The days of sitting stationary at a computer and browsing the web are over. And they have been for a long time. Today’s web denizens view images, videos, articles and tweets in the hundreds of mobile moments they seek daily to answer a question, send an update or just relax. The way a person views a mobile optimized website has changed. People are walking or running when they access their devices — ever in motion.
What they expect to see has changed too. Content, particularly rich media, is king, queen and jester. Users expect to access that content and derive the same value regardless of the form factor on which it’s viewed. For businesses this presents a challenge, how can they provide users what they seek without drastically increasing development and design budgets.
In his 1963 ballad, Sam Cooke sang it best. In 2016, “A change is gonna come.” As we look forward to 2016, it couldn’t ring truer of the rapid evolution of the mobile web. Experts from MobCon’s founder MentorMate weigh in on the top web user experience trends of 2016.
Progressive web apps offer the best of both worlds: mobile optimized website meets app.
Haven’t heard of a progressive web app yet? It’s time to get up to speed, literally. It represents an option for businesses looking for the personalization of an app coupled with the speed that comes from a web experience.
Here are some of the solution’s best features:
- There’s no install necessary (and forget app store updates)
- They can be saved on the home screen and accessed through a web browser with comparatively less friction than a native app
- They are fully responsive with the ability to send users push notifications
“As users engage more with the experience, load times improve — even with less than ideal connectivity,” said MentorMate Front End Software Development Manager Zlati Pehlivanov. “They provide serious flexibility on the client side caching assets and other resources. Progressive web apps will help achieve improved user experience in offline web access.”
AMP HTML brings speed to rich browsing experiences.
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages project similarly seeks to provide a better web experience for users interacting with media-heavy content. Consider this: By 2018 video will account for 69% of Internet traffic, according to Cisco. There’s no question, consumers have spoken, and video is the order of the day.
AMP HTML was built from pre-existing technologies to deliver an agile experience on a mobile optimized website despite loading increasingly media-rich pages. The project has implications for businesses who livelihood depends on traffic, page views or advertising.
As noted in the MobCon annual research, 40% of web traffic will abandon a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. If the content isn’t onscreen in that time, businesses are sacrificing potential consumers or advocates.
For Zlati, the writing is on the wall, “Already, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn are planning to integrate pages with the new framework. AMP HTML hold promise to be the early MVP of 2016.”
Microinteractions will become tools.
Today’s web users aren’t lazy. They just prioritize efficiency. So much so their loyalty will be afforded to brands and experiences that make their lives easier. If MentorMate Creative Director Annika Seaberg inputs her purchase information during an online retail interaction, she doesn’t want to be asked to fill it in again. Why? We expect our technology to make our lives easier — not more complicated. Entering credit information on a small screen is far from a walk in the park, no matter how much screen sizes have increased since last year.
“There is an expectation that systems used regularly know just enough about a user to not be creepy but to be helpful. Businesses must adapt to and anticipate the ease with which consumers expect to gain value from the web,” says Annika.
Want even more insight into next year’s trends? Read the MobCon Future of Mobile Tech eBook.