KPCB Internet Trends 2013

“The latest edition of the annual Internet Trends report finds continued robust online growth. There are now 2.4 billion Internet users around the world, and the total continues to grow apace. Mobile usage is expanding rapidly, while the mobile advertising opportunity remains largely untapped. The report reviews the shifting online landscape, which has become more social and content rich, with expanded use of photos, video and audio. Looking ahead, the report finds early signs of growth for wearable computing devices, like glasses, connected wrist bands and watches – and the emergence of connected cars, drones and other new platforms.”

Primer: Touch First Thinking for Web

One of the big areas I would like for us to touch on as a department is the idea of pushing our design and web content into the touch first mentality. The reason is simple. Our audience is shifting to mobile for both viewing and purchasing on the web. Specifically tablets.

For the period of April 6 through May 6 this year and last year:

  • mobile traffic increased nearly 250% (90K visitors to 318K)
  • mobile traffic increased 25% (82K vistors to 102K visitors)
  • revenue from mobile traffic increased 83% (from $54K to $99K)

We have also seen a year over year increase in mobile revenue on since 2009. The below chart shows a comparison of revenue on from desktop and mobile traffic. The big take away from the chart is the 100% increase in mobile traffic and 93% increase in mobile revenue in the past twelve months. That segment of our visitor base to is growing more rapidly than our desktop user rate and his exceeded $1M in the past twelve months. mobile revenue mobile revenue May 2012 – May 2013

To sum up we need to move to think touch first for web design.

Prefer interaction paradigms that are natural for touch (such as swipe for slide decks and carousels).
Minimize the use of mouse interaction paradigms (such as hover states).
Emphasize design and implementation to fit well with landscape view for iPad (it is a reasonable standard).

Finally I wanted to post a conversation between Shiloh Hubbard and I from earlier (which prompted this post):

  • Shiloh: [in regards to “touch”] the idea is quite literally have no hover states? or only because it adds a step for mobile devices users?
  • Nathan: That is a great article. I will send it around.
  • Shiloh: thanks, i’ll give it a read
  • Nathan: Hover states are only one part of the equation. Currently, most places design with mouse navigation in mind. Embedded links, lots of text in drop downs, etc. When you go to a website and you have layered navigation, on a desktop you hover then go to what you want. On a tablet, you click to get the drop down, then you click to get what you want.
  • Shiloh: Right.
  • Nathan: So everywhere we can we want to rethink the paradigm; if hover is necessary and advantages, how then do we make it seamless for a touch interface to interact with that? So it is not an abolition of hover, just a re-thinking of how often and where we use it.
  • Shiloh: Gotcha.