At the beginning of 2017, the ITIF (Information Technology and Innovation Foundation) released a report that benchmarked 300 federal websites in four areas: page-load speed, mobile friendliness, security and accessibility. Some sites fared better than others, but the report highlighted that our federal sites have a ways to go (DigitalGov included) in these areas. Looking at these four metrics is important as they directly impact our customers’ first perceptions of the quality of our government’s digital services.
The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) recently published a report, Benchmarking U.S. Government Websites, that looks at the performance, security, and accessibility of the top 297 government websites. ITIF is a think tank in Washington, D.C. whose mission is to formulate, evaluate, and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovation in technology and public policy. Over the past 90 days, government websites were visited over 2.55 billion times. According to the Analytics Dashboard, 43.
Earlier this year, it was predicted that content marketing would become even more important due to its ability to enhance not just visibility, but also increase engagement with customers—who could, in turn, become great promoters of your content. Needless to say, much of our time these days as communicators is spent on developing, distributing, maximizing, and repurposing content. In the recent blog post, 15 Content Marketing Trends for 2016, it is noted that the “average American spends nearly four hours a day bombarded with different types of content.
The Pew Research Center released a report in July that shows people of Latino descent are heavily reliant on mobile phones for their Internet access, more than other ethnicities. The report said that since 2012, the percentage of Hispanic adults who used mobile devices to access the Internet jumped from 76% to 94% in 2015. These percentages are higher than both white and African American usage in the same years.
A new report about email usage reinforced the importance of always building responsive websites. Yesmail’s quarterly report showed that mobile and desktop email click-to-open rates are converging to almost the same level for the first time ever. As people become more mobile-first and mobile-only users of the Internet, users opening emails on their desktop devices has dropped continuously for the past 2 years, from 22.6% to 15.3%. The report from Yesmail states: “The results certainly support the argument for responsive design,” as those who used responsive design in all of their emails had:
As we move into 2016, here are 10 trends I foresee flourishing around mobile, technology and government: The mobile-majority tipping point in government. Many agencies are already past this point, but as a whole, government websites are still desktop-majority, with 66% of people accessing federal websites via desktop and 34% on mobile. In 2016, the double-digit mobile growth will continue to accelerate and surpass 50% for almost all agencies. (Much of the Web passed this point last year or in 2014, btw).
The Pew Research Center released an interesting report about home Internet usage that revealed broadband usage plateaued in 2013 and, in fact, dropped 3% in 2015. Later in the report, Pew states the growth in mobile-only audiences compensated for the drop in home broadband usage, so the overall number of people with Internet access hasn’t changed significantly. While 100% home broadband penetration may never be attainable for a number of reasons, Pew’s research found cost is the major reason for most people, cited by 43% of non-broadband users.
U.S. shoppers are increasingly using their mobile devices to make purchases during the busiest shopping days: Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend. According to Custora, online Black Friday sales rose more than 16% compared to last year, and smartphone use rose to more than 36% (up from 30% last year), with iPhones accounting for the lion’s share of purchases: 77.6%, compared to 22.1% for Android. The Apple iOS purchase dominance was cited by other reports too.
How do you capture millennial and Hispanic eyes? Through their hands. (More specifically: their mobile devices, and the social apps within!). AdAge recently analyzed a study from Nielsen’s Homescan panel which found that in a typical month, 12.2% of millennials can only be reached through TV (looking at the top 10 networks only) versus 14.2% who can only be reached on Facebook. The numbers are similar for U.S. Hispanics: 16.
A penny saved is a penny earned. But spending your pennies on mobile development is necessary to meet 21st century needs. Regardless of how you plan to create that awesome anytime, anywhere mobile experience, it’s going to cost you. While the most obvious parts of the mobile price tag for native app development are initial development and launch, the long term maintenance of the app must also be considered.
Benedict Evans, a leading mobile analyst with the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, published a provocative post last week about the death of the mobile Internet. He details the history of the mobile Web and posits that the mobile Internet is the Internet now. The desktop version of the Internet audience is smaller and declining, so organizations should focus resources on developing the mobile-optimized version first.
Adobe released its quarterly Adobe Digital Index report this month, which showed websites that aren’t mobile optimized are seeing more than double-digit drops in traffic from Google’s organic search referrals. This is after the leading search engine announced it would start penalizing websites, after April 21st, that weren’t optimized for mobile—also called “Mobilegeddon.” Microsoft’s Bing search engine also made a similar announcement, indicating that mobile-optimized sites would receive special benefits in its search results.
