Your declaration that the web will be going mobile-first is no longer a bold prediction. It’s 2013 and you’ve had your chance.
I first started hearing the cries of “The Year of Mobile” in 2008. Bro, I’m rockin a LG Chocolate camera phone and we’re at 17% smartphone adoption here in the US. Get fucking real.
Then came 2010, I’m bumpin Pandora on my OG Motorola Droid, and developers are still crying “The Year of Mobile!” while they’re porting desktop sites into shitty, dumbed down, platform-agnostic mobile apps.
Now it’s 2013, I’m rocking an iPhone 4S (yes I finally joined the Apple bandwagon) and smartphone adoption is over 50% in the US and about 30% globally.
The Year of Mobile? We might finally be coming around to it.
I recently signed up for Clarity, a platform/marketplace connecting people with experts and advice founded by marketing/growth stud Dan Martell. Check out the link to Clarity’s homepage. No big deal, right?
But here, take a deeper look into their product. If you clicked that link from your phone or tablet, you’re not surprised. It’s a nice, clean HTML5 mobile version of their smartphone app – Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and tons of other sites are doing the same.
But click that link from a desktop computer? Yep, you’re seeing that same mobile interface greeting you from the screen of your 24″ LED screen.
I’ve gotta be honest, this threw me off a bit. It’s not media-rich, it doesn’t make great use of space, and it just doesn’t feel right on such a large screen. But as soon as I started using the product, I realized that it is one of the cleanest, most simple and easy to use desktop web interfaces that I’ve used in awhile.
First off, it’s designed as a traditional mobile app. If you’re not comfortable using that interface, you probably aren’t the type of person Clarity is trying to reach in the first place. Also it’s clear that to drive adoption, Clarity’s primary goal is to get users using the product as quickly as possible. Each extra word and every superfluous pixel they use in their design has the potential to get in the way of using their product. Mobile interfaces are simple, and simple perpetuates usage.
Redefining Your Mobile Strategy
This is the first time I’ve truly seen a company go mobile over desktop in a really meaningful way for a cross-device functioning product. And I like it.
I think it’s safe to say we may finally be in the early days of “The Year of Mobile”, so be prepared for things to be a bit clunky for awhile. But if you’re in the midst of building a business, and you plan on spanning across the mobile, tablet and desktop web (and who isn’t these days!), then Clarity’s truly mobile-first strategy should be something you seriously consider.