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.