5 things everyone should know about mobile UX


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Presented at UX Australia 2012, Brisbane Australia.

Designing for mobile is challenging. Here are 5 things which everyone should be considering when they create their mobile strategy, such as “having an app isn’t everything” and “context is everything”.

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  • First tip – context is everything!You need to understand how and where people are using your mobile productIt’s very different from desktop – sitting at a desk vs standing on a trainWhat’s their constraints, how much time do they have before they put their phone away?
  • Thisis what I see when I leave work for the day – lots of cars and peopleIt takes me about 7 or 8 minutes to get to the train platformI want to check if I need to rush or if I can meander to the train
  • TheTripView app allows me to see how long I have until the train leaves – 1 min, 6 mins or 11 mins
  • This is the NSW Gov version of the sameappThere are many many things wrong with this appThe biggest issue is they haven’t considered the context of use – “I need to find out when my next train is NOW!”. It is also difficult to see at a glance (remember I’m walking across the road) to see how many minutes until the next train.
  • Consider all channels not just mobileWhat other channels will customers interact with your productExample is to post a parcel to MelbourneThe app is only part of the solution / only one channel of the experience
  • How many people have been told “we need an app” by a senior manager?I’m not going to go into detail about the difference between responsive design and a native appBUT what I want you to realise is there are lots of options available and you need to choose one that is right for the users, their context and business goals
  • For example,SMH designed a mobile optimised site and then later they built an appSome would argue that they should never have bothered with the app – especially if the app store ratings are anything to go byNeed to make sure we’ve got the right solution, not just because “we need an app”
  • Start with the simplest of features then introduce other features progressivelyExample is Bunnings Warehouse mobile optimised site – they only had a Store Finder 12 months ago
  • A few months later they had introduced the “Our Range” section
  • A few months after that, they introduced giftcards, wishlist and DIY videosThey’ve taken the time, got each feature right, understood the usage and progressively enhanced the design
  • Testing is essential – we don’t yet know how people use their mobilesWe haven’t “cracked” the best way of testing on mobiles – in a usability lab is not realistic! Putting people on a treadmill and asking them to walk?? Following them on their way to work?? Regardless – any testing will be better than none!I’d love to hear your views.
  • Summary of the 5 tips
  • 5 things everyone should know about mobile UX

    1. 1. 5 things everyone should know about Mobile UXFrankie Madden@frankiemadden @stamfordux
    2. 2. Mobile stats 57% of Aussies 15% of Aussie homes have smartphones have tabletshttp://www.smartcompany.com.au/information-technology/049727-57-of- http://www.nielsen.com/au/en/news-insights/press-room/2012/australia_s-multi-australians-have-smartphones-adoption-rates-outpace-the-us-and-europe.html screen-report-for-q1--2012-shows-television-vi.html
    3. 3. Mobile stats 30.5% iOS 56.9% Androidhttp://www.cnet.com.au/android-clear-mobile-os-leader-in-australia-339340792.htm
    4. 4. Understand context of use
    5. 5. Understand context of use
    6. 6. Understand context of use
    7. 7. Understand context of use
    8. 8. Consider all channels
    9. 9. An app isn’t always the answer
    10. 10. An app isn’t always the answer 10
    11. 11. Start simple
    12. 12. Start simple
    13. 13. Start simple
    14. 14. Test test test
    15. 15. Frankie’s top 5 Mobile UX tips1: Understand context of use2. Consider all channels3. An app isnt always the answer4. Start simple5. Test test test
    16. 16. Frankie Madden@frankiemadden @stamfordux
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