Understanding the Mobile User

An excerpt from http://www.sitepoint.com/understanding-mobile-user/, by @richajn

There was a time when the only form of Internet access was through desktop computers. Today, most users access the Internet from multiple devices – office desktops, home laptops, smartphones and/or tablets. As a result, people are accessing the Internet anytime, anywhere. Businesses are trying to understand this always-on behavior and leverage it to better connect with their markets.

In the design world, the normal is still for designers to carry the desktop website user experience to smartphones, perhaps making it responsive. But mobile changes everything. Design decisions need to adapt and embrace the change.

“Why should we ever build a mobile product that caters to the same needs of the desktop user?” — John Caine, Chief Product Officer at Priceline

Let’s take a look at some of the ways mobile internet usage is different.

##Usage Locations
People use their smartphones on the go – while waiting for a friend, while on the train, at the dentist’s office – just about anywhere. This is a stark contrast from the days where you had a reliable Internet connection at work, and perhaps a painfully slow dial up modem at home that you preferred not to use.

Today, a large portion of users have 3G and 4G Internet connectivity on the their smartphones, 24×7. This constant connectivity opened up new business models and ways of interaction. According to a study by Google and Nielsen, 77% of all mobile searches happen at home, or at work, where users are likely to have a PC available.

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