In July, comScore released a research paper, The Global Mobile Report: How Multi-Platform Audiences & Engagement Compare in the U.S., Canada, UK and Beyond, covering a lot of areas from smartphone penetration to Android vs. Apple preferences. The most impactful trend for government agencies might be best communicated through this graphic: In the U.S., tablets and smartphones are driving the majority of digital media usage for 18-to 54-year-olds. People 55 and older are on the cusp of breaking the 50% barrier for mobile and tablet usage.
England’s Government Digital Service (similar to our own U.S. Digital Services and 18F) did a study of how content on their websites is consumed on mobile and non-mobile devices and learned several key points for a future-focused and mobile-friendly government organization: Mobile platforms account for the lion’s share of most of their content (see their graphic above), so being mobile-first and at least mobile-optimized is mandatory. More intense, complex tasks are still frequently started on desktops, but young and less affluent users expect to be able to do them on their smartphone.
Millennial Media released a new research report, Connected Consumers: Gaining Insights Across Screens, examining U.S. digital audiences from January 2014 until January 2015 with some interesting information that reinforces trends we’ve covered before. If your users fall into these demographics, you need to mobilize the content they’re accessing on mobile devices. Mobile and Tablet Devices Account for Majority of Time If your audience is predominantly under 55 years old, you must be mobile-friendly because more than 60% of that audience’s digital consumption time is spent on mobile and tablet devices.
Silicon Valley analyst Mary Meeker’s annual 2015 Internet Trends report has been released and is an exhaustive analysis of the world’s digital evolution (often mobile first driven) and how it is affecting business, culture and information. Previous years’ reports have tracked emerging tech from mobile to 3D printing, and this year is no different. Here are some of the key highlights from the report for government agencies and mobile-focused people:
The drum beat of the continuing and quick cultural shift to mobile device dominance continues to grow—Google announced that more searches take place on mobile devices than desktops in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan. These searches are often driven by ‘need-to-know’ information or utility-based actions (rather than entertainment or more passive consumption), which aligns with a lot of the information and resources government agencies provide on their digital properties.
Just a week after the ‘Mobilegeddon’ shift in Google search engine rankings to favor mobile-friendly sites, comScore released a research report citing that the U.S. had reached a new inflection point—there are now more mobile-only Internet users than desktop-only. What’s even more interesting is the drop desktop-only usage has taken over the past one-year period. comScore sites: Just a year ago, there was still nearly twice the percentage of desktop-only internet users (19.
The Pew Research Center released a deep research dive into “U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015” that provided three big ideas and data points for government agencies to consider when planning their digital strategies. More than 2/3 of Americans have smartphones; many of those are mobile first or mobile only Internet users. The report detailed that 6 in 10 Americans own a smartphone (64%), and 2 in 10 Americans now access the Internet primarily through their mobile phone (25%).
ComScore reported last week that smartphones now make up a whopping 75% of the mobile market. That’s up from 65% just one year ago. This means three-quarters of Americans over the age of 13 now have smartphones, and they are accessing government services with them more and more. This is an undeniable fact because earlier this month the White House announced the Digital Analytics Dashboard. The announcement noted the importance of mobile-friendliness, stating that the Dashboard showed 33% of all traffic to federal sites over a 90-day period came from people using phones and tablets.
One of the leading mobile app analytics companies, Flurry, released their annual mobile app growth report with some interesting data showing how audiences are changing the way they engage with mobile applications. Overall, mobile app usage grew 76% in 2014, and the top app categories included: “Lifestyle & Shopping,” growing 174%; “Utilities & Productivity,” growing 121%; “Messaging & Social,” growing 89%; and “Health & Fitness” and “Travel” categories, both growing 89% year over year.
Innovative wearables, stronger wifi and more 3D printing have been among the many projections for the future of mobile in 2015. Whatever comes to pass, we can be certain that the anytime, anywhere user will develop new habits and desires based on new trends. Government must accelerate its customer service approach with anytime, anywhere efforts to keep up. Here’s what I see agencies will have to do to keep up and–just maybe get ahead–in 2015.
Marketers are increasingly using SMS, push notifications, mobile apps, location-based functionality and other mobile-first techniques to reach constituents. That’s according to a recent article from Marketingland.com, which provided an overview of the mobile trends presented in Salesforce’s 2015 State of Marketing Report. The report was based on a survey of 5,000 marketers in 10 countries. Some notable survey results were: More than one-quarter of marketers have a mobile app (27%).
