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Jun

3

2016

The Demographics of Developers Around the World [Infographic]

developer-demographic-statistics.jpeg

If there were 100 developers in the world, how many would be women? Which countries would they live in? How many would be pros, and how many would be hobbyists? What coding language would they speak?

These are the kinds of questions the folks at VisionMobile wanted to know — which is why they surveyed over 30,000 developers for their annual Developer Economics survey, and then illustrated their findings in the infographic below.

Their findings are pretty interesting. For example, a whopping 94% of developers are male. And while 77% of developers are professionals, a significant minority are creating software just for the fun of it.

Check out the infographic below from VisionMobile to see what other interesting statistics they uncovered about developers around the world.

100-developers-infographic-visionmobile.jpg

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Sep

17

2015

Do You Really Need a Mobile Ecommerce App?

Now that the shine is worn off of mobile commerce, we’re starting to see that some of the technology we got so excited about isn’t as useful as originally thought. If you’re considering a mobile app for your ecommerce business, you may want to take a look at some of the latest statistics. Better to know whether your new app will make you money before you invest everything, right?

When Consumers Use Apps

A study by RetailMeNot asked mobile shoppers how often they shop on their phones and tablets through apps. The results may surprise you. While many do use retail apps on their mobile devices, they do so very infrequently. Over half, at 57%, use their apps once per month or less. Only 10% say they use their apps once per day or more.

Those who do use their apps on a daily basis might encourage you to continue developing your ecommerce app. We’re all for it, if you’re sure your app is one consumers would actually download and use.

How Many Use Apps

A very small amount of users keep more than two retail-based apps on their phones and tablets at any given time. In fact, only 39% have one or two, and 39% say they have more. A discouraging 21% of consumers say they don’t have any commerce apps on their phones at all.

Before you develop and launch your app, you have to be sure that your customers will find your app important enough to download and use above all other ecommerce and commerce-based applications. After all, there is only so much memory on mobile devices, and many retail apps are deleted in favor of entertainment.

Back to the Web

There are some encouraging numbers here, even with the distinctly discouraging statistics. Quite a few consumers do actually download and use retail apps, even if only sporadically. The rest of your customers still interact by mobile device; they just do so by visiting your mobile site.

In fact, the study shows people are much more likely to visit your website for almost any online shopping activity, except for redeeming gift cards and loyalty program points. When checking store hours or locations, 66% will visit your website as compared to 45% using your app. To check reviews, 50% visit your website and 31% use your app. If they want to use their gift card or loyalty points, however, 19% will use their app, while only 12% visit your site. If you plan to use app-based loyalty programs and stored-value cards, then you could very well find that developing your app is worth the trouble and cost.

What This Means

We know apps once seemed like a must-have, but maybe you should focus attention and funds elsewhere. In fact, a great mobile site could do anything your app might do, and consumers are more likely to use that than to download your app. As long as you’ve put significant work into developing a mobile friendly website, your customers should be able to shop, redeem, visit, search, browse, and otherwise enjoy your ecommerce company without the need for an app.

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Jun

12

2015

How Mobile Commerce Is Changing the Way We Shop

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The push really is on for businesses to adopt mobile friendly websites, especially now that Google has announced the changes to its algorithm to penalize the unfriendly ones. This is great news for all shoppers who search and buy from their phones and tablets. The mobile commerce numbers are already staggering.

Who’s Shopping on Mobile Devices?

Mobile purchase now make up 34% of all ecommerce purchases, with 40% forecast by the end of this year. In the US, 53% of those sales take place on smartphones, with the rest on tablets. Only Japan sees more sales on smartphones than the US, with 90% of their mobile commerce taking place on phones.

As you might imagine, the largest group of mobile shoppers are younger buyers. Nearly 40% are between the ages of 16 and 24. These shoppers use their phones and tablets to buy online each month. The numbers for those who do shop on mobile devices but not as frequently would be much higher.

Where Are We Going?

In 2011 and 2012 combined, venture capitalists invested $829 million into mobile commerce endeavors. In 2013, that amount rose to $1.2 billion, but it still wasn’t enough. By end of 2014, venture capitalists had invested $4.2 billion into mobile commerce.

