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Smartphones vs. Feature Phones: Quality Over Quantity

When patients visit your website on their mobile devices, how fast does your site load? How easily can they navigate around the site, access the photo gallery and call your practice?

You’ve heard it all before, mobile website design is extremely important as more users spend more time on their mobile devices. However, the latest mobile report from Nielsen shows that the quality of the user’s mobile experience is becoming more important as well.

Nearly Half of Mobile Users Choose Smartphones

According to the Nielsen report, 49.7% of US mobile subscribers own smartphones as of February 2012. This represents a growth of 38% over February 2011. The report shows this increase is a result of those consumers purchasing new devices, with more than two-thirds of mobile users choosing a smartphone over a feature phone.

But what does this upswing in smartphone users mean for your practice and how potential patients interact with your website on their mobile devices?

Smartphones vs. Feature Phones

The term feature phone first referred to a phone with more features than other contemporary, less-sophisticated mobile phones. Feature phones today may have been considered relatively “smart” only a few years ago, as they provide the user with the ability to schedule events on a calendar, listen to music, and take pictures.

While feature phones have traditionally dominated the market, compared to the smartphones of today, these feature phones leave the user wanting more as seen in the Nielsen report.

Smartphones allow easy access to the internet, email on the go, GPS, social connectivity, and much more, thus providing the user with “smarter,” or increasingly dynamic features. The real difference lies in the advanced application programming interface (API), which basically allows the smartphone operating system (think iOS and Android) to act more like your PC than a mobile phone.

Smartphone Users Require Better Mobile Experience

What all of this really boils down to is that the quality of the mobile experience is increasingly important. As users are able to accomplish more from the palm of their hand with a smartphone, they expect more from a mobile site as well.

If your site takes too long to load, if visitors have a hard time finding what they are looking for, they are less likely to stay on the site and eventually convert.

Do you have a smartphone or a feature phone? Visit your website on your mobile device and click through to a few pages. Once you’ve wandered around the site, visit our Facebook page and tell us about your experience.

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