Transcript of "3 ways to make your site tablet worthy"
3 Ways to Make Your Site Tablet-WorthyIn this report you will learn how tablets are changing the playing field for mobile marketing, and the approachesyou can take to create a tablet-worthy website. Information includes:1. A snapshot of tablet usage since the launch of the first Apple iPad2. Three approaches for creating tablet-worthy site experiences3. Concrete examples and ideas to inspire your own campaignsJune 2011 Share this report:
www.limelight.com It’s Time to Take Tablets Seriously Apple launched its first iPad more than a year ago, and since then the tablet platform has taken off. One forecast by analysts at Goldman Sachs predicts that twenty-one million people will buy a tablet in 2011 rather than a laptop, and according to Nielsen, nearly five percent of the US population already owns one. However, despite the success of these large-screen mobile devices, many web designers and marketing professionals have yet to take advantage of the new medium. Complicating factors like the lack of Flash support and the need to design for a touch screen have held companies back from realizing their tablet potential. These may seem like tough technical and workflow issues, but they are irrelevant to consumers. Consumers take their tablets everywhere and increasingly expect them to substitute for traditional computers. Browser use is quite high on tablets, with users turning to browsers nearly forty percent of the time, according to mobile analytics firm Zokum. Site performance is critical. Sites that don’t perform well are abandoned, while sites that do perform well open themselves up to the rewarding possibility of being explored, bookmarked, and shared. Here are three tips to consider for your marketing strategy—and for creating your own tablet-worthy site. Tip #1 – Treat the Tablet Like a High-End Media Experience Tablets offer a highly visual mobile platform both because of their larger screens and their higher-resolution displays. In light of this, professional media producers have started to take advantage of tablets as a new delivery channel. The original lack of video content for iPads has been replaced by a wide selection of content that people are paying money to watch. Netflix and HBO offer two good examples in the app department, and while the number of Netflix iPad downloads is unknown, the HBO GO iPad app reportedly generated one million downloads in its first week of availability. The wide variety of popular, professionally produced content available now on the iPad means marketers are competing for consumer attention with some high-quality media options. You may not think your mobile website should have to stack up against HBO’s The Wire, but in one sense, it does. There’s only so much time in a day, and consumers will choose to spend it on the experiences that prove to be the most satisfying. If your website doesn’t entertain and/or inform effectively, consumers will find it easy to switch over to tablet TV. After all, it only takes a few screen taps to tune in. Some companies have begun to recognize the importance of catering to a media-savvy tablet audience, and are reacting accordingly. The outdoor lifestyle and sporting goods company Quiksilver is one such example. Example: Quiksilver’s Original Lifestyle Content Headquartered in the United States but operating as a global business, Quiksilver is an outdoor gear retailer that has created a site that relies heavily on original content and multimedia entertainment. The site includes video news, rough-cut documentaries, photos, contests, a daily blog, and even Quiksilver music mixes. The goal isn’t to create media for media’s sake. Quiksilver designs its content around the surfers,3 Ways to Make Your Site Tablet-Worthy Share this report: Page 2
www.limelight.com skaters, and snowboarders who make its outdoor gear popular. The people it targets are consumers who live, or aspire to live, an athletic lifestyle. On the iPad, the overwhelming majority of Quiksilver’s content is not only accessible, but also beautifully executed for tablet use. Videos load quickly, and images render in high resolution. The site is neatly designed so that users can jump around to different sections depending on whether they want to shop, browse content on top athletes and sporting events, or do a little of both. It’s not showing full-length movies, but Quiksilver is offering entertainment as part of a marketing experience. The fact that it’s iPad-friendly means consumers can enjoy and make the most of that experience anywhere they go. Tip #2 – Support Unique Tablet Behaviors There are several characteristics that make using a tablet different from using a PC or a smartphone. Beyond screen size and mobility, a tablet is the ultimate touch-screen device, and it has the advantage of operating in either landscape or portrait mode. For the touch-screen factor, the best sites are the ones that enable interactions through tapping, pinching, and sliding. These motions are highly intuitive, and when they don’t generate the expected response for tablet users, the result is frustrating. For example, high-resolution images beg to be enlarged with a