Most of the money was handed over to huge names like Pinterest, which recently announced “Buyable Pins.” Still, many of the little guys got a slice of the pie, too. Startups, proven newbies, and medium-sized businesses will continue to bolster their mobile commerce efforts.

In fact, mobile commerce is growing so quickly that some believe it will account for half of all ecommerce by 2018. Goldman Sachs believes that up to $626 billion will be spent shopping on smartphone and tablet devices.

How We Use Mobile

We want things now. Mobile gives us the ability to get exactly what we want when we want it. On-demand services have grown exponentially, with providers like Uber and Lyft taking over the transportation field, Netflix and Amazon Prime filling voids in entertainment, and GrubHub making delivery dining available to the masses.

That on-demand trend has led to in-app purchases, which where a large chunk of mobile commerce money is spent. Whether using services like Uber and Lyft, buying services in a game app, or making purchases through an ecommerce companies mobile app, we’ve really gotten used to the convenience offered. 

With the ability to check email and social media at any time of day or night, we also receive information about discounts, sales, and special promotions the very moment etailers want us to see them. Fear of missing out is a huge motivator, and buying on our phones and tablets alleviates that fear.

That fear of missing out works in another way, too. Many use mobile devices to do a cursory price check while in brick-and-mortar stores. How could they ever forgive themselves if they paid more at Target when they could have gotten it on Amazon for half the price?

Obviously, ecommerce sites that haven’t yet built a mobile responsive site are in a bit of trouble. There’s still time. Be very aware that the bare minimum may help you slip through Google’s new algorithm, but we can’t ever expect their criteria to remain the same. Plan ahead and be ready for anything, and you can avoid any issues with your site in the future. And since the future of ecommerce is mobile, that’s the best possible scenario for your company.

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Mar

27

2015

18 of the Best Examples of Mobile Website Design

mobile website examples

Now more than ever, businesses are focusing on creating delightful mobile website experiences.

After all, Google has been heavily favoring mobile-friendly websites since they updated their algorithm in April 2015 and again in March 2016. And that’s crucial, seeing as there have been more Google search queries on smartphones than on desktop computers and tablets for over a year now.

Going forward, Google will only continue to raise the bar for what it considers to be mobile-friendly (including page load time) and reflect that in its algorithm updates. So if you haven’t been focusing on improving your mobile experience, you’d better prioritize it now, or your search ranking could really suffer. Download our free guide here to learn how to design your own mobile-friendly website. 

To help inspire any mobile website design changes you’ll be making, here’s a list of 18 companies who really nailed their mobile web experience.

18 of the Best Mobile Website Design Examples

1) Shutterfly

Shutterfly is an online service that allows users to create photo books, personalized cards and stationary, and more. Because more and more people are taking photos and then accessing them using their smartphones, Shutterfly recognized the need to create a great mobile experience for their customers — and they delivered.

Shutterfly accomplishes two key goals on their mobile website:

  • It’s easy for users to find out information about their offerings.
  • They’re selling that information by way of beautiful imagery.

When you arrive on their mobile site, you’ll see the menu items have been enhanced into large buttons at the bottom half of the screen. This makes it easy for users to quickly select which option they’re interested in learning more about.

shutterfly-mobile-site-1.png

Once users click through to one of those options, they’re greeted with large photos showcasing what Shutterfly is capable of for easy browsing.

shutterfly-mobile-site-2.png

2) Google Maps

Everyone has their favorite map or directions application. Mine is Google Maps, which I use whether I’m walking, driving, biking, or taking public transportation. What’s special about their mobile website is that it’s virtually indistinguishable from their downloadable mobile app.

The screenshots below are taken of their mobile website, but if you’re familiar at all with the app, you’ll notice they look exactly the same. Not only is the appearance identical, but the mobile website has the speed and functionality of the app.

google-maps-mobile-site-1.png

google-maps-mobile-site-2.png

3) Typeform

Typeform is a Barcelona-based tech company with one, simple mission: to “make forms awesome.” Their desktop website is really beautifully designed, greeting visitors with succinct copy, high-definition videos, relevant animations, and other, more complex design components.

