Mobile Design: The Need For Speed

By Channel Mobile
Website speed - Usain Bolt

Speed. This has almost become the essential quality within web and mobile development in 2014.  With smartphones way out in front and tablets overtaking desktops in the popularity stakes, creating fast loading sites/apps is now top of the list for mobile developers, to cater for all those somewhat impatient people “on the move” in this fast-paced modern world.

A report from The Search Agency on the best web-based retail sites stated that it takes an average of 2.99 seconds (for the sites included) to load on mobile devices, which is two seconds longer than Google’s recommended load time. Why is this important?  Well, slower sites appear lower in Google search rankings, as the search engine giant gives mobile-friendly pages (and ones that offer the best user experience) the superior positions in their search results. Furthermore, a slow app is also likely to receive bad reviews on app stores, subsequently affecting the numbers of people downloading and using the offending app.

According to the aforementioned report, the fastest average page load times were mobile websites that loaded on average in 2.47 seconds, with responsive websites taking 3.21 seconds. Unsurprisingly, coming in last place were non-mobile optimized sites (that were out of breath when they loaded?)  averaging an infuriating 3.87 seconds.

The Search Agency took seven mobile factors into account (page load time, site format, search box, shopping cart, sign in, social media buttons, and app presence), then they averaged a total score out of five for each retailer and placed them into a table.So, here are the top 25 web based American retailers (via MarketingProfs);

The Search Agency's website speed table

However, despite mobile sites leading the race overall, the top three highest scoring eCommerce sites on the list (Nasty Gal, eBags, and Zazzle) are all responsive sites. Not to blow our own trumpet here, but Responsive Web Design (RWD) is one of our specialities at Mobile Result…and we wholeheartedly believe that all websites should be made this way in the 21st century! But don’t take our word for it, Google also actively recommends that web developers use RWD on their official pages.

In conclusion, we are sure at Mobile Result that the numbers of traditional non-mobile desktop websites featured on these types of lists will significantly drop with the passing of time. Therefore any website (or app) designed in 2014 should be channelling its inner metaphorical Usain Bolt, essentially ready to be quick off the blocks and sprint ahead of its competition in the digital race for traffic and profits.