Mobile phones are rapidly taking over the scene of web development, significantly impacting commerce, advertising, gaming, entertainment, banking and news. 77% of the world’s population or 5.3 billion people are mobile subscribers. China and India lead the way in overall mobile growth. Virtually every measurable metric concerning mobile phone growth indicates entire economies being influenced by mobile technology. It’s not surprising that search technology is powering mobile growth just as it has it’s larger cousin the desktop.
Mobile search used to be clunky and a pain to use. Until recently, the answer was to miniaturize the website. For a time, people thought mobile search would never be as good as the desktop search. But, as people use their phones for more and more, it has forced designers to consider how to make search, as well as all mobile apps, simple and powerful and built for end users.
The Mobile Only World
Outside the US, countries like India, South Africa and Egypt are leaders in mobile only--meaning users do not or infrequently use a desktop or laptop to access the Internet–making mobile search their primary mechanism for accessing queried information. Since these are also the countries sporting the most mobile growth, they are driving the need for quality relevant search for the mobile market.
Young and free
Another driving metric in the mobile game are young people. The under 25 crowd use a cell phone as their primary mode of accessing the Internet. Mobile phones, smart phones in particular, are used to do nearly everything. Younger people are more open to conducting transactions online via phone than any other demographic. Shopping, banking, GPS, social media, gaming–mobile access allows mobile subscribers to do everything they need to without restricting the user to an office.
Key differences for UX Impact
Key difference between mobile search and desktop search seem obvious. On a cell phone, the screen is much, much smaller. Users are on the go and may access the Internet between tasks or meetings, instead of being in one area. Access needs to be quick and simple. Mobile search must be designed for a minimum number of touches before users arrive at the end result. If it takes more than 2-3 touches, the user will look elsewhere for answers. Fewer touches mean a simpler design, engineered for the user without a lot of fanfare or complication.
Google reports that 1 in 7 searches are now done via mobile vs. desktop. Mobile searches have increased fourfold in just the last year. Businesses need a mobile application to ensure they are reaching the inbound web traffic looking for their services and products. Mobile applications need a strong search technology to ensure the consumer can connect with the products or information they are looking for. The companies that build their web solution for the mobile market are the companies who will gain more market share and capture that 14% of customers searching for their products on the mobile web.
For the enterprise, accessing important information inside and outside the firewall is vitally important as more content is built within businesses and accessed digitally. With the mounting demand placed on mobile phones and devices, the performance we’ve come to expect from out desktop needs to be scaled to a smaller screen by simplifying wireframes with sophistication and well thought out design.
TNR Global’s expertise lies in deep back end knowledge using powerful search technologies to give users fast, relevant search results for enterprise sites and large web portals. Recognizing the need for search to work as powerfully for a mobile application as well as a web application, we have teamed up with talented UX designers specifically in the field of search application design for web and mobile. Whether you are looking for a customized UX front end for your search solution or an out of the box answer for mobile search, TNR can connect you with a total solution to answer your web based and mobile search needs. For a free consultation, contact us.