But for mobile users, they recognized that complex design components like video and animations could significantly affect page load time, among other difficulties. That’s why they actually removed many of them — which decluttered the site and simplified the overall mobile experience. The mobile website is a simpler version of their desktop website, and it’s still beautifully designed.

typeform-mobile-site-1.png

Take note of the large buttons in their menus — perfect for tapping with your finger on a mobile screen.

typeform-mobile-site-2.png

4) Etsy

Etsy is an ecommerce website where people can buy and sell vintage or handmade items. Most buyers who visit Etsy’s website are there to do one of two things: Either they’re searching for a specific item, or they’re browsing items in categories that interest them.

The mobile website caters to both types of visitors from the very beginning. When you first go to their mobile website, you’re greeted with an option to search for specific items, shops, or categories.

etsy-mobile-site-1.png

Immediately below the search bar are thumbnail images of trending items that showcase some of the most popular things you can buy on Etsy. Mobile users can view these trending items in a collage format, and the images are big enough for them to easily tap with their finger.

etsy-mobile-site-2.png

5) Adrian Zumbrunnen

This is the personal website of Adrian Zumbrunnen, a UX designer, writer, and speaker. When you visit his website, you’ll notice right away there’s something very unique about it: It’s a conversational website.

It almost looks like a text message conversation you’d normally have on your phone — including the ellipsis to show he’s “typing.” Users are given two response options at the end of every exchange, so it’s kind of like a “choose-your-own-adventure” experience.

While the mobile and desktop experience are very similar, the desktop website feels like it was made primarily for mobile — which could be the direction sites will go in the future.

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And if you’d prefer not to engage in the conversation-like exchange, you can simply scroll down for details.

zumbrunnen-mobile-site.jpg

6) Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf is, relatively speaking, a fairly new Christmas tradition based on a children’s book. If you’re unfamiliar, the basic premise is this: The book tells the story of Santa’s scout elves, who are sent by Santa to watch over children in their homes all over the world and report back to Santa.

Along with the book, parents can purchase an elf figurine, which they’ll subtly place somewhere in their house where their kids can see it. Every night leading up to Christmas, parents move the elf to a different location around their house to “prove” to their kids that the scout elves are real and always looking over them.

When you first arrive on Elf on the Shelf’s website, you’ll see that there are actually numerous types of Elf on the Shelf products you can purchase. But instead of forcing users to scroll through a long, text-based list, the web designers made it easy for users to simply swipe from left to right to look through all the different options — ideal for visitors browsing products on the website.

elf-on-shelf-mobile-site.png

7) BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed is a news company known for it’s viral content and popular quizzes. It also happens to be one of my favorite sources of entertainment during my commute to and from work.

And where do you think I’m checking BuzzFeed during my commute? You guessed it: on my phone. BuzzFeed knows that a lot of their visitors are visiting their site on mobile, so they’ve taken great care to create a smooth experience for their on-the-go readers.

When you arrive at BuzzFeed’s mobile website, the first thing you’ll see is some of their most popular pieces of content displayed in a simple, collage-like format using large images that are easy to tap with your finger.

buzzfeed-mobile-site-1.png

For users interested in specific categories, there’s a clickable menu in the top left-hand corner of the screen that lists out all the post categories.

buzzfeed-mobile-site-2.png

8) Evernote

Evernote is an application that allows you to store notes, images, and web articles and then access them across all your devices. Because users tend to download the app or access the website on multiple devices including desktop computer, smartphone, and tablets, it’s essential that Evernote get the mobile experience right.

If you look at Evernote’s homepage on your desktop computer, you’ll notice how clean the design is. The value statements are short and to-the-point, and the images add to the positioning but don’t clutter the page. When you look at their mobile website, they’ve kept this design and style entirely intact. Their mobile website is clean, simple, and doesn’t detract at all from the value of the app.

evernote-mobile-site-1.png

Plus, there are those large call-to-action buttons again, which are great for mobile users.

evernote-mobile-site-2.png

9) Huffington Post

The Huffington Post is a well-known news outlet that reports from everything from politics and current events to entertainment and technology. What makes their mobile website unique is that they actually alter their headlines slightly for mobile users so their content is more easily scannable.