Phablets, the popular term for smartphones with screen sizes from 5.5 to less than 7 inches, increased in popularity this holiday season. According to Flurry, 13% of new device activations in December were phablets, jumping from 4% in 2013. Back in October, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted that “phablets” would outship tablets in 2015. Flurry backs up the IDC report finding that the holiday growth in phablet adoption came at the expense of both full-size and small tablets, whose activation percentages dropped to 11%.
Were you surfing the pre-Black Friday online sales while waiting for the Thanksgiving turkey to appear on the table? Turns out, you weren’t alone. “Online sales for Thanksgiving 2014 grew 12.2%, with mobile sales accounting for 74% of that traffic,” according to Mobile Marketing Watch. To put that in context, mobile sales grew 26.1% percent over 2013. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Black Friday or Cyber Monday, mobile is playing an ever increasing role in holiday shopping.
Is it a phone or is it a tablet? The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that “phablets,” the popular term for smartphones with screen sizes from 5.5 to less than 7 inches, will outship portable PCs this year and tablets in 2015. Specifically, total phablet volume will top 318 million units, surpassing the 233 million tablets forecast to ship in 2015. Further, IDC expects phablets to grow from 14.0% of the worldwide smartphone market in 2014 to 32.
U.S. Hispanics are ahead of the digital curve, according to an analysis of strategies of leading brands and forward-thinking marketers by Lisa Gevelber, Vice President of Americas Marketing. As we’ve noted before, Hispanics not only lead in adoption of new devices, they are also power users of mobile. The report highlights a few categories supporting Gevelber’s observations: The average Hispanic spends more than eight hours watching online video each month, over 90 minutes longer than the U.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) is forecasting a strong outlook for smartphone sales during the remaining months of 2014. They predict more than 1.25 billion smartphones will be shipped worldwide before the end of the year. Just 24 hours after going on sale last Friday, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus broke prior Apple presale records with 4 million units purchased. Reading these stats I couldn’t help but ask, “Are we at a mobile tipping point?
We’ve seen (and experienced) a dramatic growth in mobile consumption in recent years. From app downloads to tablet ownership, the use of mobile devices continues to trend up. But, is this at the expense of desktop computer usage? Not really. The growth of mobile activity is incremental to what’s happening on existing platforms, according to comScore. Let’s take a closer look at mobile vs. PC usage over the past year:
First, it was party lines. Then, it was the rotary phone. Now, two-in-five (41%) U.S. households have officially said goodbye to landlines, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Center for Health Statistics. If you have been keeping up with previous mobile trends, you won’t be surprised to learn who has decided to cut the telephone cord: An estimated 39.
Major mobile milestones in May—try saying that three times! A new mobile usage report from ComScore revealed two significant shifts to mobile in May: total time spent on digital media and time spent on apps. Here are a few highlights from the report: Mobile platforms—smartphones and tablets—accounted for 60% of total time spent on digital media, up from 50% a year ago. Mobile apps accounted for more than half (51%) of all time spent on digital media, up from 43% a year ago.
Like many Americans during the last month, I developed FIFA fever. Checking on scores, anticipating the latest Google Doodle and watching game highlights became part of my daily iPhone routine. Despite the elimination of Team U.S.A, mobile video consumption continues to win new fans. Consider these mobile video viewing statistics: On average, consumers spend 33 minutes a day watching video on mobile devices compared to 22 minutes a day watching video on desktops and laptops according to a report by eMarketer.
With the recent growth of smartphone and tablet ownership, it’s no surprise that U.S. consumers are spending more time on mobile devices than PCs. Mobile usage will rise to nearly three hours per day in 2014, according to eMarketer. So how does mobile compare to other major media: Mobile usage will rise to 2 hours 51 minutes in 2014, up from 2 hours and 19 minutes in 2013.
Since 2001, Mary Meeker has developed a knack for highlighting what’s currently happening on the Internet and how this information may impact technology and business in the future. Last week she released her 2014 Internet Trends and it reveals some interesting digital trends. Here are the highlights: Marketing: Social messaging is changing from broadcasting a few messages to a large audience (like Facebook) to frequent interactions with targeted groups (like Snapchat).
