Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Why the future of web is in our hands

With more people now prefering to use a smartphone rather than a laptop, can websites keep pace?

By Peter Jenkinson

Laptops have now fallen behind smartphones as the UK's preferred method of accessing online content. This is partly due to the convenience of having a browser in your pocket, but country-wide access to 4G is the largest factor behind the rise.

From a mediocre take up just a year ago of a few million, to fast approaching 30 million devices using the high-speed network, we might even see speeds slow a little now.

Until the arrival of 5G, however, our seemingly insatiable appetite for online content on our handhelds is prompting content providers to not just focus their efforts on mobile-friendly websites, but also on developing websites that function better on smart devices.

Disappearing are sidebars, content tabs across the bottom of screens, and useless paragraphs of information stuck on websites, exposing the egos of developers.

Streamlining web content doesn't always seem up there in innovation terms at first glance, but this is because we're letting it, as with much technology, permeate slowly into our psyche. Nothing in the way we're browsing is changing in an instant, but you'll notice we use more apps to access what was previously entered via a browser gateway. More of the content you view on your smart device is presented with an 'm.' at the beginning of the browser bar ('m' signifying a site designed for mobile use) and generally, some pages load far quicker.

The Ofcom 2015 Communications Market Report not only showed laptops languishing, but that the demographic driving the shift is right across all ages, and that our daily online life on smartphones is now double what we spend on laptops.

This seismic shift in behaviour may well have caught some corporates unawares; rest-assured, their mobile development teams have been called in on overtime duties.


With the personal information of 2.4 million Carphone Warehouse customers accessed by hackers this past week, it has been revealed that, of these, 90,000 were encrypted bank accounts. While Carphone has of course added an extra layer of security now to prevent further breaches, they have advised all their customers check for suspicious account activity.


The largest global gathering of hackers took place in Las Vegas last week and, despite years of widespread suspicion of hackers, the DEFCON ( event now focuses much more on the good they can do.

Many are now employed by bigger corporations to test the security of their existing networks and to assist in making them more robust, and hopefully less susceptible to malicious behaviour.


Samsung, LG and Google have pledged to provide monthly security updates for smartphones running the Android operating system. The largest operation system on the planet discovered a malicious bug recently, allowing hijackers to access data on up to a billion phones. It is the largest software update the world has ever seen.


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Belfast Telegraph