If you compare the desktop versus mobile websites, you’ll notice that the mobile website has fewer words on the homepage. The headlines are shorter and much more digestible — perfect for someone skimming or reading on a small screen.

huffington-post-mobile-site-1.png

As with BuzzFeed, you’ll find a clickable menu in the top left-hand corner of the screen listing out all the post categories.

huffington-post-mobile-site-2.png

10) Express

Express is a clothing store that caters to young men and women. Because their audience often comes to their website to browse clothing, it’s important for their website to include big, clear images of their clothing — especially on mobile devices, when users will need to tap items on the screen with their fingers to click through for purchase information.

Express takes their mobile experience a step further than most online retail sites. If you slide your finger from left to right across an image showing a piece of clothing, the image will change so you can see the clothing in a different view. In other words, users don’t have to load another page to see multiple pictures of the same article of clothing.

Look at the image on the top right in the following two images to see how it changes when you swipe to one side:

express-mobile-site-1.png

express-mobile-site-2.png

11) Nationwide Insurance

Nationwide Insurance provides insurance and financial services. You might think a financial company would have a really complicated website, but on mobile, Nationwide Insurance nails down the simple user experience.

When you arrive on their mobile site, you can get an auto insurance quote right away by entering your zip code — or, alternatively, you can “Find an Agent” to learn more information about their services. Other than logging in or signing up for an account, that’s all the homepage offers.

Although this gives users limited options, it makes for a much easier experience for visitors using small screens. This is a great technique to lead potential customers in the right direction.

nationwide-mobile-site.png

12) Squaredot

Squaredot is a HubSpot partner agency that helps marketers build out their inbound marketing strategies. Their mobile website is colorful, simple, and makes for easy navigating. But what sticks out to me most is how they’ve adapted their blog for mobile users. Check out the screenshot below, which shows one article in a list of many. Each article takes up the entire width of the screen, making for large, eye-catching images and text that’s big enough to skim

squaredot-mobile-site-1.png

We like how they’ve optimized their online forms for mobile, too. Check out how large the text and the form fields are in the subscription CTA below, making it easier for folks to fill it out on their mobile devices instead of pinching and zooming.

squaredot-mobile-site-2.png

13) Zappos

Zappos is an online vendor for shoes and clothing known for their stellar customer service. Their top priority on mobile is to help users search easily for the items they’re looking for on their website, so they’ve put a large search bar at both the top and bottom of their mobile website to make it super easy for them.

This is what the top of their mobile site looks like:

zappos-mobile-site-1.png

And here’s the bottom of the page (equipped with a delightful signoff):

zappos-mobile-site-2-1.png

14) ABC

ABC is a television broadcasting company known for popular shows like “The Bachelorette,” “Battle Bots,” and “General Hospital.” Users visiting ABC’s desktop website are greeted with a ton of options: view their television schedule, check out the Oscar winners, watch some of your favorite television shows, or even look at entertainment news relating to those shows.

But ABC knows that the experience on a mobile device should be simplified. When you visit the ABC website on a mobile device, you aren’t offered nearly as many choices from the get-go. Instead, you’re given one option: to scroll through large, clickable images representing all their television shows. Users can scan through these options and click into any show they want.

abc-mobile-site.jpg

15) Lean Labs

Lean Labs is a HubSpot partner agency that creates engaging, responsive, and high conversion web solutions. (They were also featured on ABC’s hit TV series Shark Tank.) The folks over there do a great job of providing a smooth experience for their mobile users, especially with regard to their design techniques and the emphasis they place on their core values, which are apparent to visitors within seconds of landing on their mobile site.

Notice how their mobile website uses scale and color to distinguish certain elements of their page:

lean-labs-mobile-site-1.png

And, like I said before, their core values — growth strategies, responsive web design, and inbound marketing — are clearly visible to mobile users scrolling through the homepage, with relevant icons to match.

lean-labs-mobile-site-2.png

16) SAP

SAP is an enterprise software company that manages business operations and customer relations. They enhance the mobile experience by condensing information.

More specifically, they combine some of their calls-to-action into sliders, whereas their desktop website has these CTAs laid out horizontally. This helps keep things simple so mobile users aren’t overwhelmed with a lot of information at once, and it also ensures none of the CTAs are too small to read.

