TechQuiz Question 5: Why optimize for mobile?

There are many reasons why users find it harder to use a website on a mobile phone then on a desktop: 

  • Slower connection 
  • (Most of the time) no real keyboard 
  • No mouse 
  • Smaller fonts on a smaller screen

Recently the University Of Albert did a survey where they asked people to read a text on a desktop monitor or on a mobile phone.

The comprehension in reading of the desktop users was 39%. What do you think the mobile users scored?

The mobile users only scored 18,39%!

The reading level on a normal desktop was already quite low, on a mobile device it was more than half lower!

The only difference between the user groups where the screen sizes.Why then is there such a big difference in understanding the text? The study found a couple of reasons: 

  • Users can see less information in one time, so the rely more on their memory to provide context for what they’re reading 
  • The user is forced to have more interactions with to switch between different parts. This makes them lose focus when switching and after that they have to find the part where they where.

Writing for the web is already quite different then writing for print. But writing for mobile is definitely something we have to think about when building websites.

Wouter de Kort works as a lead architect and consultant. He helps organizations stay on the cutting edge of software development. Wouter focuses on DevOps. He loves solving complex problems and helping other developers to grow. Wouter authored the book DevOps on the Microsoft stack and a couple of other books. Wouter is a Microsoft MVP and an ALM Ranger. You can find him on Twitter (@wouterdekort), on his blog at and at the various conferences where Wouter speaks.


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