Two 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.This entry was posted in Lokion, Real and tagged Ecommerce, Mobile, responsive, Strategy, tablet. Bookmark the permalink.