It’s no secret that in the past two years our need for social connectedness has become dependent on digital platforms. And thanks to technology, desktops are no longer the only way to access the internet. Since the pandemic has started there has been a significant jump in screen time. An astonishing 19 hours per day is spent on screens between work and personal activity. Because of this, our need for instant gratification regarding the success or failure of a website or application is becoming increasingly more prominent. As a result of these findings, we have continued to research the latest trends and statistics to highlight the positive and negative differences between mobile vs. desktop user experience.
In 1973, the first cell phone was released, and it had one function: phone calls. Today, cell phones have nearly as many functions as a desktop. This provides optimal convenience for the average user, allowing them to complete all necessary tasks from anywhere, whenever. Desktops, however, do not provide as much convenience. This is largely because you must connect to the internet in order to use most of the features on a desktop. Additionally, desktops require significantly more space that a mobile device, forcing users to take additional measures to transport their desktop that they wouldn’t have to take with a mobile device.
2. The ability to unplug:
One study showed that the average person touches their phone approximately 2,617 times per day. So, although this proves that mobile devices are the most efficient way to stay connected, this also proves a disadvantage. The ability to unplug from the world is a trait that desktops dominate. As a result of their lack of portability, desktops allow you to shut the outside world down and be present.
Although mobile devices have been coined “mini computers” there are still several performance specs that place a gap between mobile vs. desktop devices. Desktops have a more customizable operating system, ability to run larger software, and more freedom to multitask. However, for a large part of the population these performance specs mean nothing. Mobile devices are capable all the functions and applications that most people need, making this gap between mobile vs. desktop relative to your personal/professional needs.
4. Screen Size:
A visual difference between mobile and desktop devices is the screen size. So, although mobile devices are great for portability, their disadvantage comes down to the limited amount of content that you’re able to view simultaneously. For some websites, especially e-commerce this could propose a significant disadvantage if their website is not as optimized for mobile use.
5. Social Media:
The purpose of social media is to stay as interconnected as possible, so for this reason alone mobile devices dominate the social media space. The ease of use to stay connected and receive updates 24/7 are the top two reasons why 83% of all social media is consumed on mobile devices. Furthermore, applications like Snapchat have next to no desktop client base, so not having access to all platforms on your desktop also plays a large role in where users choose to scroll. However, Facebook and Instagram are the most seamless between desktop and application usage, there are still several performance differences that force users to prefer mobile applications for social media.
6. Ad Viewing:
With many users primarily using their mobile devices, it seems like a clear choice for the better way to advertise. However, desktops offer a wider range of size options and sometimes character length. On the contrary, desktops have more ad blocking settings than mobile devices so although you can customize your ad sets slightly more, the downfall is that you still might be missing your target audience. Above all, studies have shown that 83% of ads are viewed on a mobile device, nearly double the 53% viewed on desktop.