2013 Digital Predictions: Tablets will revolutionise the web

We’ve all been talking about the M-word for the past few years, and I can clearly remember saying ‘this will be the big year for mobile’ as far back as 2006.

When I spoke to Coast’s Head of Digital Strategy, Darren Bond, for the second in my 2013 predictions series, he’d got a very clear view on where mobile was headed in 2013:

“For me, next year is all about mobile, and for once when I say the M word I’m not talking about phones. Tablets are where we’re headed. The rise of tablets over the last 24 months has been phenomenal. According to Google’s Head of B2B, speaking at a recent ABBA symposium, 1 in 4 minutes of internet time is now spent on mobile devices, and a large chunk of that is made up of tablets, and to think 3 years ago no-one knew what an iPad was!

This has big repercussions for digital. Firstly it’s happened so fast, that the web hasn’t really caught up yet. The vast majority of sites still ignore mobile completely, very few have thought about tablets exclusively. From a user experience point of view, on tablets the web can feel pretty clunky at times (speaking as a tablet user myself).  An interesting stat I picked up recently was something like 85% of users researching a product on tablet, will go on to complete the purchase on a different device. This surely has to change.

We then need to think about the impact tablets have on marketing. What content are users digesting on tablets? Does it need to be more interactive? What can tablets do for your audience that a desktop can’t? Marketing teams will need to revolutionise their marketing, to maximise the opportunity, and the worst thing is, this has all happened so quickly there’s very little in the way of best practice example to follow!

Thirdly and finally, as Windows 8 becomes more widespread, even our desktops will start yearning for us to be touching them, rather than using a mouse. Traditional web UX will have to go back to the drawing board, as more and more users will be demanding a high quality and considered tactile experience – something that very few are catering for now. And just think, this stuff’s all already here! We haven’t even thought about these developing further in the next 12 months! An agile, proactive approach is necessary from anyone who publishes digital content regularly.”

I personally think Darren’s final sentence, mentioning ‘an agile, proactive approach’ sums-up very nicely how marketers, designers and developers will have to be even more flexible and innovative as tablet technology matures further during 2013. What do you think?