quick multi-touch gesture. The combination of a beautiful screen display and the ease of zooming in on a picture with your fingers makes tablet-optimized images particularly satisfying. The converse is also true, however. Without the ability to zoom in on details, consumers lose one of the big benefits of tablet web browsing, and websites lose a little of their luster. The landscape and portrait viewing options for tablets create an interesting opportunity for website designers. A lot of content is best viewed in landscape mode, particularly multimedia content. However, other material may be preferable in portrait mode. The good news is that website managers can optimize different pages depending on how consumers interact with them. Smart marketers will continue fine-tuning content presentation as more usage and preference data is collected from the growing base of tablet users. Example: White Collar’s HTML5 Experience for The New York Times The New York Times has been in the race toward tablet optimization, with both an iPad app and an HTML5 mobile site. And because of its early moves in the space, the newspaper has been an excellent testing ground for new content designs and production experiments. One example of iPad experimentation through The New York Times is an ad that was produced recently for the publication’s HTML5 website to promote the television show White Collar. Timed for the return of new White Collar episodes, the ad focused on generating user engagement through touch-screen interaction. Users were encouraged to move an interactive panel from the ad around the full newspaper page to scan for embedded “clues” and to unlock bonus video content from the show. It was a “touch to play” HTML5 experience, and it was geared specifically for the iPad.3 Ways to Make Your Site Tablet-Worthy Share this report: Page 3
www.limelight.com In addition to enabling touch-screen interaction, the White Collar ad was also developed to record user responses on a tablet. The ad collected data on which panels users chose to engage with, and whether they viewed content in landscape or portrait mode. Through analysis of those results, the advertising agency had the opportunity to refine the ad based on iPad-specific user behavior. Tip #3 – Turn Users into Contributors One of the most interesting things about mobile devices is how they can be used to generate content. First-generation iPads lacked a camera function, but that’s been rectified with the iPad 2, and with a variety of other tablets launching in 2011. Considering the presence of a camera, audio recording capabilities, and a mobile broadband connection, the potential for tablets to be used by consumers as multimedia content creation and publishing devices is huge. Some users are taking advantage of these tablet capabilities, and marketers have the opportunity to find ways to leverage this user-generated content. Given that marketers prefer engaged consumers over passive ones, there should be a rush to get users involved in online activities that entertain or inform while also delivering a branded message. This is the next generation of web marketing. Companies are increasingly fostering user engagement across social networking platforms, but they’re still a step behind when it comes to the mobile web. As a result, examples of mobile websites that leverage user-generated content for marketing are few and far between, even though tablets offer new potential for this kind of engagement. Here are some ideas for possible future website initiatives designed with tablets in mind. Ideas for Getting Tablet Users to Contribute Content 1. Encourage User Design – Allow users to submit their own photos, and provide tools for them to paste those images into a virtual setting. This type of application works well for a number of scenarios, including home decorating and home renovation. Similar applications already appear on home and DIY television shows, and the approach easily transfers to the mobile web on a tablet device. Tablet Advantage: The high-resolution, touch-screen interface on a tablet makes it the perfect canvas for design. 2. Build an Interactive Itinerary – Convey the experience of any location with an interactive web application. Give consumers a flavor of what they might experience at a particular location by allowing them to select and arrange by touch different elements including photos, videos, maps, animations, and more. Allow them to create an interactive itinerary, and then share it with others online. Tablet Advantage: Tablets are built for media consumption, and can be used to create a unique, immersive experience on the go. 3. Create Custom Comic Strips – Give users a choice of short comic strips that highlight brand attributes of your product or service. Ask them to upload their own photos (which can be taken on the spot), run those photos through a special effects filter, and output customized comic strip versions that users can view on their tablets and share with friends. Tablet Advantage: The large-screen, high-resolution display on a tablet makes comic strips easier and more enjoyable to view on the go.3 Ways to Make Your Site Tablet-Worthy Share this report: Page 4