If you are over the age of 30, you remember the day you finally retired your old CRT tube TV. You probably had to ask a friend over to help you lift it out of your house. You were filled with pride as you walked out of Best Buy with a brand new flat screen TV that cost a lot of money but looked like something out of Star Trek (“I can’t believe how thin it is!”).
Then you told your friends you got a new flat screen TV. The wording is important there, because you couldn’t just tell them you got a “new TV,” or they might think that you invested in another tube-based behemoth. No, you had to be specific because there were logical alternatives. Today when you buy a TV, you just tell your buddies “I got a new 65-inch TV for my living room yesterday.” Notice the difference? You didn’t have to explain that it was a flat screen TV anymore because your friends already assumed that you didn’t pick it up off the berm in a retirement community.
A similar phenomenon is taking place with businesses that have a presence on the Internet (in other words, all of us). We’ve been using the phrase “mobile web” for almost a decade now, but it’s time to stop. This combination of words made sense when there was a logical alternative (I suppose you might call it the “desktop web” or something), but that is no longer the case. Look around the restaurant next time you go out to eat and note how many people periodically use their mobile devices. All of them. That’s not a subset of Internet users anymore. That’s a huge, growing, overwhelming majority of Internet users. That’s what the web looks like today.
So if you still have a website that isn’t mobile friendly, you need to take a hard look at the message you are sending out to users. If the majority of visitors to your website get pages that are challenging to navigate or that they have to zoom into to read, then you are telling the world, “I’m not really taking this whole Internet thing seriously.” Perhaps that’s the message your business wants to put forth, but I doubt it. Nobody wants their first impression to be the Internet equivalent of a 19-inch tube TV with rabbit ears wrapped in tinfoil.
There’s no such thing as the mobile web because all of the web is now mobile – or at least it should be. Welcome to the future.