If you’re a frequent Trends on Tuesday reader, you may recall our post titled, “Latinos Embrace the Mobile Future,” which outlined several key categories where Latinos have adopted mobile technology faster than other groups. A new report by Univision and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, took an in-depth look at the mobile habits of Hispanic millennials, revealing that these tech-savvy, young adults not only embrace the mobile future, but may shape what the mobile future will look like.
“There’s an app for that.” New data from app analytics provider Flurry on mobile app usage reveals that smartphone users are taking this trademarked slogan to heart. Of the 2 hours and 42 minutes per day that a typical user is on a mobile device, mobile app usage accounts for 2 hours and 19 minutes of that time. In other words, app usage accounts for nearly 86 percent of time spent on a mobile device.
It’s no secret, if you want to reach Millennials, mobile is a great way to connect. This generation of tech-natives is adept at accessing large amounts of information held in the palms of their hands. However, their information overload also poses a challenge for agencies competing to gain their attention. The Center for Media Research presents four suggestions for crafting a mobile strategy that will engage Millennials: Have a mobile site.
What’s black and white and read all over? An e-reader. While it may be premature to revise classic riddles, a recent study by the Pew Research Center indicates that e-books are gaining popularity among American readers. Nearly three in ten adults (28%) reported reading an e-book in the past year, up from 23% at the end of 2012. Who’s reading, and how: Half of American adults now own either a tablet or an e-reader for reading e-content.
As the rapper Notorious B.I.G. aptly noted in his hit song, “Mo Money” brings “Mo Problems.” Especially when you run up against confusing policies or questionable actions by large national banks and financial institutions. Now it’s easier than ever to get your questions answered and troubleshoot your banking issues on-the-go with the mobile-optimized www.HelpWithMyBank.gov from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The site, which has been formatted into responsive design, serves a variety of screen types—from smartphones to tablets to laptops and desktop monitors.
Have you ever opened an email on your smartphone, and then switched to your laptop to read the attachment or write your response? According to a new multi-device study, you’re not alone. More than 40 percent of all online adults move across devices—they start an activity on one device and finish it on another. Reasons behind the switch… Comfort and convenience: the main reasons why people change devices mid-activity are to use a larger screen and for easier typing Increases with the number of devices owned: 54% of people who own two devices and 73% of people who own three devices switch between them to complete tasks or activities Other key considerations: urgency of the task, length of time involved, security and privacy concerns and the level of detail required It’s important that we keep the online journey of our customers in mind when designing for the web.
159.8 million people in the U.S. over the age of 13 owned smartphones during the three months ending in January, up 7 percent since October, according to ComScore. That is a 66.8 percent mobile market penetration, meaning two thirds of people in the country owned a smartphone at the beginning of this year. Comscore also finds Apple continues to sell the most devices, while Android is the top mobile platform.
Welcome to the new home of openFDA! We are incredibly excited to see so much interest in our work and hope that this site can be a valuable resource to those wishing to use public FDA data in both the public and private sector to spur innovation, further regulatory or scientific missions, educate the public, and save lives. Through openFDA, developers and researchers will have easy access to high-value FDA public data through RESTful APIs and structured file downloads.
In 25 years, imagine a world where anytime, anywhere, any device is just taken for granted. That’s the theme from the responses we got from our Mobile Gov Community of Practice members when we asked them to predict the effect mobile would have on the Web over the next 25 years. While no one claimed to have the exact answer, most members described a future state where the Web was pervasive, not just tied to your computer or smartphone, but interacting with anything and everything.
Mobile first means more than just focusing on text content; it’s also includes considering visual content as important element of the user experience. The infographic from Design for Infographics highlights what happens when a visual experience doesn’t meet mobile users expectations. Here are some tips on making sure your visual content, like infographics, create good visual user experiences. 1. Infographics should tell a story. Explain the key point’s people need to consider in your graphic.
Did this week’s polar vortex wreak havoc on your heating and cooling system? Maybe now you’re in the hunt for a new furnace or looking for more efficient ways to keep warm? Just in time for the epic deep freeze, the team at the Department of Energy has created a much improved web experience for users of their Energy Saver and other popular programs with the launch of a shiny new version of Energy.
Cyber Monday, billed as one of the busiest online-commerce days of the year, is spilling into the rest of the holiday season as more consumers use mobile devices to shop whenever they please. Shoppers are no longer waiting to return to work on the Monday after Thanksgiving to surf and complete web deals. Consumers armed with tablets and smartphones are stretching the Cyber-Monday sales over a longer period according to Bloomberg.
