Interesting argument for not rushing into designing for mobile, from Richard Millington of The Online Community Guide: When To Design For Mobile – The Online Community Guide.
He analyses the figures for mobile use in the US, and the traffic via mobile to his blog. With the figures at <10%, he figures that there’s no rush to design for mobile, and that it’s better to focus on the platform that the majority of users are using.
And that’s certainly one view – and he has evidence to back to it up.
If you think about designing online information points as if you were designing a meal, how would you start? If I invite people over for a meal, I’m not just going to cook a roast if I know that a guest is vegetarian. I’ll sort out a meal that offers a great experience for everyone, not cook a chook, and quickly add on a shop-bought nut roast as an afterthought.
So, in terms of designing for all devices, including mobile, how about the view that:
- If 10% of folk want to access information via a device of their choice then they should be able to.
- If a disability or other reason that might limit your web access means that you are reliant on mobile, then you shouldn’t be disenfranchised from using it.
- Mobile access is often the cheapest – sometimes only – form that people can get their hands on, so they should be considered, too.
Ultimately, I guess I am thinking about the philosophical argument that, when we design information for others to read, we should start by designing for everyone, as a starting point. This is a key idea in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) (and thanks to Chrissie Butler at CORE Education for all the great conversations on this topic).
But whatever you call, it, I still think we should design for all, not just the majority, whatever the data tells us.