Everybody can name their favorite apps. But can you name even two mobile websites you love? We can't. So we stared into the awful maw of the mobile web to learn how to fix it. 65 companies signed up to help. Along the way, we found problems stemming from the journey you've taken to be in your customer's pocket.
My colleague Danielle Geoffroy brilliantly realized that it was a drunk history, so we wanted to share it with you.
- 2008: "There's an app for that." Savvy developers jailbroke the first iPhone so they could build apps. Apple then launched the Apple App Store and chaos ensued as every developer and company piled on the apps as the mobile strategy. (And y'all invented the pub game, "there's an app for that.") You ignored the mobile web.
- 2010: Responsive retrofits tiny-ize websites but miss the mobile moment. Agencies and creative developers swooped in to magically morph brands' giant desktop websites into "mobile-friendly" websites. But that strategy led to the quiet crisis that responsive web design is not mobile-first.
- 2016: Apps are winning . . . just not yours. Forrester's data shows that US consumers used 26 apps last year and 26 apps this year. (Millennials use . . . wait for it . . . 28 apps.) Consumers have enough apps — they don't want more. What's worse, they spend 60% of their total mobile time (web and app) in just three apps — usually owned by Facebook and Google.
Conclusion: Most customers won't use your app. Therefore, you need to fix your mobile website. (And, no, responsive web design alone is not enough.) We're writing two reports to help you figure it out. First, the painful truth, a Forrester report: "A Billion Mobile Sites Spark No Joy." The second report, "Reinvent the Web for Mobile Moments" is coming in a month or so. Let me know if you want to talk about it.
And now for the drunk history. Thanks, Danielle!