So what does all of this mean for businesses and agencies? Well, there is good news and bad news. The Good news is that Digital Agencies (especially ones that focus on mobile) will be very busy for the next 3-5 years. The bad news? Tech savvy businesses have a lot of work to do.
The first point to make is that if you have a very simple, ‘brochure-ware’ type website (as we call it), then simply creating a mobile friendly site that is 960 pixels wide or less may just work. But for sites that are more complex or involve e-commerce, you’ll have to think about your strategy.
The reason for this is that for many websites, it won’t be enough to make your site fit in a phone. Have you ever tried to navigate a complex site on your smartphone? It’s do-able, but not friendly. What about the tablet version of your website? Many sites render just fine in the iPad, but have you noticed the performance of the site when you display photo transitions in JQuery or other browser intensive tasks?
Consider this. Over 33 million Americans will use a tablet by the end of 2012, an increase of 158.6 percent over 2011. By 2014, the number of tablet users will rise to 90 million, or 27.7 percent of the U.S. population according to eMarketer. Throw in the fact that Apple may decide to lower the pricing of the iPad 1 or iPad 2 to $200 or less (in an attempt to squash Amazon’s Kindle Fire) once the new iPad launches next month, the number of people that are viewing websites on tablets is going to skyrocket.
Overwhelmed yet? Try this on for size — Apple’s new iPad has reported with a resolution of 2048 x 1536! Have you considered how that will affect the design of apps, mobile web apps, websites?
Many things to consider.
There are a couple sites that are catching our attention. First, People.com just launched an iPad friendly site. While we’re not impressed with the design, it’s a good example of a major player that is designing specifically for the iPad. Note that you can ‘swipe’ on this site, though it’s a bit clunky.
Below is an example of the ever-digital Nike. Leaders in the digital space, Nike is always pushing the boundary of design. This is a good example of a sexy design that is tailored specifically for iPad users.
There are other examples that use third party tools like OnSwipe. One of these is MarieClaire.com. iPad users will see a friendly version of a site in HTML5. The upside to a service like this is that it gets you up and running very quickly with a platform specific design. But it may not be the best option for those sites that need a tailored experience.
In the coming months you’ll see more and more samples popping up of sites that are tailored specifically for Smart Phones, tablets and the web. In fact, we’ll be featuring some of these in our design portfolio in the coming months. 🙂