Developing an Interface for the Future of Mass Market Software Distribution (Informa Mobile UX, 2010)

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Strategies to improve app store content discovery.

Strategies to improve app store content discovery.

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  • 1. Developing an Interface for the Future of Mass Market Software Distribution presented by Stephanie Rieger Informa Mobile User Experience Conference: 18, November 2009
  • 2. 8 ways to improve the app store user experience (that don’t involve squeezing more stuff onto a small screen)
  • 3. what I will not talk about
  • 4. who has a store
  • 5. what it looks like
  • 6. the platforms it supports
  • 7. the ecosystem around it
  • 8. its billing mechanisms
  • 9. revenue models
  • 10. its politics
  • 11. or, the number of apps in the store
  • 12. these things are all (incredibly) important, so important that...
  • 13. stores that are launched on a whim, have low reach and unpopular tools, policies or platforms will eventually have to adapt, re-think...or go away
  • 14. and when the dust clears, it will simply leave a great big store full of content :-)
  • 15. so let’s take a closer look a the store
  • 16. stores have been around a long time and they all have one thing in common...
  • 17. products, or if you prefer...inventory CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidw/1245345652/in/set-72157601682265152
  • 18. they also share similar concerns...
  • 19. discovery CC-BY 2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/tracyhunter/101864931/
  • 20. search CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidw/1245345652/in/set-72157601682265152
  • 21. wayfinding CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/slybeck/25847359/
  • 22. and compete in similar ways...
  • 23. drawing you in CC BY 20 http://www.flickr.com/photos/roosterfarm/445442722/
  • 24. by impulse CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jetalone/2171035379/
  • 25. through need or convenience CC-BY 2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/bignavijp/3800631373/
  • 26. cost CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/2899006860/
  • 27. recommendation CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/glynnis/358502163/
  • 28. (pointless) differentiation CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/slybeck/25847359/
  • 29. opportunities for personalization CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/smith/81109/
  • 30. ...and service CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/scornish/1764306516/sizes/l/
  • 31. ...in other words, basic retailing and merchandising
  • 32. ok, but...the digital stores are different
  • 33. we have these things called databases
  • 34. endless shelf-space
  • 35. contextual advertising
  • 36. a decade of best-practices, design patterns
  • 37. algorithms, tagging, microformats...
  • 38. you can find anything, anytime
  • 39. intelligently target and profile everyone
  • 40. recommendation is practically “built-in”
  • 41. a lot of “real-world” problems just go away...
  • 42. or do they...?
  • 43. TIP #1: plan for ‘real people’
  • 44. app stores see content as inventory (which it is...)
  • 45. except people don’t actually want inventory
  • 46. when people make a purchase, they are looking to fulfill a need
  • 47. play celebrate reciprocate make friends solve a problem share explore they want to feel comforted communicate show off save face feel happy
  • 48. because unlike computers, people are fickle, unpredictable...complicated
  • 49. but app stores, tend to view people like this + + 1 person 1 phone 1 culture
  • 50. when in fact...
  • 51. “not available in the UK store” user accounts assume one-region
  • 52. few stores consider (or enable) a multi-device experience
  • 53. real people also shop for other people
  • 54. gifting apps or content
  • 55. + gifting + out of box experience
  • 56. TIP #2: Prioritize metadata
  • 57. Board games: page 1 of 70 the more popular your app store is, the less useful categories become
  • 58. ...so then there’s search
  • 59. but indexing this is not exactly easy
  • 60. so search has to rely on metadata provided by app vendors (which might be fine if these guys were metadata experts) http://www.flickr.com/photos/haimediagroup/2402295757/
  • 61. Case study: iStockphoto online content marketplace
  • 62. 5+ million items for sale 70,000+ artist contributors detailed approval process primary discovery mechanism: search
  • 63. detailed (curated) and tiered categories
  • 64. disambiguation taxonomies & assisted keyword generation
  • 65. TIP #3: Editorial is your friend
  • 66. roll up your sleeves and actually look at the content :-)
  • 67. iStockphoto again...
  • 68. Not needed Needed files (i.e. closed category) inventory management: open and closed categories
  • 69. TIP #4: Help them, help you
  • 70. think of it as a partnership
  • 71. if vendors look good, you look good and vice versa
  • 72. proactively simplify their pain points
  • 73. iStockphoto again...
  • 74. manage vendor expectations increases approval rate clarify guidelines (e.g. IP, legal) training manual
  • 75. another example...Apple
  • 76. remember these guys? http://www.urbanartguide.de/ making an app is easy, making an icon...not so much
  • 77. icon glow can be disabled if needed start with this automated corner radius and transparency icons made effortless
  • 78. TIP #5: Make it personal
  • 79. “staff picks” make things more personal, now take them to the next level
  • 80. iStockphoto again...
  • 81. 1% of overall collection premium cost iStockphoto, Vetta collection premium content hand-picked by domain experts + higher royalties for vendors
  • 82. TIP #6: Make it acessible
  • 83. a lot of purchases just happen
  • 84. people stumble-upon stuff they want while doing other stuff...
  • 85. so discovery is hard to architect
  • 86. if you make it insanely easy to reach your content (from any platform) you start to see stuff like this....
  • 87. iPhone apps movie marketing
  • 88. TV + desktop Click to buy from the App Store Jamie Oliver (TV + web tie-in)
  • 89. which can then come full-circle...
  • 90. “iPhone Apps from TV Ads” with stuff like this...
  • 91. TIP #7: Explore other touchpoints
  • 92. offline app sales could be a natural extension for certain stores
  • 93. here’s how they could work...
  • 94. Duoguo mobile content stores and kiosks in China http://duoguo.cn
  • 95. ...and a less formal (and legal) variant in Thailand
  • 96. and it’s not just an “Asian thing”...
  • 97. “would you like a Google app with that?” + Best Buy “Walk Out Working” service http://bestbuyinc.com/news_center/11-05-09/best-buy%C2%AE-mobile-announces-partnership-google-co-market-google-mobile-app
  • 98. now what if...
  • 99. destination stores... True Urban Park, Bangkok buy a mobile... some books, or music.... bring your laptop... have a coffee... and buy some apps...?
  • 100. Apple stores Microsoft retail even better if you can make it an activity CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/smith/81109/
  • 101. TIP #8: Consider segmentation
  • 102. we’re familiar with segmentation in other industries
  • 103. “great fashion, “accessible luxury” great prices” “iconic style” fashion
  • 104. Cadillac Chevrolet GMC automotive
  • 105. so far, app stores are selling pretty much any app that passes the acceptance criteria
  • 106. but segments are emerging which could justify a “store within a store”
  • 107. the “pass-back” apps for kids
  • 108. adult
  • 109. business/enterprise
  • 110. personal shopping “money--but no time”
  • 111. and a final tip: if you’re not in it for the long run, get out while you still can :-)
  • 112. thank you steph@yiibu.com