Mobile vs. Laptop Usage

  • September 21, 2018
  • Bradley Taylor

In the business of designing and optimizing websites, it helps to know who your target audience is. It also helps to know what devices people will be using to look at your websites.

For the purpose of this article, “desktop” and “laptop” will be combined and be simply referred to as “laptop”. The nature of this article is to determine mobile device browsing vs. non-mobile device browsing regarding website design and optimization.

It has long been known that mobile devices would take over as the single most used type of computer device that people use to browse the web. A recent study suggests the number is about half and half. I don’t think this is the relevant statistic though. To me, the relevant question is to ask who uses mobile devices exclusively vs. those people who use a mix of the two. (I will leave out people who use laptops only and don’t use mobile devices because those numbers are so low that they are negligible.)

In a recent poll I conducted on our Facebook page, we found that only 27% of people use their mobile device exclusively. This is because many people choose to do “serious work” like paying bills, working and writing reports on their laptops. The laptop experience is a much richer one than a mobile device can provide. Mobile versions of pages are often stripped down to allow them to be more easily read and loaded.

laptop vs mobile poll results

There are articles insisting that smart phones have become good enough to replace your laptop but then they show a picture of someone running a large monitor and keyboard from their smart phone. In that case, just pay the extra hundred bucks, get a laptop and have it synced to your network. You won’t have to go through the trouble of hooking everything up anytime you want a laptop experience.  The fact is most people would rather have a full size screen and keyboard when they work. Can you imagine typing a 5,000 word paper with your thumbs?  Yuck. There are those people who do not need to work on their computer and for them a smart phone is really all they need. For the rest of us, it is a balance between using a smart phone and a laptop to get everything accomplished.

In conclusion, it is important for web masters and aspiring web-designers to realize that websites and optimizations still need to be designed and developed with laptop users in mind first and foremost. The mobile version should be an accurate translation of that website onto a mobile device.