In 2017 we should recognize the fact that mobile users and desktop users are not the same. According to data from eMarketer, in 2016 in the US, less than 19 million people accessed the internet only from desktops or laptops. That’s just 7% of internet users overall.

Another 31 million accessed the internet with a smartphone only. The remaining 215 million use both.

That means over 80% of internet users are “multidevice” users. They access the internet with their phones, tablets, and personal computers. They access the internet at home, at work, and on the go.

The time has come and gone for companies to recognize this shift in consumer behavior. It’s no longer enough to have mobile optimized website. Companies now must design not just for the device a person is using, but their needs at a given time on that device.

It is your job to understand your users. When they access your website or app on a mobile device, are they trying to accomplish the same thing as when they access your site on a desktop? Chances are, the answer is no. When someone engages with your company on mobile their expectation is different because their needs are different. The key is understand those needs so you can design experiences that solve for them.

One example from personal experience:

I fly with JetBlue and get a great deal of use out of their mobile app. But when I book my flights, most often it’s with a desktop or laptop at home or at work. JetBlue knows that even though I am one person, my needs are different when I engage on different devices. The experiences are crafted with that knowledge in mind.

Obviously this is a very specific example, but it goes toward illustrating the larger point. If you are not solving for the specific needs of the mobile user, you are likely to lose them. And in a time when more than 50% of internet traffic in the US comes from mobile devices, your business cannot afford to lose them anymore.