The company I work for has about 15% of their users/prospective members coming from a Mobile non/desktop device. Though that is not a high number, it is still a decent number. The data is collected from Google analytics.

Our mobile site is not responsive, nor even optimized for mobile browsing.

Is it possible that because the sight is extrememly poor on mobile, that it could push our audience to use desktop more, giving us low % on mobile?

I understand there is a couple ways of reading the data, including our audience is not in the prime mobile-device market. I would just like to know if there are other UX prcticioners that have came across this.

We are an audiobook company that serves to an array of different audiences including the disabled, students, institutions, and primarily parents whom has a child with a reading disability. We have a website for information/resources, and a web application to login and choose which audiobooks you would like. The current playback system we have is an IOS app.

  • It's probably a quite common situation you find yourself in here. However I'm not sure what a useful answer would be to this question. "Is it possible that no mobile site is pushing people to the desktop?" Yes it is possible, but I don't think that's really what your end question is. What would you actually do with the answer if someone say "yes it is likely"? Really, I think you're looking for a suggestion or advice as to whether or not you should create a mobile / responsive site, is that fair to say?
    – JonW
    Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 14:58
  • Hey @JonW, exactly. I am convinced that we should be paying more attention to this issue rather than leaving it on the back burner.
    – Kyle Mirro
    Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


In Content Strategy for Mobile, Karen McGrane writes about how analytics data can be used to identify issues with the user experience on your mobile site:

Many organizations have been spurred to develop a mobile website or app based on analysis of their log files and search analytics. If you’re developing a mobile site for the first time, or looking to develop a more robust mobile experience that includes more content and features, looking at your analytics data will give you insights you can use to figure out how to proceed.

You might wish to gather data about the following, and evaluate whether it’s time to make changes:

  • Percentage of site visits that come from mobile browsers.
  • Pages or sections of content being accessed on your desktop site from mobile browsers.
  • Common search queries from mobile browsers.
  • Search queries on mobile that get redirected to the mobile homepage, because the content doesn’t exist on mobile.
  • Exit pages where mobile users abandon your mobile site for the desktop site.

One caveat to keep in mind: many analytics packages are based on JavaScript, which isn’t supported on many low-end mobile phones and older BlackBerry devices, which means the device doesn’t get counted. Make sure you’re getting an accurate picture of your audience by using an analytics approach (like server-side code snippets on Google Analytics) that actually counts all mobile users


Depending on how granular your mobile and desktop website analytics platform is you can try to fish around for cause/s of concern starting with:

  • Check how long each session is on the mobile website as compared to the desktop website. This will show you at a higher level if people are spending same time on mobile as on desktop. You can try to clean the data by filtering out sessions which performed similar tasks on mobile and desktop

  • Overall flow analysis. See if the mobile users are browsing (looking around) the site or directly going to a specific page and leave.

  • Look for any particular point wherein people on the mobiles stop using the website

  • Maybe looking at other factors like time of the day when the site was accessed along with the OS and browser which people are using to access the website.

There is no definite answer to begin with but you should start getting a feel of what is going on and maybe after that you can conduct some proper directed tests to get quantitative feedback for you arguments.

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