Mobile Web usage continues to grow by leaps and bounds as smartphones with large touch screens become the new normal. One quick data point comes from the United States Golf Association and IBM, which runs its Websites. During the 2010 U.S. Open golf tournament last week, 1.7 million people visited the U.S. Open’s mobile site, a 518 percent increase from last year. In contrast, the regular site saw only 4.2 million visitors, during the week, up 8 percent.
In other words, nearly 30 percent of traffic to the U.S. Open site was from mobile devices. The fact that golf fans didn’t need to fire up their laptops or turn on their TVs to find the latest scores and keep up with the play was enough to make the mobile site take off. And the mobile site was pretty stripped down—there was an all-text news feed, scores, tee times, and some video.
Really, that is all you need. Mobile sites should still be built for delivering quick bursts of information. When you are on the go, you probably don’t have time to wait for a busy page to load with graphics you can barely see anyway. But before touch-screen phones, the mobile Web was too difficult to navigate. Remove the friction of getting on the Web, and people will come in droves.