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In the web of uncertainty, the consistent site is king<br />James Gardner<br />14th June 2011<br />
2<br />How many, how much?<br />2011 – The year of mobile commerce…<br />Last year, 10 million users – 23% of UK online co...
3<br />Too good to be true?<br />£25<br />Average basket value<br />83%<br />Of users experienced errors<br />Although the...
4<br />What issues?<br />Source: Improving the Customer Experience for Mobile Consumers (U.K. Report)  by Tealeaf<br />Via...
5<br />What do consumers do?<br />Source: Improving the Customer Experience for Mobile Consumers (U.K. Report)  by Tealeaf...
1. We must strive to understand how people interact with us.<br />2. We must create great customer experiences across all ...
“The proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, connected appliances and other smart machinesis driving up the demand for co...
8<br />‘Cool’ uses of the internet<br />
<ul><li>90% of the eBook market
In-built web browser
Accessible and to hand</li></ul>But:<br /><ul><li>Black & White
No touch-screen
Not considered a ‘smart’ device</li></ul>9<br />Getting serious – The Kindle<br />
10<br />Creating a portable experience<br />We’re facing a challenge. How would your site cope in the following scenarios?...
11<br />Breaking down the experience<br />Device Experience<br />For the moment, the best course of action is to start wit...
YouTube – mobile and desktop<br />12<br />#1: Identify your user experience<br />
Map your user’s journeys<br />Where do we want our users to go and what do we want them to do when they get there?<br />13...
Do:<br /><ul><li>Remove superfluous content
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In the web of uncertainty, the consistent site is king

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This presentation was delivered to the BLN (Business Leaders Network) Money in Mobile platform in June 2011.

Although there is a great opportunity to make money from mobile channels, we are not making it easy for our consumers. The result is simple: lost revenue.

In this presentation I've outlined some key points for creating mobile sites that are clear, concise and effective, wherever they are viewed.

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  • Apparently, 10 million users - that&apos;s 23% of UK online consumers - conducted a mobile transaction last year. That&apos;s a fair amount, but if it&apos;s 10 million 99p purchases from iTunes I can&apos;t say that I&apos;m really that worried about it. £9.9 million pounds is small fry for UK businesses.
  • I should be worried though, because I&apos;m wrong. There&apos;s no doubt that mobile transactions are - on the whole - for lower ticket-price items, but overall average basket values are much higher. In some cases up to £25. that would mean £250,000,000.It all sounds pretty good doesn&apos;t it? It does until you realise that of that 10 million, 83% experienced some kind of issue during the transaction process. So, even as opportunity presents itself, we’re doing our best to push consumers away.
  • Let&apos;s look at that in a little more detail. 34% received error messages25% found the app or website difficult to use25% had problems logging in20% said their credit card wouldn&apos;t go through – lost revenue of £50,000,000The key finding here is the 25% of users who found the app or website difficult to use. It’s avoidable and we’ll see how, but first let’s see what effect these errors had on our users.
  • So what do our consumers do at this point? The top 4 reactions were:29% would abandon the mobile transaction and try later on a computer. (I&apos;ll live with that for the moment)16% would become more likely to buy from a competitor. (bad)17% would email or log a complaint with customer service.  (not good, but we haven&apos;t lost them yet)13% would abandon the transaction at the app/site and try a competitor instead. (very bad)We definitely have a situation here. One that is - beyond connectivity issues - completely avoidable.66% of respondents said they would be less likely to buy online or instore from a company if their mobile site caused them problems.
  • What do we do?1. The use of mobile devices in the purchasing process is not just related to direct purchases. More and more they are being used as a support to the purchasing process, increasing online revenue generation. Source: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008381 2. We must concentrate on customer experience. Before we start talking about sales funnels or transactions, we must create a seamless and consistent customer experience across all channels.The evidence is overwhelming and we must take action is we are to stay ahead of the curve and ahead of our competitors. Let&apos;s look at how we can do this.
  • How do people interact with us?You may have noticed that earlier I said that we must be consistent across all channels. Why didn&apos;t I just say mobile and desktop? Because we&apos;re increasingly living in a world where access to the internet is ubiquitous and where the number of devices that are internet-enabled is increasing rapidly. Just two weeks ago, Cisco released its latest analysis of internet trends, its fifth in total. In it, Cisco predicts that the number of internet connected devices will rise to 15 billion, over twice the planet&apos;s population, by 2015. And that growth will come from tablets, phones, and the other &apos;smart&apos; machines.In fact we can see the seeds of this growth even now. I want to show you three examples.
