Having dealt with websites since the 90s has given me opportunity to see all kinds of trends, styles and tendencies in the web world. When smartphones arrived, pinching and zooming a website was the norm. Suddenly design took another turn and websites were not just for laptops and desktops. The mobile website was born! I was a bit skeptical about the mobile revolution. I thought it was a fad.
Fast forward and mobile has become the “go to” computer for anything you need. If you are not sitting at your desk, more than likely your smartphone or tablet is within arm’s reach. “Googling” a phrase you just thought of no longer requires you to go to your computer. The same scenario happens every minute of the day for those looking for real estate. No longer are they bound to a desktop or a laptop to search for MLS listings.
"If you’re on your couch watching the game or heard something on the radio, or you’re waiting at the doctor’s waiting room, you’ll be looking at your cellphone"
We’ve assumed that innovation would start with desktop and mobile would follow. That’s not the case. If you’ve followed Google’s actions, you know this year’s Google I/O focused pretty on their interface design. Google has repeatedly designed and launched new features on mobile first, then desktop. So the question is, what does Google know that the rest of us don’t?
A Multi Screen World
In 2012, Google published a study about the multi-screen world It shows how complex our navigation of the web across multiple devices is. The report ends with 8 conclusions and the final one is: Smartphones are the backbone of our daily media use. They are the devices used most throughout the day and serve as the most common starting point for activities across multiple screen. Going mobile has become a business imperative.
What lead them to write such statement? 65% of searches begin on mobile phones. They’ve also found that we reach for the screen that’s closest to us. If you’re on your couch watching the game or heard something on the radio, or you’re waiting at the doctor’s waiting room, you’ll be looking at your cellphone. If your real estate website is not mobile ready, you’re losing business right now.
Reality is the web will go beyond mobile and desktop. The first generation of significantly powerful wearables is available now, promising even more constrained displays and a totally different type of interactions. Android and Apple are ready to make the leap to into the car and carmakers are preparing their assembly lines to include even more technology.
Will users now ask their Google Glass, Gear smartwach or Android Auto to take them to the next open house? Are we just scratching the surface of how we will continue to search for information and how users will find your website? Open a phone browser and try to see what the consumer is experiencing. Is your business ready for the next wave? The future is unfolding as you read this.