Module 1: Mobile sites and why they matter

1.2.1 User expectations

Today’s user experience on the mobile web is broken: subpar load times lead to high bounce rates, poor rendering and animation causes confusion, and broken checkout flows frustrate users. Eliminating extra seconds staring at a blank screen will get consumers to engage more often with your client’s site, which in turn will increase the value per user/visit.

That’s why mWeb performance is becoming such a hot topic these days (e.g., Accelerated Mobile Pages, Progressive Web Apps). Performance is not just something developers need to worry about, but an essential design feature. A beautiful site with poor performance won't do much, except drive the user away.

Website developers are faced with a website “obesity” crisis. According to the Mobile HTTP Archive, the average page served to mobile devices weighs almost 2MB in size, and contains an unprecedented number of resources (such as images, videos, scripts and other page components), as well as an equally unprecedented number of redirects.

In 2011, the average page served to mobile was just 390 KB, which, if you can remember that far back, actually seemed pretty big at the time. Today the average page is more than five times larger than that.

Additionally, users are consuming more rich content (e.g., video) on smartphones. Cellular networks are often capacity constrained (e.g., network throttling, limited investment in infrastructure) and carriers are likely not keeping up with the needs and demands of this increasingly I-Want-To-Consume-Rich-Content-On-Mobile mindset.

Users respond by leaving the page. It is no surprise, then, that mobile conversion rates are much lower than what they are on desktop!

In a recent Google poll, almost half of the respondents said their top frustration when browsing the web on their mobile device was waiting for slow pages to load (view on Google+ and Twitter).
60% of mobile users expect mobile websites to load within 3 seconds. And on average, 75% of people will abandon a mobile website if it takes any longer than 5 seconds to load.

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