This is the number of mobile devices expected to be on planet earth by the year 2020. Humankind has long been outnumbered by mobile devices, and that gap is only going to widen in the future – an interesting/exciting/moderately terrifying thought in and of itself.
Life doesn't offer many guarantees, but the continuing exponential growth of portable internet-connected technology is now one of them.
When it comes to how mobile devices are impacting websites, ZD Net confirmed that at the end of 2016 mobile and tablet web usage had officially exceeded desktop for the first time in the internet's history. And then there was “Mobilegeddon.” Back in 2015 Google announced that any site that wasn't built in a mobile-friendly manner by employing the approach of "responsive web design" would be penalized in mobile search results (and they’ve held true to that statement).
This ongoing evolution to how the internet is being experienced continues to confirm that the implications of mobile tech in the world of web design are numerous and at the forefront of the industry. All of this may seem daunting and feel like uncharted territory, but at its core, the challenge is nothing new. Design in all its forms should be focused on the goal of solving problems and making life better (not simply more beautiful).
Web design is no different. While the industry may be ever-changing, the aim remains clear: to create websites with a distinct purpose and engaging experience that are readily available to all. The presence of thousands of different devices makes this difficult, but the key is what it's always been: obtain a full and complete understanding of the problems and challenges at hand and then look to solve them using our research, insights, and expertise in user experience and design to guide the process.
In a time with numerous complexities and now a rapid advancement in mobile technologies, a new certainty arises: a holistic approach to digital design is vital. One that embraces these technological changes and stays on top of trends, while always putting the user first. Never sacrificing form for function (or vice versa), but instead seeing them come together to serve a cohesive purpose and accomplish the goal at hand.