Poorly designed mobile sites are draining smartphone batteries

Empty Smartphone BatteryResearch 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.

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2 Responses to “Poorly designed mobile sites are draining smartphone batteries”

  1. tom donald

    so… don’t actually give any information, just say “consult with web design experts”. Self-serving at all? I would have hoped that you know enough about social networking to know that telling customers there’s a problem that they are too stupid to solve themselves is counter productive. But perhaps you DON’T know that. So let me tell you: telling customers there’s a problem that they are too stupid to solve themselves is counter productive.
    Hope that helps!

  2. Gary

    Thanks Tom for your feedback. To be fair, we’re guilty of forgetting to post the actual detail of Stanford’s research – which I’ll rectify now with this link:

    If you read through the document, you’ll find numerous recommendations regarding things that can help improve the energy consumption on mobiles, including Javascript and CSS optimisation, JPG image use and more. I still stand by the statement that (even after reading all the detail) if people are unsure, or this geeky stuff isn’t for them, then they should indeed speak to their web design partners etc to help them.