SAP-mobile-site.jpg

17) KISSmetrics

KISSmetrics provides analytics software for businesses. On their homepage, there’s a lot of information explaining what the software does along with a testimonial.

But their mobile site is displayed a little differently: On a mobile device, the information on their site is shown in a list with alternative dark and light modules. This makes it easy for users to skim the page without getting lost in text.

kissmetrics-mobile-site-2.png

They’ve also made the text and fields on their forms large and easy to read:

kissmetrics

18) idig Marketing

idig Marketing is a development and communications provider. Their mobile website is laid out similarly to their desktop website, but I especially liked how they incorporated the interactive heart icons into their blog posts so users can “Like” their posts.

This mimics the “Like” heart icon in Instagram and Twitter, which is easily recognizable for mobile users familiar with those platforms.

idig-marketing-mobile-site-2.jpg

These were some of our favorites. Which other mobile websites have caught your fancy? Share with us in the comments!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Jan

22

2015

10 Incredibly Weird Mobile Apps You Can Actually Download

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From RunKeeper to Lyft to FlightTonight, there are plenty of mobile apps that are practical, functional, and just plain good ideas.

There are also addictive games that, while not my cup of tea, keep millions of people transfixed on otherwise dreary commutes in and out of work.

And then there’s a bunch of weird apps that make you go “hmmm.” Whether they seem hilariously niche, totally useless, or you’re just shocked there’s a market for them, the apps in this post might make you curious enough to download. 

(And you can do so guilt-free — because they don’t cost a cent. Enjoy.)

10 Weird Mobile Apps You Won’t Believe You Can Download

cuddlr1) Cuddlr

A location-based social networking app called Cuddly lets you find people in your area to cuddle with. Cute or creepy? You be the judge.

Cost: Free

OS: iOS only, Android coming soon

Download here for iOS.

detivational2) Demotivational Pics

Keep that frown upside down. Make a bad day worse with an app that reminds you just how crappy things can be.

Cost: Free

OS: iOS & Android

Download here for iOS; here for Android.

matey3) Carrr Matey

Forgot where you parked your car? This app can tell you — in a pirate voice.

Cost: Free, matey.

OS: iOS & Android

Download here for iOS; here for Android.

bathroom4) Places I’ve Pooped

I mean … the name really says it all. Mark your territory, literally and digitially, with this map of where you’ve done your business.

Cost: Free

OS: iOS & Android

Download here for iOS; here for Android.

runpee5) Run Pee

Wondering whether now is the time to relieve yourself of that red slushy you just sucked down? Run Pee will tell you when you can run and pee without missing anything big in the movie. Incredibly weird. Incredibly useful.

Cost: Free

OS: iOS & Android

Download here for iOS; here for Android.

catpaint6) Cat Paint

You know what this picture needs? More cat. Cat Paint helps you add more cat. 

Cost: Free

OS: iOS

Download here for iOS.

pimplepopper7) Pimple Popper

If you find pimple-popping therapeutic, this app makes a gross little game out of it.

Cost: Free

OS: iOS & Android

Download here for iOS; here for Android.

yo8) Yo

An app that does one thing: says “Yo” to someone else. #yolo

Cost: Free (thankfully)

OS: iOS & Android

Download here for iOS; here for Android.

spirit9) Spirit Story Box: Ghost Hunting Tool

This app speaks ghost. Use it to get a translation of what the ghosts that are definitely around you right now are saying. 

Cost: Free

OS: iOS

Download here for iOS.

paper10) Paper Racing

You know what would make bathroom activities more fun? Competition. Race your friends to see who runs out of toilet paper first. There are no winners in this game.

Cost: Your dignity; but it’s otherwise free.

OS: Android

Download here for Android.

I came across a lot of other weird apps curating this post, but these were the ten I found strangest. What about you? Share your weird app finds in the comments.

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Oct

22

2014

Love It, Need It, Gotta Have It: The 15 Coolest Mobile Apps of 2014

iphoneWant to track your packages with the swipe of your finger? Now you can. Need to split a complicated dinner bill? It’s no longer the end-of-meal buzz kill.

It’s been an exciting year for mobile apps. Not only have some of our favorite apps gone through redesigns and other changes, but a ton of new apps have been created to make our (more…)


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