Desktop and mobile web page comparison: Characteristics, trends, and implications

Troy Johnson, Patrick Seeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The broad proliferation of mobile devices in recent years has drastically changed the means of accessing the World Wide Web. Describing a shift away from the desktop computer era for content consumption, predictions indicate that the main access of web-based content will come from mobile devices. Concurrently, the manner of content presentation has changed as well; web artifacts are allowing for richer media and higher levels of user interaction which is enabled by the increasing speeds of access networks. This article provides an overview of more than two years of high level web page characteristics by comparing the desktop and mobile client versions. Our study is the first long-term evaluation of differences as seen by desktop and mobile web browser clients. We showcase the main differentiating factors with respect to the number of web page object requests, their sizes, relationships, and web page object caching. We find that over time, initial page view sizes and number of objects increase faster for desktop versions. However, web page objects have similar sizes in both versions, though they exhibit a different composition by type of object in greater detail.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6894465
Pages (from-to)144-151
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


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