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The Age of Mobile – Downton and Design

The month of January is always rife with expert predictions about trends in the New Year. Some are outlandish, some are wishful thinking, and some are on target.

One area that we believe is on target is the continuing march of mobile supremacy over its desktop relatives. If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, you might compare this transformation to the devolution of Britain’s aristocracy following the Great War.

With the superb vision of hindsight, we are amused at the desperate grasping of the Dowager Countess Violet Crawley and Sir Michael Reresby of Dryden Park (Season 6 Episode 3) to the old ways. They both believe that if somehow they can maintain the status quo just a bit longer, these nagging fads (fewer servants, women without escorts, the lower classes seeking improved circumstances) will soon fade.

Sometimes, we wonder if these ostrich thoughts are running through the buried heads of those who are not concerned about their non-responsive websites. Do they think that mobile phones, phablets, and tablets are silly trends that will soon fall out of vogue?

Like Countess Cora Crawley last Sunday, we’ve done our homework. Take a look at the share of mobile online sales on Black Friday in 2015. A full one-third of online sales were executed on mobile. And look at the trend – talk about a march. Those stair-steps remind us of another January activity – New Year’s resolutions and working out.


So if you don’t have an eCommerce website, are you off the hook? Nope. Let’s not forget that mobile passed desktop in Internet usage in 2015. Oh, and that Google will potentially penalize you for not having a mobile friendly site. No big deal unless you want prospective clients/customers to find you when they are searching in your industry.

Take a look at new device activations during the holiday season. This chart might take a moment to digest. But here’s the big bite: People like their smartphones and bigger smartphones (phablets), more than tablets. How’s your website looking on your cell phone?


If you’re having trouble letting go of your valet or lady’s maid, we have one last chart for you. While we don’t believe that people are abandoning PCs, the last three years have not been particularly kind to the big lugs. The strength of the U.S. dollar may not have helped overseas sales, but analysts see structural changes on the horizon leading to fewer people using PCs.


Look, we know it’s tough. Mrs. Patmore is still struggling with her new refrigerator. But it’s time to get on the Branson, Lady Mary, and Lady Edith rail car. Let’s talk about getting your website ready to embrace modern times.

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