The mobile revolution is gaining speed.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported today on a new study from com.Score that shows that more than 13% of webpage visits this past August were made on a tablet or mobile phone. That means that one in eight page views now comes through mobile platforms.
Doesn't seem like that much? Well, just consider that mobile viewing has more than doubled from just a year ago. That certainly squares with recent data from Pew Research that half of U.S. adults now connect to the Internet with a smartphone or a tablet and more than 60% of them access news on their smart devices at least weekly.
Nonprofits certainly need to respond to this trend by making their websites more mobile friendly. The Chronicle has some excellent suggestions in its recent article, Charities Retool Their Web Sites as More Supporters Go Mobile (subscription required).
Some tips from that article include:
- simplifying your website so that it is easier to read on mobile devices and to take actions, such as donating.
- investing in a separate website just for mobile or in technology that automatically reformats your site depending on the device being used to access it.
- prioritizing mobile access of your main website before creating specialized apps.
Mobile Site vs. Full Site, from Jakob Nielsen, explores some of the options too, suggesting that mobile sites can't be cut to the bone or users will be disappointed, but can't include so much that usability is poor on the smaller phones and tablets.
About.com's Guide to Web Design also explores the line between not enough content on the mobile version of your website and too much. She suggests, among other things, "Don't put your navigation first, even if that's where it is on your main page. If you make the navigation too small it won't be usable, and if it's too large that will be all some mobile users see when they first download the page."
Clearly, for nonprofits, the move to a mobile-friendly website will need to be a collaboration between the tech and content folks. That will work for larger nonprofits that have resources in each camp. It may be more difficult for small organizations that are doing well just to get a regular website up.
What is your charity doing to meet the mobile challenge? What are the particular challenges for small organizations, and what resources are out there to address them?
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