If someone 10 years ago had told me that people would end up browsing the web more with their phone than on a computer or laptop, I would never have believed them. Back then phones were used for calling, texting and playing snake on. Nothing more.

This is no longer the case though, as desktop and mobile are currently neck and neck, this month being the first ever for mobile to have had more website page views than desktop.

 Device Ownership

As you can see from the image below it was early 2014 that the amount of mobile global users overtook desktop users, which was due to the complete saturation in mobile devices. People generally own either a single laptop or desktop, and sometimes these are shared within a household. Phones are shared less often and individuals may have several mobile devices such as a work phone and a personal phone, along with a tablet.

Below is a chart from a paper written by Adam Lella and Andrew Lipsman released by comScore showing the crossover of mobile and desktop users.

                            Source: comScore

 

The below graphic displays a more accurate breakdown across age ranges of where devices have been distributed over the past three years. As you can see across all age ranges the trend is that there are less desktop only users and more mobile only users year on year. However, the biggest growths are in multi-platform, showing people are increasingly using both mobile and desktop. In 2014, there is also a visible jump in difference between the amount of people becoming new multi-platform users compared to 2015. The general trend is the younger you are the more likely you are to be using a mobile device compared to someone older.

 

Source: comScore

 

Genres

Different genres of websites have different percentages of mobile vs. desktop users. As you can see from the chart below, different genres can be polar opposites when it comes to what device is being used to browse that content. The chart shows that people that are out and about want to see what the weather is going to be doing, whereas people still prefer to do secure things such as banking and retail shopping on desktop only.

 

Source: comScore

 

B2B & B2C

According to this report 42% of researchers use mobile devices when doing research in to B2B. Of that 42% of researches, nearly half of them use a mobile device while in the office, preferring it to a desktop computer.

It is estimated that B2C mobile ecommerce sales are valued at $83.93 billion. All consumers have used a smartphone to shop online, and as a result, 70% of such mobile searches ends in an online action within an hour of the original search.

Social media

82% of Twitters Monthly Active users access Twitter through their mobile device, while many of these people will also browse Twitter on a desktop. Only 18% of all users browse Twitter on a desktop device.

Instagram didn’t make its feed available to desktops until 5th February 2013, over two years after it launched, so the only way to access the social media app was through your mobile device.

Mobile First design

Mobile First is a design method that has come about because of the increase in mobile users. The method is as it sounds, you design your website to work and function on mobile devices first and then design it to work on desktop. As mobile viewing continues to rise, this design method will likely to become more and more popular.

Using this design method guarantees your website will be responsive, thus reducing bounce rates for your site.