Desktop is Dead: Why Google Approves

I didn’t say it, Google did. With Google’s AMP conference right around the corner, we can expect to see more of the tooling that will kill the desktop browser paradigm. This is just one of the ways Google intends on further replacing desktop browser usage, with the mobile screen.

Mobile vs Desktop

Modern Websites typically have a responsive design, and tailor the experience to your screen size/browser. We live in a time where a perfect desktop only site is doomed to failure, while a mobile-only site looks a little out of place on the desktop. Web Developers are caught developing for two different platforms and experiences, trying to implement a common look and aesthetic. mobilevsdesktop image credit: stone temple

It’s clear mobile is leading the trend with clear growth and a trajectory to take over the desktop.

Analytics

Mobile does more than just change the view of the website, it offers much more information to analytics tracking.

Location

Desktop location can offer some detail to advertisers like where the user lives, and generally help establish a demographic. However, mobile can tell much more about a user. For instance, if a user frequents a specific coffee shop before school, desktop has no way of detecting. Mobile can not only infer your favorite caf├ęs, it can also track where you go to school, where you like to eat, where you pick up your groceries, down to where you get your haircut. Mobile offers a different view, and it’s not talking about the view of the webpage, but the view into the users unique habits, a view of the user’s life.

Engagement

Engagement is something advertisers hear all the time. To engage with your audience is to build a relationship, and brand loyalty. While desktop may offer unique opportunities for engagement, like a coupon code for returning visitors, it pales in comparison to the opportunities of mobile. From the camera, to Foursquare’s ability to generate conversations about stores, mobile continues to lead in user engagement providing unique opportunities for customers to interact with brands they love.

Usage

Usage defines engagement. How you use an app is how you engage with it. Clearly, usage of desktop and mobile sites are completely different. Think about the last time you searched for a place near you to eat. Was that on your phone or desktop? Think also of the last time you asked Google for “Coffee shop near me”. Chances are more than likely that both of these events happened on your phone. Most users are ignorant of the fact we have the ability to do the same actions on our desktop. The use case simply does not apply to sitting at home, it doesn’t happen.

Progressive Web Apps

Googles version of a Progressive Web App, changes the interpretation of a website. With more frameworks and tooling being released, it’s clear the idea of a desktop site will be restricted to certain functionalities. The phone is the new personal computer, and it’s not going anywhere soon.