We are living in a Post-PC world. Building websites is harder than ever because not only do we have to think about multiple platforms and browsers, we now have to think about how it will display on multiple devices from iPhone to Android to tablet.
“Responsive web design” is a fashionable term right now. Many are using it without giving much thought to what it means. By definition, it’s more of a philosophy than a buzzword. It’s a fancy way of saying, “User-friendly web design across multiple devices.” (Haven’t trademarked that, but perhaps I should.)
Thinking Outside the Screen
In a recent study by Google, “The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior,” research showed that 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, whether that’s on smartphones, PCs, tablets or TV. Google’s study set out to learn not just how much of our media consumption happens on screens, but also how consumers use these multiple devices together, and what that means for the way that businesses connect with consumers. Below is an infographic from Google’s study.
Google found that nine out of ten people use multiple screens sequentially and that smartphones are by far the most common starting point for sequential activity. So completing a task like booking a flight online or managing personal finances doesn’t just happen in one sitting on one device. In fact, 98% of sequential screeners move between devices in the same day to complete a task.
So what does this all mean for businesses? It’s important to understand both the sequential and simultaneous multi-screening habits of your users. Sequential screeners will start interacting with you on one device and then pick up where they left off on another, so making experiences seamless between devices is crucial.