One of the biggest questions facing my clients is "What should we mobilize?". The nuts and bolts of HOW to mobilize are actually a lot simpler than figuring out WHAT to mobilize. The mobile environment creates both an opportunity and a challenge for the Product Owner - we now need to get reacquainted with our end-users, learn their behaviors in the mobile context, and what's important to them on-the-go. The opportunity is in discovering a new facet of your target customer and discovering a new way to connect with them and fill a need. (If you don't fill the customer need....... someone else will).
The Golden Rule
The Golden Rule of Mobile application design: your mobile customers WANT TO FIND and DON'T WANT TO BROWSE. You want to create that eureka moment for your end-user as soon as the app loads, without requiring a lot of end-user interaction to get them there. Here's one of my favorite examples:
QVC is a large direct to consumer retailer with mainly a television based business. But they translated their TV sales approach into a highly functional and product rich online e-Commerce site. The website has a wealth of navigation options for refining the browsing experience and arriving at exactly the product you are looking for. Navigation is organized by product category, brand, type, etc... When translating the website experience to the mobile context they stepped away from navigation and just present the most relevant products based on -
- what's on air now
- items other customers have indicated as "top rated",
- the special value of the day.
Use Existing Analytics to Drive Mobile App Approach
Anticipate the end-users need, use existing website analytics info to drive this. If you have a desktop browser based site, then chances are you already have some great insight into what your visitors find most useful on the site. Use existing website analytics to determine what also might be most useful in the mobile context. Not only what features are useful but also what OS and browsers are your visitors coming from.
Make it Useful, Useable, and Delightful
It needs to be relevant and fill a need now be easy and fun to use. The example I think of is Shazam.
- It answers that question "What song is that" in the moment (useful).
- Simple to use(useable).
- And who doesn't love watching that icon spin before spitting out the song you are listening to? And how DOES it work? How DOES it know what song I am listening to? (delightful).
There are a lot of ways to skin a cat but to make your app sticky it has to be fun to use, in addition to filling an immediate need. As described in the book Tapworthy most people use their mobile apps when they:
- are micro-tasking,
- want to know what's near me now,
- or are bored.
Keeping these simple ideas in mind when designing your app will help give your app and your brand the contextual relevance needed to make it sticky.