The way consumers access information has evolved in recent years with a greater reliance on smartphones for news, weather, sports and other day-to-day updates.

Google AMP ProjectMany of these smartphone searches are done ‘on the go’ as users go to websites quickly seeking information between other daily tasks. But to be able to do this effectively, users need a responsive interface that loads pages quickly. However, technology has often been slow to catch up to the need for speed and reliability for many mobile users. Slow-loading pages have presented difficulties in accessing web pages both for viewers and content publishers.

What Is the Accelerated Mobile Project?

Now a new framework the Accelerated Mobile Project (AMP) will improve loading speeds, giving users a better all around experience and making publishers’ sites (and advertisements) more accessible to the user. AMP is an open source initiative between technology and content companies who saw the need to improve a user’s mobile experience. The goal of the program is to provide a platform for mobile viewing that would benefit users, content providers, search marketing and consumers and close the gap between users’ expectations of fast loading pages and ease of viewing and the current reality of clunky performance and slow page loads.

Who Is Behind the Project?

Backed by search engine giant Google and social media platform Twitter, AMP has been undertaken to transform the mobile web interface, revolutionising the user experience through fast rendering pages. The AMP HTML is a subset of HTML that will allow pages to pre-load and render pages faster, ready for the user to view and access.

What Are the Benefits and Advantages?

AMP has a number of benefits for the reader. These include retrieving pages that are faster to load and are more responsive making searching on a mobile device a better and fuller experience for the user. AMP pages have shown a clear superiority over those with non-AMP HTML, with pages loading, on average, 25 percent faster and using 10 times less data.

AMP also has implications for content publishers, seeking to improve their readers’ experience. Not only will they notice speed improvements, making it easier for their readers to view their website on their mobile but they will also make it more likely that the viewer will stay and click through to other pages. The “stickier” nature of the site makes it more likely that viewers will see, and click through, to advertisements shown on the site.

What Are the Implications for Web Designers?

AMP has at its heart the improvement of the speed of loading pages. Therefore, AMP HTML has been designed by developers as a stripped back version of HTML with some tags (such as forms) unavailable. This has implications for web designers who also need to use a condensed form of CSS without JavaScript.

Are There Limitations?

The developers noticed that JavaScript tools used in loading web pages were responsible in many cases for the slowing in performance. By stripping back JS, AMP developers have speeded up performance, yet have created some limitations for web designers.

The development of Accelerated Mobile Pages has shown the world that mobile web design is changing for the better. Since AMP was rolled out in late 2015, many content publishers, tech businesses and ad-centred businesses have embraced AMP technology to bring a faster, easier and more user-friendly experience for mobile users. Google’s ethos of rewarding websites that improve the user experience may see them prioritise websites with AMP script, thereby improving search engine optimisation.

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