Mobile speed affects our daily lives

I've used my monthly mobile data up in the first week of the month. So have given up gaming to save money and reflect.

Gave up my habit this month with no mobile data

I have a habit, it makes me walk more and in different directions sometimes. I see new things on the way and some things only people in the game see.

Augmented Reality games like Pokemon Go on your phone get you to patterns and to gamify walking. Mostly I think it is a good thing and makes some Boring walks more eventful or have short wins along the way.

This month though I've used most of my monthly data in the first week of the month. So have given up this data need for the rest of the month. As their is not so much too the game it's not a really loss and can think and listen to podcasts more on my walks now.

It brought me to thinking back to other people who have lower data caps or other countries where it is more expensive. Do we consider enough our speed and cost of data to use our websites?

Time to speed up the web?

Big flashy pages make mobile experience slower and also cost more to download. Reducing the size of files and number of images per page can more than double the number of pages someone can consume and interact with in a five minute period.

As mobile use becomes bigger and bigger part of our lives and changes come to make it more important, we should think a little more. Google this July is starting to add websites to “mobile first index” and wants the text and content to be the same value on both. So look out for more Smartphone Googlebot in your server logs.

Regular desktop googlebot:
"Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)"
Mobile smartphone googlebot:
"Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/41.0.2272.96 Mobile Safari/537.36 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)"

They will look at the website as a mobile phone would and so offer with mobile design, see the content and title and key facts more clearly and without so many adverts and cross promotion blocks that often fill the desktop version.

There hope is that it encourages to not hide important details and that businesses do not have a reduced service for mobile. That the url of a page gives the same use to someone where ever they are.

I believe there are some design decisions that make sense to alter the look for mobile. If someone is walking or doing another task they are looking for details more quickly or fact checking rather than looking for detail. I do think though the content and use should be the same so that if I check a page or email a friend they can read the same without the page missing. Responsive design and mobile first design have been doing this for a long time.

Test yourself

Google ranking websites by speed as a factor and mobile pages indexed are important factors not to ignore. So test yourself with one of these website tools, and keep an eye on Search Console for your website.

Photo Credit: Photo by Alan Biglow on Unsplash

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