There are an increasingly number of users on a daily basis who are converting to mobile with smartphones and tablets PC’s. The demand for access to mobile content is growing exponentially without any signs of slowing down.
The immense popularity of these mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs are as a result challenging marketers who are required to properly translate the actual user experience from the desktop computer to mobile websites and applications. For developers and website designers, their challenge is to read the trends and then translate the results.
Attempting to analyze an existing site so it will work in a mobile environment isn’t really considered an effective mobile strategy. Websites designed for desktops just target those computer users with the gigantic resolution screens while providing limited interaction, while at times just ignoring mobile users who have completely different needs altogether.
Needing to continuously scroll because of a website’s wider screen to fit their smaller mobile devices may eventually alienate the users. What may be even worse is that it may open the door for your competitors to take away your market share by they leveraging the value of what mobility offers. They do so by complying to the mobile users experience.
So whether it’s a mobile site or an application, offering mobile services can provide a serious jolt to brand penetration as well as an increase in e-commerce sales. Each of these will set the stage by increasing better analytics, customer loyalty and targeted promotions.
It’s not about knowing what you’re able to do, it’s more about understanding what you should be doing to make an overall better user experience regardless of the device used.
What offering better online experiences does is it defines the perception of your business, which improves productivity, increases sales while reducing costs in the long run.
To ensure that you provide the most effective experience for your users, the developers, designers and marketers need to collaborate together. Marketing executives however will continue to overlook the key methods of providing insight as well as direction to their site designers which defines the proper user experience. The following considerations should be looked at for guiding better mobile site development.
Defining A Mobile Strategy
• Are all of the business objectives defined? How fast you get to market is vitally important, but what’s equally important is setting the business objectives as well as the mobile strategy before the development process begins
• What role does e-commerce play in your business? Shoppers are currently using apps for their purchases since it’s more convenient to make these purchases using apps than using a mobile website shopping cart
• Are you placing enough investment in the actual design? Without it, return on investment as well as competitive edge could easily be at risk
Know What The Mobile Consumers Are Looking For
It’s important to learn what the mobile users are wanting in a mobile site. Investing in the process is a better higher quality development method which will often make or break the mobile process. Marketers need to work with their Website developers to answer a few basic questions before beginning the mobile experience.
• What’s the exact demographic breakdown of your particular consumer base?
• How can your process be utilized better to distinguish your brand from your competitors?
• What are your potential customers wanting to do or achieve when they’re using their mobiles?
• What are the mobile features that you need to include so you can establish better brand loyalty?
• What are the mobile customers required to do? How are they expected to effectively navigate through your site and how’s the experience.
• How are you planning to process the online data? How can you use the mobile analytics so you can improve your presence.
Once Your Mobile Issues Are Known The Design Process Can Begin
Designing The Overall User Experience
Mobile sites and apps are usually used in a variety of different ways. What needs to be considered is how the content is managed in each of the environments.
A traditional desktop website content model will not adapt well to the mobile users experience since these users have a completely different mindset than the desktop users. The goal is creating an unique mobile experience altogether.
What the developers originally did was just miniaturized their current desktop websites to fit the mobile screen. What happened however was that their brands and logo’s usually didn’t show well since they’re scrunched down to be viewed on a mobile.
What these mobile sites as well as apps need to offer is more concise content that’s shorter and more relevant for a mobile user who’s usually on the run. So better functionality as well as features are required.
If a better content-rich experience is required, then a better mobile strategy is to just redirect their users to a desktop site which offers better in-depth content.
Solving Mobile Interaction
The majority of all mobile devices are generally constructed differently. Smartphones and tablets both use completely different interaction mechanisms so these issues need to be acknowledged and resolved.
• How will you be able to adapt the design of your desktop site and change it to the different user interface as well as the touch navigation on the mobile devices
• Are there capabilities and features in a mobile device which could be applied towards the overall mobile experience. Features such as on-board cameras, back buttons, touch screening and voice recognition
There are several methods to craft mobile sites which takes full advantage of all their unique characteristics offered by a smartphone, so as a result, there are various way to do it.
It’s important to consider the device itself along with its interaction between the hardware and the application when designing a successful implementation plan.
Which Is Better A Mobile Site Or An App
Although the mobile site and the mobile app are both delivered on the same mobile platform, they’re not the same in function. The entire marketing world is aware of the proliferation of all the various mobile apps on the market, so it’s important to know that a brand is able to deliver its customers both mobile experiences on their mobile site.
Although there’s been an increase in the availability of applications recently on the market, what’s trending however is that the mobile users are beginning to visit mobile sites a lot more.
So this movement towards mobile sites should be taken into consideration when you’re deciding whether you need a mobile site or an app, or both.
As far as marketers go, it’s important to avoid all of the hype and falling into the temptation to develop a sexy mobile app for your brand without bothering to consider what a mobile site can offer. Listed are some issues which should help in making the proper decision for your product or brand:
Advantages Of Mobile Sites Over Mobile Apps
• CSS3 and HTML5 for mobile site construction will make available a lot of cool and exciting features which are currently available on the apps. Features such as offline app support, geo-location, gesture and facial recognition support and the ability for all the mobile devices to be able to access video as well as audio
• Mobile sites will render and function properly on any mobile platform or browser
• Any updates will immediately appear on the users’ devices automatically
• There’s no approval process for mobile sites that’s required for apps
• The new trend is there’s more mobile users who are accessing the mobile Web than downloading and using apps
• A well constructed single mobile site can be supported by most of the mobile platforms, this saving on the costly development of creating an app for each mobile platform
Advantages Of Mobile Apps
• Users are spending a lot more time using their apps than they do on their Web browser. They will also return more often after the app is installed on their device
• Premier placement opportunities in the various App marketplaces allows customers to find your app easier
• The users interface is designed specific for the particular platform as well as the form factor on which the app will be used
• Apps are able to use the phones native functionality, such as the GPS, digital camera, offline usage, voice recognition and push notifications
• Apps provide for easier E-commerce capabilities allowing quicker checkout by using central marketplaces such as iTunes
Getting Your Foot Into Mobile
Just as mobile services are able to uplift brands, competitiveness and sales figures, a poorly executed mobile user experience will erode brand loyalty, resulting in potential lost revenue.
The best method for a company who wants to offer mobile access for their product or brand is to integrate a sound mobile plan of attack into their overall strategy.
Perhaps the most important consideration may be the actual experience which you’re ultimately creating for your customer. Is it to make the transaction of the ecommerce process easier, or is it to better share your marketing message which exposes and highlights your brand.