The growth of mobile
Looking at the 2013 trends I’m going to be presenting to clients this year, almost all of them have been influenced by mobile behaviour. Across our clients’ sites in 2012, we saw a massive shift from desktop to mobile and tablet. In fact, mobile will dramatically increase the number of people with internet access, from the 2 billion in 2010 to the 2.7 billion predicted by 2015 - that's 40% of the world’s population*.

Social is now increasingly turning into a battle to get onto your feed and the humble email is now starting to be seen as the most cost effective form of mobile advertising:

• 60% used a mobile device to access online communities such as Facebook, according to a recent Accenture survey*

• 4 out of 10 emails are now read on mobile devices*

There’s no doubt then, that mobile will be one of the most significant considerations for business growth this year.

Responsive design
In light of this, responsive design has now moved from being a hot topic in agencies in 2012, to a standard our clients now expect. It might initially cost more to develop, but having one site that works on a range of devices, with only one CMS to look after is a big draw.

Responsive had a big impact on design last year, with cleaner styles coming through that shouted ‘look at my grid’ more than anything else. As the year progressed, we started to see more and more sites explore the way they could push the design boundaries,which to my eyes brought the balance back again to beautiful, functional work - something we police strongly here at e3.

Our clients
Currently, we’re developing responsive sites for most of our clients, with either a mobile-first strategy, or even tablet-first in some cases. It all depends on the audience and what the stats are saying: our client Royal Navy for example, has over a fifth of its audience on mobile, which means a mobile optimised approach is essential on forthcoming projects. When you dig deeper and realise there are six clear audience groups accessing different parts of the site via different devices, responsive is the only clear answer to effectively meet all these customer needs.

The future
So where do we go from here? 2013 is shaping up to be the year where all our designers start to think small (screen) first and our strategy team create engagement strategies based upon ubiquitous digital access.

From an agency point of view, we welcome a new Head of Mobile to the e3 fold, to continue to help our clients unlock their mobile potential.

* BrandRepublic Whitepaper, 2013

* Accenture Mobile Web Watch Internet Usage Survey 2012

* Return Path: Bi-Annual Mobile Email Report, Dec 2012