Recently, Mobile Marketing Watch published Sprint’s interesting infographic showing how executives use their mobile devices. “Would you trade your latte or morning cup of coffee for your mobile phone?” Sprint asked business professional executives. According to the results of their survey, turns out business professionals would rather have their smartphones than their coffee. Mobile devices are becoming more essential in how people get work done and stay connected. With high speed mobile networks available, it is now more possible to download large files and connect to the web, all while mobile.
More users are now accessing social media via mobile than on desktops. People are checking email or using social networks during their commute, in line at the grocery store, or waiting at the doctor’s office. MarketingResearch.org recently covered the topic and UnifiedSocial created the infographic in the post (click it to get full version) around trends in social and mobile. Here are some key stats: Mobile users are nearly twice as likely to share content on social networks as desktop users Global shipments of tablets will eclipse PCs in 2015 78% of US Facebook users access via mobile at least once a month 60% of Twitter users access via mobile at least once a month Mobile users are 66% more likely to retweet content than web users.
The Pew Research Center recently released a report on “12 Trends Shaping Digital News.” Some of these trends show that mobile devices continue to affect how the public consumes the news. The report found: 19% of Americans saw news on a social network “yesterday” in 2012, more than double the 9% who had done so in 2010. 64% of tablet owners and 62% of smartphone owners said they got news on their devices in 2012.
Mobile Future recently released this infographic about the proliferation of connected devices. Among the key data points: Today, there are 10 billion connected devices. By 2020, data from connected devices will more than double all global Internet traffic in 2012. Traffic from connected devices will grow 24 times in just five years. Global connected device revenue is $200 billion now and could grow to $1.2 trillion in 2020. In the future, virtually everything we make will be able to connect to the Internet.
Mobile First is the idea that web sites should first be designed for mobile devices, including only those tasks/items that website visitors use most. Then as screen real estate increases, add in tasks/features as needed based on user priority. This means the site will work (to some degree) on that shiny new web-enabled gizmo sitting under your neighbor’s Christmas tree 4 years from now. Allows websites to reach more people (77% of the world’s population has a mobile device, 85% of phones sold in 2011 equipped with browser) Forces designers to focus on core content and functionality (What do you do when you lose 80% of your screen real estate?
From the time they can grasp an object in their hands, children are reaching for electronic gadgets of all kinds—particularly our smartphones and tablets. The early adoption of mobile is growing each year as evidenced by this infographic from EveryDayFamily.com. 30 percent of 2- to 5-year-olds in the U.S. already know how to operate a smartphone or tablet computer 61 percent can play a basic computer game.
A recent survey of 100 retailers by EPiServer found that 46 percent of those with a mobile strategy in place and 74 percent of those planning to launch one soon said they are using mobile primarily to increase customer loyalty or provide a more personalized experience for customers. In comparison, only 8 percent said they use their mobile strategy for sales. It’s speculated that the brand strategy was used when organizations felt they could not beat other companies with lower prices on products.
With mobile use growing exponentially and federal agencies implementing customer-facing mobile services for the Digital Government Strategy, we decided to put together a Mobile Gov resource “cheat sheet” with concepts and information we think will be helpful for agencies implementing Mobile Gov in 2013. Here’s what Mobile Gov implementers need to know! APIs Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have been called the “secret sauce” for digital services. They help open information (content and data) so it can be reused inside and outside of government.
Federal agency mobile implementation is an important aspect of the Digital Government Strategy, so last week the Mobile Gov team and Digital Gov University partnered for a “Mobile First” Webinar. A “mobile first” approach is where new websites and applications are designed for mobile devices first, instead of designed for the traditional desktop. Representatives from government and the private sector spoke about what it means to be “mobile first.” You can view the entire webinar below, but here are some highlights:
You need resources, and we are here to help with an excellent new webinar series to jump start your agency’s digital gov efforts. Do you think “mobile first”? A “mobile first” approach is where new websites and applications are designed for mobile devices first, instead of designed for the traditional desktop machines. Description In this second webinar in our mobile webinar series, you’ll learn how to get your agency thinking “mobile first.
Some agencies are turning to responsive design to support device-agnostic content delivery which was called for in the recently released Digital Innovation Strategy. Last week, GSA’s Mobile Program Management Office held a responsive design webinar in conjunction with DigitalGov University outlining agency experiences with responsive design. Agency experts covered responsive design technical approaches and strategy and you can listen to the whole webinar below. One topic interesting to listeners was why agencies decided to implement responsive design.