HTML5 can increase mobile usage

If you’ve been wondering whether or not to convert your site (or create a new site) using HTML5, then the news from Usablenet (via TechCrunch) is welcome. Apparently, just adding a few interactive elements with HTML5 you can increase the engagement on your website and this makes mobile users especially want to stick around, up to 28% more in fact. One thing the headline doesn’t say is that it also decreases bounce rates by 15%—in other words, 15% fewer people are leaving right after showing up.

Now this isn’t just a matter of adding an HTML5 doctype to the top of your pages and calling it good. No, you need to do more with the HTML5 specification before you can look forward to those 11% more pageviews, lower bounce rates, and higher engagement. Doing things like:

  • Adding an interactive gallery or slideshow
  • Including location services
  • Expandable and collapsible boxes (to show and hide content)
  • Using shopping cart overlays (instead of dragging them off to yet another page)

All of these things make your site more interesting and interactive. And when you add HTML5 features like location services that are well suited to mobile phone use, well, of course mobile phone customers are going to appreciate that.

Remember to always test your new designs and interactivity as much as possible. You don’t want to see a gain in mobile users of 28% while losing 50% of your desktop users. But the outlook is great for HTML5, and as mobile use grows in popularity, HTML5 websites will be the beneficiaries.

GeoLocation versus “personalized advertising”

I’m writing about GeoLocation right now, and what interests me is that the specification requires that the browser ask permission before getting location data. That’s great.

But what I find interesting is that to use GeoLocation, we web designers have to ask permission. But when it comes to serving “personalized” advertising, apparently no permission is needed.

The only saving grace is that the ads tend to use IP addresses that puts my location as “Bothell, WA” which is 10-15 miles away from where I really am located.

HTML5 last call now has a date

According to IT Pro, the W3C has set a deadline of May 24, 2011 for the last issues to be delivered about the HTML5 specification.

This is exciting news for the standard, as it means that browser makers will start building to it in earnest, web designers can be more confident that the sites they build won’t need hacks, and HTML5 will grow in popularity and importance.

Are you interested in learning HTML5?

I am personally very interested in HTML5, but that’s just me. Lot’s of people think I’m a little crazy for focusing on a version of the language that is only really supported by IE 9 and the “other” browsers. After all, who really browses with Firefox and Safari (and don’t forget Chrome and Opera…)?

Well, I run on a Mac, so IE is difficult to run for me (I have it on my VM, but that’s another story). So I don’t really care about IE (Did I say that out loud?). I test with it, but otherwise, I avoid it.

But that’s not where my passion for HTML5 comes from. After all, I could use HTML4 and have great pages that work on Safari (and Firefox, etc.) without needing a new version of HTML.

No, my passion comes from my iPad. I love the fact that I can create an application in HTML5 that runs on my iPad as though it were a standalone application. There are even tools out there for me to convert my HTML5 applications into “real” applications for iOS. I’ve not tried them yet, but I will. Plus, along with the iPad, my HTML5 apps can run on the Xoom Android tablet and other Android phones as well.

What about you? Why are you interested in HTML5?