobile technology is still very much in its infancy, this changing trend of internet user behaviour is now beginning to make webmasters rethink the way that the internet works, changing its functionality to suit those accessing it from a mobile device.
So how will this shift in trends change the internet, and will it alter your own personal user experience?
Responsive web design
One of the core changes that we’re seeing on the internet is the switch from traditional to responsive web design.
This means that instead of a company creating separate websites for computers, phones and tablets, they can simply create one site whose contents will then alter in size and shape depending on the device that they are being viewed on.
If you’re viewing the site on a computer screen, this shouldn’t alter your experience too much, however if you’re using a mobile device to access the web, your experience should be made a lot smoother and more intuitive.
Responsive web design is one of the big changes that mobile technology is causing to the web
Where once most people would use the internet once or twice a day to check emails, find information or simply surf the web, mobile devices have now made it possible to be online virtually 24 hours a day.
And because people are checking websites more often, those running the sites have begun updating their content on an incredibly regular basis in order to keep visitors interested.
This is most obvious with news and social media websites where headlines can change every hour, with users expecting information on a story as soon as it hits the front page.
Integrated social media
We’ve already seen how social media is being integrated into most sites, so that users can now simply click a button in order to share, ‘like’ or bookmark content for later use.
And as mobile devices increasingly link networks and groups together, sharing content between users will become even more commonplace, with sites that don’t allow integration becoming less frequented.
Though mobile devices are becoming increasingly powerful, they will never have the screen size of their PC cousins.
This means that instead of sites loading a page with information and hoping that some of it sticks, they will instead have to target the information that they present in order to make the experience more user friendly.
And as mobile devices also lack the precise navigation allowed by a mouse and keyboard, sites will have to be redesigned to accommodate touch browsing.
This will probably result in websites looking and acting more like apps, making a seamless transition from using your mobile device to surfing the internet.
Mobile devices will soon be the main way that users access the web
As less content will be displayed on a page, sites will have to ensure that what is displayed is relevant to each user. Therefore it’s likely that many webpages will become increasingly personalised and targeted to individual visitors.
This will probably be done by search engines and social media sites sharing the information that they have on each user, allowing website to choose which content will be displayed to each user.
Although it’s impossible to tell exactly how the internet will evolve, there seems to be no stopping the rise of mobile technology and soon it will completely eclipse traditional internet access. For advice on internet trends use an informed and reputable web services company such as Website design CWD.
The more that advertisers and websites respond to this, the more of a change we’ll begin to see in the internet itself as it slowly morphs into a completely different being.
By Bency George