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It’s not mobile first, it’s user first

by on June 18, 2013

SocialBrands and businesses are scrambling to develop their mobile presence.  By 2017, mobile devices will outnumber the population. What does this mean about mobile development and the user experience?

Brands are increasingly challenged to offer a tailored mobile experience that is customized, adds tangible value to the customer and offers a compelling user journey. However, brands’ goals and the user experience don’t often align.  Users want a compelling experience that provides them additional value.  Brands, on the other hand, are trying to get the most out of their users – whether that’s capturing data, growing their audience or driving sales.  The early approach to mobile centered around optimizing a desktop site for a mobile screen.  Now, with the increase in consumer expectations for an engaging experience, brands need to rethink their approach to their mobile messaging.

To accomplish this, brands need to consider three key components wen designing a user experience: social sharing, location and customization.

Here are three ways brands can guarantee a compelling user experience:

1.  Make social sharing the hub of the experience

The ability to share content from your mobile device anytime, anywhere is one aspect that makes the mobile experience so compelling.   Brands must go beyond offering access to social networks and instead make social sharing an integrated part of the mobile user journey.  A successful mobile journey leverages geo-location functionality and delivers location-based content to mobile users.

By integrating social sharing into the user journey, brands will offer a mobile-centric approach and grow their audience.

2. Leveraging mobile-only experiences

Another way that brands can offer an experience unique to mobile, is by offering promotions that users have to redeem on their mobile device.

Starbucks is effectively leveraging mobile-only promotions to drive customers to their stores.  The brand is know for its engaging SMS campaigns, QR codes and mobile payment offerings.  Users can check their mobile balance, purchase history and receive offers that they have to redeem through their phone.  Starbucks has succeeded in delivering a mobile experience that not only delights their customers, but drives sales by

3. Customize the user journey

When designing a mobile experience, it’s important to think about how you can make the journey as easy as possible for your users. First, think about what the end goal of the [product development lifecycle].  What do you want to achieve with this app? Do you want your users to share content, upload their own content, use a promotion or drive them to a store?

The key to ensuing effective UX is by simplifying the process: keep all users actions under two minutes.  By limiting the time it takes to complete actions on mobile, this will significantly increase task completion on mobile.

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