  • In February, Samsung released the &apos;tweeting&apos; fridge. Here it is being demonstrated at CES2011. As weird as this may seem, it&apos;s actually capable of a lot, from the ability to check your Google Calendar, check the weather, or access recipes from Epicurious. I&apos;ll lay a bet right now that Epicurious didn&apos;t plan for that in their product development meetings. $3,499 price might put a few people off though.Having said that, the YouTube commenter&apos;s have shown their prescience once again: &quot;If they can do this to a toilet then life would be complete - RBuck722“ – I’m not sure if that is actually Russell BuckleyPictures from http://www.engadget.com/photos/samsung-wi-fi-enabled-rf4289-fridge/
  • The Kindle has a 90% share of the eBook market. It also has the ability to browse the web. All in black, white and grey; and with no touch-screen in sight.Users are using these devices because they are accessible and to hand. They will continue to do so.This is why, if we want to take advantage of this growth and realise  benefits now, we must address the way we approach the creation of our online services.We must stop thinking about the web as mobile, and start thinking about it as portable.
  • Creating a portable customer experience.So we’ve got a mass of possible devices that can now access the internet.Ask yourself, how would your latest project cope in the following scenarios:The user is watching House on their new Internet TV. Hugh Laurie’s not on screen, so the user decides to check their email. A friend has sent a link to your website, which the user opens in a sidebar and views simultaneously with the program. – driven to purchase via an advert?The user is on a train back from work, probably delayed somewhere, accessing your website via 3G on an iPadThe user is on a client’s website. They need to access your website to read an article, but they have only a company-supplied Sony Ericsson with Opera Mini installed.Each of these scenarios presents us with a different problem to solve: (1) an odd aspect-ratio and browser combination, (2) a good display area but slow connection and (3) a very small display area. And they are all very possible scenarios. The first Internet TVs by big brands are now available from the big retailers. Opera Mini has over 85.5 million users and is the dominant browser in many areas of the world; in fact, in Asia, Opera and Nokia (with their combined 66.33% market share) are way ahead of the third-place browser (which is BlackBerry, with a 9.81% share).Given these challenges, it’s important that we not be overly rigid in our approach to creating new Web content; we mustn’t allow ourselves to think in terms of devices. Right now, we are producing mobile apps and standard websites to deliver our services, but in a few years’ time, we may be looking at a completely different landscape, one where knowing exactly where and how our content is being viewed is impossible. Our content must be portable in the sense that it can be displayed anywhere.Whether we are provide the ability to transact online, or whether we are using our online presence to drive retail or affiliate sales, we must take an approach that means that all devices can access our content in a meaningful and clear manner. As we&apos;ve already seen, a bad user experience can be directly related to lost opportunities.I’d like to run through a few general principles that you can use to ensure that your sites can cope with these challenges and provide a consistent customer experience.
  • Design Experience versus User experienceWhen faced with a multitude of devices to design for, all with varying specifications, the last goal that might come to mind is consistency, and with good reason. And yet we should be striving to achieve consistency. Not in design but in experience.Conceptually, we should be thinking about our design in two layers: the core content or service (user experience), and then the display layer (device experience). The core of our website should not change from device to device, and it should deliver a consistent experience. As we shall see shortly, this means that we must ensure that elements such as the content and the navigation patterns work the same way always.If a single consistent experience is our goal, this begs the question, should we create a mobile website that scales up or a desktop website that degrades?The answer is neither. We should try to create a single design that can be used across all devices without alteration. But in practice, at least for the moment, we should start with the simplest website and work up.
  • Understand what is importantIdentifying what is most critical to users should be your first task when developing a portable website. There may not be room for complex navigation, especially on smaller screens, so keep it simple.Look at YouTube as an example. They have distilled the rather busy homepage down to 10 key actions. These are mirrored in the desktop site, but have been augmented and added to. * Point out structural similarities between both *
  • Create a Solid Information Hierarchy – adding depth to our core service &amp; user journeysStructuring our content is important. Understanding the content that we are presenting is essential to creating clear information hierarchies that guide users through it.Map the user’s possible journeys through your content. There should be a clear route to every piece of content, starting with the top-level information categories and getting more granular with each click.Keep it simple – get to what you want quickly – complex hierarchies drive users awayUnderstand usage – supporting the purchase funnelJohn Lewis as an example – we want users to buy, so make it simple to buy. Doubly so on a small screen. Use content to support purchase.
