Moving from mobile first to touch first



“We’re seeing fundamental changes in the way people are interacting with digital media” McKinsey and Company’s research into how consumer digital behavior is changing across platforms, activities and geographies

The emergence of the smartphone and tablet computing experience — it is changing where and how computing devices are used. Smaller format screens don’t just mean changing column widths, they mean rethinking the business model. Companies need to have a “mobile first” mindset when developing new content.

In the early years of web browsers, there was so much angst about whether print media was doomed that newspapers didn’t know whether to dive into digital editions. Although business models are still evolving, all publishing titles have some form of website now. But a site scaled for desktop monitors isn’t the optimal format today. Just as we’ve seen physical newspapers shrink in size, digital versions must follow suit.

Last year, for the first time, smartphones and tablets outshipped PCs and we’re starting to see this pattern mirrored in usage. Over the last four years, PC use has fallen from 78 percent of all computing time to 57 percent. Over the same period, mobile phones have risen from 22 percent to 33 percent and tablets from 0 percent to 11 percent.

Already, more than a third of the time people spend web browsing, using social networking sites, and using e-mail/messaging software is on mobile devices. In a couple of years, we expect it to be more than half. This is creating a ‘touch first’ computing paradigm.