A Day Apart: Live Notes on Mobile Web Design with Luke Wroblewski

Luke Wroblewski, A Day Apart, Mobile Design

A FEW QUICK NOTES from the first hour of A Day Apart: Mobile Web Design, an all-day learning session led by Luke Wroblewski (aka Day III of An Event Apart Seattle), Bell Harbor Conference Center, Seattle, WA:

Audience questions for Luke

  1. How to take a website for desktop to mobile?
  2. Do we need to care about non-Webkit?
  3. Trade-offs between native and web
  4. How to navigate differences between different versions of Webkit?
  5. Mobile e-commerce: best practices
  6. Challenges with different cultures/languages
  7. Media queries
  8. If no budget, what can focus on web to make mobile ok?
  9. How to take a website for desktop to mobile?
  10. Mobile e-commerce best practices
  11. Multiple screen sizes and pixel densities
  12. Time for one project: go mobile or tablet (in e-commerce)
  13. CMSes and mobile—sigh
  14. Best practices for page load

WHY MOBILE? Convincing clients/bosses to care

  • Of the 50% of total mobile commerce in the US, 70% of it is coming from one iPhone application (eBay).
  • eBay: global mobile sales $2 billion in 2010, $600 million in 2009. Real commercial opportunities emerging on mobile.
  • Best Buy: mobile web users doubling every year: 30M (2010), 17M (2009), 6M (2008).
  • PayPal: mobile transactions increased six-fold in 2009: $25M to $141M.


  • Double-digit (28%) rise in social networking on mobile web.
  • Twitter: 40% of tweets sent via mobile, 16% of new users start on mobile.
  • Facebook: 200 million active mobile users.
  • Instagram: iPhone only app took three months to hit one million users. Six weeks later they hit two million users.
  • Mixi (Japan): 85% of page views on mobile vs. 14% 4.5 years ago.


  • Google: mobile searches grew 130% in Q3 2010
  • Pandora: 50% of total user base subscribes to the service on mobile
  • Email: 70% of smartphone users have accessed email on mobile device

“I don’t want to be the record executive clinging to CD sales.”


Yelp: every other second a consumer calls a local business and generates driving directions from a Yelp mobile app.]]27% of all Yelp searches come from their iPhone application, which had 1.4 million unique users in May 2010.

Zillow.com: Viewing active listings 45% more often from mobile devices (audience is primarily active buyers, on location or scoping out neighborhoods)

Facebook: People who use Facebook on their mobile devices (200M active) are twice as active on Facebook as non-mobile users.

Shift in Usage

Let’s look at Gmail:

  • Visitors to web-based emails sites declined 7%.
  • Visitors accessing email on mobile devices increased 36%.

But what about mobile web usage?

Twitter Usage

40% of tweets sent via mobile.

16% of new users start on mobile.

Mobile web usage

  • Mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access devices worldwide by 2013.
  • 600% growth in traffic to mobile websites in 2010.
  • Facebook and Twitter access via mobile browser grows by triple digits in 2010.
  • Average smartphone user visits up to 24 websites per day.
  • Top 50 websites constitute only 40% of mobile visits.
  • Opera Mini traffic up 200% year/year.

For more…

Follow the live tweets at afeedapart.com.

6 thoughts on “A Day Apart: Live Notes on Mobile Web Design with Luke Wroblewski

  1. Thanks for posting! Just a few minor corrections:
    1) eBay has 50% of total mobile e-commerce in the US. 70% of their usage comes coming from their iPhone apps.
    2) These numbers are for ALL web-based email sites in Nov 2010 (ComScore). Not Gmail exclusively: Visitors to web-based emails sites declined 7%. Visitors accessing email on mobile devices increased 36%.

    Hope that helps~

  2. The % of new Twitter users that start on mobile is what amazes me. And if you start your account on mobile, it’s probably a good bet you’re going to access it 99% of the time on mobile.

    The opera mini traffic increases scare me though, I’ve had nothing but trouble getting it to work right, I’ve had much better luck with the standard browsers on iphones and androids. Now I know it’s no write off browser though, thanks for the info!

  3. These stats are amazing! I have been trying to convince my boss that we need our e-commerce site optimized for mobile devices, it just seems like such a huuuuuuuge project.

    We’re using Magento and haven’t convinced IT to switch to a simpler solution (like Shopify) just yet! :(

    Anyhow, thanks for the great stats and I am sad I couldn’t make it up there this year!

  4. Hello,

    Great notes.

    Wondering what is the very best mobile ecommerce app currently from a

    Presentation/Interaction/Organization perspective


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