  • Even if users aren’t on a desktop, don’t treat them as second-class citizens. Provide as much content as is feasible. And for what content there is, present it appropriately. Remove the following:Superfluous imagesIf an image isn’t essential to the content, get rid of it.Unsupported file formatsDon’t include Flash or even the Flash placeholder if the file likely can’t be played.Unnecessary textGood desktop copy doesn’t necessarily make for good portable copy. Is that second customer testimonial absolutely necessary? If not, remove it.While we want to remove unnecessary content, we don’t want to remove too much. In the example below, we have a simple accessible website, but one that has no depth. The first level of information is presented well, but the headings for the company’s services at the bottom of the page should link to the next level of information. The way it is, if I want to find out more, I’m forced to visit the non-optimized website. This is a poor user experience, because it makes finding what I need more difficult.Sapient example
  • Even if users aren’t on a desktop, don’t treat them as second-class citizens. Provide as much content as is feasible. And for what content there is, present it appropriately. Remove the following:Superfluous imagesIf an image isn’t essential to the content, get rid of it.Unsupported file formatsDon’t include Flash or even the Flash placeholder if the file likely can’t be played.Unnecessary textGood desktop copy doesn’t necessarily make for good portable copy. Is that second customer testimonial absolutely necessary? If not, remove it.While we want to remove unnecessary content, we don’t want to remove too much. In the example below, we have a simple accessible website, but one that has no depth. The first level of information is presented well, but the headings for the company’s services at the bottom of the page should link to the next level of information. The way it is, if I want to find out more, I’m forced to visit the non-optimized website. This is a poor user experience, because it makes finding what I need more difficult.Sapient example
  • Over 400 different platformsUses HTML5 on Web, Tablet, Mobile, and TV.Varies user experience across platformsKeeps the fundamental design principles common across all, but implementation variesTheir advice: design for mobile first when thinking about multiple platforms as it holds the most constraints.
  • What About Apps? Aren’t They The Way Forward?Let’s look at why one might want to create an app:Easy to purchase, install, use and throw awayApps are so usable that even your granny could use them. Installing them on a smartphone is a smooth process that requires minimal involvement from the user. And when you’ve had enough, you simply delete it and no trace of the app remains. This is a great user experience, period. That’s why Apple is now pushing the same concept for full-blown Mac apps through the Mac App Store. Apps also provide, in most cases, a good user experience, with their native controls and design patterns.Brand association and lock-inApps are designed to do one thing and do it well. The most successful apps are exercises in brand association: “I want to search the Web, so I’ll use the Google app,” or “I want to check up on my friends, so I’ll use the Facebook app.” You experience the brand through the app. I could easily use the Safari browser on the iPhone to access both Facebook and Google, but the apps make it easy for me. I’m locked into the experience, which is great for the companies because their brands get planted square in the middle of my home screen; in this case, a big F and a big G.MoneyThe most attractive thing about apps to many companies is the profit. Apple’s App Store has shown that monetizing content is possible. Even for independent developers, making a lot of money in a relatively short period of time is possible.What’s remarkable about all of these points is that they have nothing to do with information consumption. They are all about brand and user experience.
  • However, there are also reasons why you should think twice:Apps are information silos:Apps do what they do well. But they don’t do a good job of bringing in the wider Web. Want to follow a link? You might be able to view the page in app, but you’re just as likely to get thrown out into the browser. That’s not a good user experience. You also lose control of the user’s actions and their focus on your content.Apps are platform-specific:Writing an app automatically ties you to the platform you are writing it for. This immediately limits your potential audience. Smartphone penetration is growing but is still a small segment of the overall Internet-enabled phone market. To take the US market as an example, even though 31% of the population have smartphones, only 6% of the population have iPhones. That’s 19 million out 307 million. If you released an iOS-only app in the US, you would immediately lose 76.17 million potential users.Apps work best for big brands and services:Regardless of how good the app is, you have to find a way to get it discovered among the tidal wave of apps that are released into app stores every day. Big brands can push their apps through their existing Web presence, but that’s a lot more difficult for smaller brands. And unless you can generate a lot of relevant content regularly, as the major services do, your app will be consigned to the trash very quickly. Research by Pinch Media (now Flurry) shows that free apps are used primarily in the first 10 days following installation, and then rapidly trail off to around 2% of the installation base after 70 days. Paid application usage drops off even more quickly.Mobile users prefer browsers over apps:A study by Keynote Systems in October 2010 shows that users prefer mobile websites for nearly all types of Web content. The only categories in which apps came out on top were social networking, music and games, which makes sense because these apps usually take full advantage of a native platform’s capabilities.So, if we want to create something with more permanence, that can evolve at a speed that suits us and our clients, then we need to look away from mobile apps and towards the mobile Web. We must execute good design, thoughtful content and solid integration to tie our portable websites into the social infrastructure of the Web.Example app.ft.com
