IA Summit wrap-up: Users expect it all on mobile, tablet, and desktop

| April 25, 2012

IA SummitTwo of Lokion’s Inter­ac­tion Design (IxD) team mem­bers recently attended the 2012 Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture Sum­mit, the annual con­flu­ence of the best user expe­ri­ence folks in the indus­try. As usual, over­ar­ch­ing themes emerged. Here are the key take­aways that can guide your mobile strategy:

Expand your think­ing about shrink­ing screens

  • Twenty-five per­cent of mobile users use mobile exclu­sively. At least one in four will never see your “full” tra­di­tional web­site. (See the 2011 Pew Inter­net and Amer­i­can Life report on Smart­phone Adop­tion and Usage for more eye-opening stats.)
  • Eighty-nine per­cent of mobile users use mobile at home–even if the lap­top or desk­top is mere feet away.
  • Mobile users aren’t always rushed and dis­tracted. Think that they’re just drop­ping in for quick updates and easy tasks? Think again: eBay sells 2,500 cars a week on its mobile site –even Ferraris.
  • View­ports” are pro­lif­er­at­ing. Users might con­nect with you on a desk­top, lap­top, note­book, tablet, mobile phone, game con­sole and/or internet-connected TV–and every device type comes in a vari­ety of sizes, shapes and capabilities.

If you don’t give users what they want on their device of choice, they prob­a­bly won’t switch to your “full” site and they won’t bother to call you. They’ll just go some­where else.  One of the ways Lokion can help you address the multi-channel conun­drum is with Respon­sive Design.

Give your cus­tomers every­thing they want, across all channels

  • Pri­or­i­tize, don’t chop. “Lite” mobile sites or apps with lim­ited func­tion­al­ity won’t fly any­more. Deliver all your con­tent and fea­tures, but do it smartly. (And that con­tent you’re think­ing about not includ­ing on the mobile ver­sion? Reeval­u­ate whether it’s nec­es­sary on your full site.)
  • Present one big idea per screen. Put sec­ondary fea­tures and con­tent one tap away on smaller screens, like mobile phones and tablets.
  • Let it go! You can’t hand-design for every view­port. With dozens of device types and sizes, you can’t hand­craft every pixel on every screen. Make sure your well-prioritized, “chun­ked” con­tent can flow grace­fully into any viewport.

Con­text is king

One big idea per screen…great! How do I know which idea is most impor­tant for my cus­tomer at a cer­tain point? That’s where con­text comes into play.

  • Where are they? If a cus­tomer just scanned a QR code on your in-store end cap, they’re inter­ested in dif­fer­ent con­tent than if they just hap­pened to load your mobile site miles from a store. The in-store cus­tomers don’t need your store loca­tor. Instead, give them some real-time inven­tory love and an aisle num­ber for that hot new product.
  • What’s their mind­set? If you’re meet­ing your cus­tomers on Face­book, they’re there to be social. They prob­a­bly don’t want share what kind of under­wear they’re buy­ing, but they’ll gladly chip in for a friend’s birth­day gift cer­tifi­cate. Work with their state of mind, not against it.
  • Who’s watch­ing them? Think about the peer pres­sure the user may be feel­ing, who else is around them, and what they’re expect­ing. If that in-store app or kiosk dis­plays a customer’s waist size in great big num­bers, many cus­tomers won’t use it more than once.

Imag­ine the entire cus­tomer experience

Cus­tomer expe­ri­ence jour­ney” map­ping is find­ing new favor as a way to empathize with cus­tomers, find their pain points and pri­or­i­tize their needs in dif­fer­ent contexts–including non-digital expe­ri­ences.

  • Map the exist­ing jour­ney. Use quan­ti­ta­tive and qual­i­ta­tive research to iden­tify every event from con­tact to con­ver­sion for every cus­tomer seg­ment. Find the spots where your com­pany makes it dif­fi­cult for cus­tomers to move for­ward. Cus­tomers espe­cially dis­like these pain points:
  • Rep­e­ti­tion: The cus­tomer has to con­tact you more than once to fix a problem.
  • Chan­nel switch­ing: The cus­tomer expects to solve a prob­lem online, but then is forced to call or visit in person.
  • Human­ize the cus­tomer for your team. Cre­ate detailed per­sonas to build empa­thy for cus­tomers among your stake­hold­ers and deci­sion mak­ers. Use the map to show your team what it feels like for those per­sonas at every touchpoint.
  • Get inter­nal involve­ment early and often. Involve stake­hold­ers from across the orga­ni­za­tion in improv­ing the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence jour­ney, from ini­tial plan­ning stages of a project through bug report­ing. Some com­pa­nies install browser exten­sions that let inter­nal users instantly report an issue–any issue–with the company’s sites or apps.
  • Map a bet­ter jour­ney. Cus­tomers are sat­is­fied when you make it easy for them to work with you. Your new map should incor­po­rate your find­ings and inter­nal feed­back to build a new map that every­one can buy into.

If you need help think­ing about your cross-channel strat­egy, cre­at­ing jour­ney maps or get­ting stake­hold­ers involved and invested in your project, Lokion is always here to help.

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