Research by a team at Stanford University has evaluated leading websites and their energy consumption, and found that poorly designed websites drain smartphone battery much more dramatically than their well-designed counterparts.
The report stated: “Despite the growing popularity of mobile web browsing, the energy consumed by a phone browser while surfing the web is poorly understood. We hope this paper demonstrates the importance of building a mobile site optimised for mobile devices. Sites who do not end up draining the battery of visiting phones.”
The document goes on to suggest that web pages which are not properly designed or structured for mobile browsing will lose traffic, as consumers become more and more aware of the issue. This concern is not limited to small businesses with fewer resources – the study found that even global sites like Wikipedia could be analysed and tweaked to reduce energy consumption by up to 30%.
The data does not mean web designers need to make drastic changes – even alterations like using .jpeg image formats rather than .gif or .png can make a huge difference. However, it may be worthwhile for smaller businesses, or business with lesser knowledge of optimising web pages for mobile browsers, to consult with web design experts, and ensure that their site is both user and energy friendly.