The jokes and memes that the younger generations are glued to their smartphones appear to evolve from some truth — but research suggests that truth spans all age groups.
Thinking of mobile accessibility as secondary, or skipping it altogether, puts organizations at legal risk and makes it likely that a large percentage of users will have negative or even unusable experiences. Here are five stats to show why.
1. 81% of Americans own a smartphone
Sky-rocketing up from 35% in 2011, 81% of Americans now own a smartphone, according to Pew Research Center's Mobile Fact Sheet. While this fact probably isn't surprising as we get ready to usher in 2020, it is significant — and that figure jumps up to 96% of 18-to 29-year-olds.
The future of the web is mobile.
Further reading: Don't overlook iOS and Android testing
2. 37% of American adults access the web with a smartphone most of the time
This number, according to Pew Research Center's Mobile Technology and Home Broadband 2019 report, is huge because it indicates a clear trend toward mobile-only web access. The statistics go further, clarifying over half (58%) of 18-to 29-year-olds use smartphones as their primary internet device, and that over a quarter (27%) of Americans skip out on broadband internet subscriptions altogether.
3. Almost 75% of internet users will be mobile-only by 2025
According to a report by the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), 72.6% of internet users around the world will only use their smartphones to get online by 2025. If accurate, this means within about five years, 3.7 billion people will be mobile-only (not own a smartphone or use desktop and mobile, but mobile-only).
Organizations simply can't wait until after this shift is completed to act or they will be left behind by their more accessible competitors.
4. 61% of people won't return to an inaccessible mobile site
Smartphone users who have trouble accessing a site are unlikely to return (61% according to one source). There a number of studies and reports on this topic, and the numbers vary based on a bunch of criteria, but all the number share this in common: they are big numbers.
This shouldn't be surprising. Whether a person with a disability can't use a site because of unnecessary accessibility barriers or a person without a disability has trouble using a site because something on it isn't functional or isn't easy to use, they're not likely to come back.
Organizations get one chance at a first impression and consumers in the digital age have enough options to hold onto a negative one.
- Accessibility improves bounce rates
- What if your customers could resolve accessibility issues in real-time?
5. 86% of screen reader users use a screen reader on a mobile device
According to the latest WebAIM Screen Reader User Survey, 86.3% of respondents said they use a screen reader on a mobile device or tablet. This percentage is higher than desktop computer (67.5%) and laptop (83.9%) screen reader usage.
The preference for the convenience of smartphone usage isn't limited or specific to any demographic.
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