The Myths of Mobile Web Design (Giles Colborne)

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Slides taken from Giles Colborne's talk on the myths of mobile web design, at Internet World 2009. The presentation offers some thoughts about what designs and strategies make sense when creating mobile apps and websites.

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The Myths of Mobile Web Design (Giles Colborne)

  1. 1. Mobile design myths Giles Colborne cxpartners 1 flickr.com/photos/bandidoofoz/38854532/ Friday, 8 May 2009
  2. 2. Before we design anything, we spend time watching people using technology - In their homes, at work and in the lab Friday, 8 May 2009
  3. 3. Sales Wow!! 110 82.5 55 This presentation isn’t about the 27.5 growth of mobile 2007 Web. 2008 0 it’s the future and 2009 it’s happening now. 2010 3 Friday, 8 May 2009
  4. 4. Sales Wow!! 110 82.5 55 This presentation isn’t about the 27.5 growth of mobile 2007 Web. 2008 0 it’s the future and 2009 it’s happening now. 2010 3 Friday, 8 May 2009
  5. 5. AnD this presentation isn’t about how to code sites for mobile phones. 4 Friday, 8 May 2009
  6. 6. AnD this presentation isn’t about how to code sites for mobile phones. 4 Friday, 8 May 2009
  7. 7. Instead, here’s some what we’ve seen by actually watching people using mobile devices. Friday, 8 May 2009
  8. 8. You can’t charge for mobile content Myth 1 6 Friday, 8 May 2009
  9. 9. Marriott’s hotel booking site made over $1.25m in it’s first three months. During the Winter snowstorms, stranded travellers led to a peak in traffic. Apple’s ‘App store’ shows that people will pay for content (so long as it’s easy to download and install). 7 Friday, 8 May 2009
  10. 10. What sells? Think about two key groups: • People in urgent need Stranded travellers • Tickets (cinema, train,...) • Need that file / answer fast • Will pay a premium to get it now • • Casual consumers Things that can be bought / used on the phone • Games, music, apps • Will pay a little to enjoy it now • (But they are very casual) • 8 Friday, 8 May 2009
  11. 11. It’s like a small website Myth 2 9 Friday, 8 May 2009
  12. 12. Mobile phones aren’t like Desktop Computers. They’re more like Notepads. To understand what works, ask ‘What do you find in Filofaxes?’ - Addresses, Travel plans, Expenses, Clippings from everyday life... Friday, 8 May 2009
  13. 13. On Amazon’s website, they want you to buy. But On Amazon’s iPhone site, equal emphasis is placed on The wish list. In other words ‘Make a note and buy later (when you’re at your computer)’. 11 Friday, 8 May 2009
  14. 14. The developers of ‘Snap Tel’ noticed people taking photos of items they want to look up and buy later. So Snap Tel lets you take photos and then identifies the products in them and links to shops where you can buy them online. 12 Friday, 8 May 2009
  15. 15. Best buy have a full featured website. But they know that mobile users are probably trying to do one of two things: look up a product that they’ve seen or find a nearby store. That’s all their mobile site does. 13 Friday, 8 May 2009
  16. 16. One mobile site fits all Myth 3 14 Friday, 8 May 2009
  17. 17. Different devices ‘feel’ different. What works well on one, will feel clumsy and awkward on another. 15 Friday, 8 May 2009
  18. 18. You may want to give up on mobile web and stick to text messaging. But even this has its problems... 16 Friday, 8 May 2009
  19. 19. The problem with Text When they wrote this text message, the developers didn’t realize that this brand of mobile phone would have a soft key labelled ‘Reply’. Users can’t figure out which key to press. 17 Friday, 8 May 2009
  20. 20. The problem with Text Text NATURE to 8025 Try to reply to this marketing message and this mobile phone ‘predicts’ the wrong word. Users text the ‘wrong’ response by accident. Even text messages are undermined by differences in handsets. 18 Friday, 8 May 2009
  21. 21. People don’t like registering Myth 4 19 Friday, 8 May 2009
  22. 22. On a website, registering feels like ‘handing your details to someone else’. On a handset, it feels like ‘keeping them in your pocket’. And it saves returning users time - so they recognise the benefits. 20 Friday, 8 May 2009
  23. 23. Extras are good Myth 5 21 Friday, 8 May 2009
  24. 24. Extras get in the way of the main event. You want them to contact a car dealer? then why distract them with wallpaper downloads? 22 Friday, 8 May 2009
  25. 25. Look at people’s mobile phone wallpaper. They have photos of their kids, significant others, or pets. Your product won’t be cuter than this guy. Don’t waste your time. 23 Friday, 8 May 2009
  26. 26. What it means • Don’t look for mass audiences • It’s a personal medium • Quality experiences matter • Focus on a key audience type • Casual (games, snippets) • Repeat (registered, personalised) • Urgent (‘I need a hotel’, ‘Get me that file’, ‘When’s my flight’?) • Think small • 6-12 month web project becomes 6-12 week mobile project • 60 person project team becomes 6 person project team • Hook into your website’s APIs and data feeds • Watch people in the real world • Research, prototype, test 24 Friday, 8 May 2009
  27. 27. www.cxpartners.co.uk @cxpartners 25 Friday, 8 May 2009

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