  • Good example - Netflix
  • Conclusions
  • Transcript of "In the web of uncertainty, the consistent site is king"

    1. 1. In the web of uncertainty, the consistent site is king<br />James Gardner<br />14th June 2011<br />
    2. 2. 2<br />How many, how much?<br />2011 – The year of mobile commerce…<br />Last year, 10 million users – 23% of UK online consumers – conducted a mobile transaction.<br />10 million iTunes downloads at 99p?<br />Source: Improving the Customer Experience for Mobile Consumers (U.K. Report) by Tealeaf<br />Via http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/7393-10m-uk-consumers-use-mobile-commerce-report<br />
    3. 3. 3<br />Too good to be true?<br />£25<br />Average basket value<br />83%<br />Of users experienced errors<br />Although there is money to be made, we’re not making it easy for our consumers.<br />Source: Improving the Customer Experience for Mobile Consumers (U.K. Report) by Tealeaf<br />Via http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/7393-10m-uk-consumers-use-mobile-commerce-report<br />
    4. 4. 4<br />What issues?<br />Source: Improving the Customer Experience for Mobile Consumers (U.K. Report) by Tealeaf<br />Via http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/7393-10m-uk-consumers-use-mobile-commerce-report<br />
    5. 5. 5<br />What do consumers do?<br />Source: Improving the Customer Experience for Mobile Consumers (U.K. Report) by Tealeaf<br />Via http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/7393-10m-uk-consumers-use-mobile-commerce-report<br />
    6. 6. 1. We must strive to understand how people interact with us.<br />2. We must create great customer experiences across all channels.<br />6<br />What can we do?<br />
    7. 7. “The proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, connected appliances and other smart machinesis driving up the demand for connectivity.  By 2015, there will be nearly 15 billion network connections via devices – including machine-to-machine – and more than two connections for each person on earth.”<br />7<br />The ubiquitous internet<br />Source: News@Cisco - http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/2011/prod_060111.html<br />
    8. 8. 8<br />‘Cool’ uses of the internet<br />
    9. 9. <ul><li>90% of the eBook market
    10. 10. In-built web browser
    11. 11. Accessible and to hand</li></ul>But:<br /><ul><li>Black & White
    12. 12. No touch-screen
    13. 13. Not considered a ‘smart’ device</li></ul>9<br />Getting serious – The Kindle<br />
    14. 14. 10<br />Creating a portable experience<br />We’re facing a challenge. How would your site cope in the following scenarios? <br />
    15. 15. 11<br />Breaking down the experience<br />Device Experience<br />For the moment, the best course of action is to start with the simplest experience and work upward.<br />User Experience<br />
    16. 16. YouTube – mobile and desktop<br />12<br />#1: Identify your user experience<br />
    17. 17. Map your user’s journeys<br />Where do we want our users to go and what do we want them to do when they get there?<br />13<br />#2: Structure your content<br />
    18. 18. Do:<br /><ul><li>Remove superfluous content
    19. 19. Be aware of device capabilities
    20. 20. Adapt the depth of content</li></ul>Don’t:<br /><ul><li>Remove too much
    21. 21. Make the device a second-class citizen </li></ul>14<br />#3: Optimise your content<br />
    22. 22. <ul><li>Some devices will be more capable than others.
    23. 23. Scale your content for these devices by adding additional functionality around your core experience.
    24. 24. Alternatively, enrich the experience with content types suitable for the device, i.e. greater use of imagery on larger screens</li></ul>15<br />#4: Add value where you can<br />
    25. 25. 16<br />Netflix<br />X-Box<br />Roku<br />PS3<br />Samsung TV<br />iPad<br />Source: http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1339<br />
    26. 26. <ul><li>Easy to purchase, install, use and throw away
    27. 27. Create brand association and lock-in
    28. 28. Potential for standalone revenue generation</li></ul>17<br />Apps – the way forward?<br />
    29. 29. <ul><li>Apps are information silos
    30. 30. Linking to the rest of the web is difficult or unsatisfactory
    31. 31. Apps are platform-specific
    32. 32. An iOS app released in the US would immediately lose 16.17 million potential users
    33. 33. Apps work best for big brands and services
    34. 34. The drop-off rate for app usage is rapid
    35. 35. Mobile users prefer browsers over apps
    36. 36. For the majority of content, user surveyed showed a preference for mobile websites to apps</li></ul>18<br />Apps – not the way forward?<br />
    37. 37. <ul><li>Don’t throw away opportunities because of bad user experience; it’s avoidable
    38. 38. Ensure that your service or site is accessible through as many channels as possible
    39. 39. Start simple – identify your core offering and make sure it works
    40. 40. Scale the experience for more capable devices</li></ul>19<br />In summary<br />
    41. 41. For more information, or to ask questions:<br />Speak now<br />Contact me at james.gardner@volume.co.uk<br />20<br />Thank you for listening<br />
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