A few of us Webcredible-types headed over to the groovy offices of Yahoo! in London yesterday to participate in the IMRG mobile workshop.
Abid Warsi, a senior consultant at Webcredible and mobile expert, was speaking about mobile user experience and usability best practice. In addition to our slot, there were excellent speakers from Akamai, ComScore, IBM, Yahoo!, Elastic Path & NEOVIA Financial/Handy Group.
It was a very interesting morning session with a great deal of lively debate on some very pertinent issues. I was particularly interested in a discussion of how mobile fits into the broader multi-channel experience of consumers.
Like many, I’ve always felt that mobile (or any other single channel) shouldn’t be treated in isolation when developing the communications and engagement around your commercial proposition. In my experience, if you do, you invariably allow technologically-led factors to drive the consumer user experience. This is not to say that you shouldn’t form a mobile strategy or take advantage of innovative enabling technologies to optimise your proposition. However, I think it’s best to ground your mobile strategy within your consumers’ overall journey and an understanding of their context of use.
In reality mobile is good for some things and poor for others. Carrying out research to learn about your audience’s behaviour, goals and needs will help determine at which point to use mobile activation (whether it’s an iPhone app, optimised mobile website, SMS messaging or whatever) or perhaps a completely different channel during the overall journey to hit the right spot.
By taking this broad view of your service proposition you can be confident that you’re using the most appropriate tool for the job at the right step in the journey depending on whether your consumers are at home, on the move, abroad or literally just around the corner from the flagship bricks and mortar store.
There’s no doubt about it. With the number of UK Smartphone users set to increase exponentially over the next few years and the planned explosion of broadband connectivity (as part of the Digital Britain agenda) the importance of digital is not to be underestimated. Clearly. But, as I discussed in a previous article on service design, you need to make sure you join up your mobile, online and offline thinking to come up with a coherent story and high-quality service for happy shoppers.