Tag Archives: mobile Blog

Email Rules!

Email has often been maligned as a modern medium, but the numbers prove differently.

… that clunky relic of the early days of the web is actually the most popular form of communication online and its popularity is increasing year on year. And not just amongst the more mature, one of email’s biggest user groups, according to Adobe, is millennials.

A recent Adobe study shows that email is the most preferred means of receiving communications, including promotions from brands, especially on mobile devices. It’s highly used by all age groups and most demographics, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Learn more about the modern-day power of email: http://bit.ly/2wTmThr

Updating Web Forms for Mobile

Today, all things digital must be usable and provide value on mobile devices. Web forms, one of the most mundane but essential elements of user interaction, is no exception, especially considering that almost every form of online transaction is conducted, and much valuable data is collected, using forms. Here are some tips on updating your forms to make them more effective on mobile: http://bit.ly/2lN1oYO

And Now, the Right to Disconnect

Leave it to the French to put a balance on things. It had to start somewhere because digital devices are wearing people out. And now the French government is doing something about it. They’ve passed a law making it illegal for companies with more than 50 employees to contact their people after hours. This forced untethering is long overdue considering how smartphones dominate so much of our lives, interrupting moments, fracturing conversations, and marginalizing face-to-face relationships. We’ve become addicted, and by definition, helpless to help ourselves.

Will this new law stick? Personally, I don’t think so. People want to be connected, it seems, beyond all reason, so it’s likely that the stress of disconnecting and possibly missing some bit of information will be even greater than the stress of not having to obey the next ping in your pocket.

The cat’s out of the bag. Once connected always connected. And like marriage, that’s for better or for worse.

Read full article: http://bit.ly/1VlYqGA

Mobile Rising

As if we needed more proof that the world has gone mobile, FB is ending its desktop advertising platform. The numbers in this article paint a clear picture why. http://cnb.cx/1Wl0ShB

What should we do in the face of the mobile juggernaut? Create a separate mobile website? How about an app? You can avoid the cost and hassle of both these options by converting your existing site to a responsive design. Very simply, responsive design uses simple browser technology to automatically reconfigure a typical website based on the size of the screen being used to view it. In other words, responsive websites look great on big desktop screens, little phones, and everything else in between.

Going responsive may require a redesign of your existing web presence, but the benefits can be huge when considering how many people are accessing the web and email via smartphones today. And responsive is far less costly than developing an app or separate mobile site. Also, going responsive would be a good reason to convert to WordPress, the free, open-source platform for web development that’s become so popular. Most WordPress themes are responsive right out of the box. Plus you’ll get all the other benefits that come with using WordPress.

Opting Out of Verizon Tracking

Many people don’t mind their online activity being monitored by other websites who use the data to present ads in context, using users’ habits to deliver ads that are relevant to their interests. Some people, however, don’t care to be tracked, especially when it’s the device makers who are doing the tracking. Recently it’s been discovered that Verizon is doing this, and enough people have spoken out against it that Verizon has announced a means to opt out (opted in is the device default).

Last year, Verizon and AT&T made headlines when researchers discovered they had been engaging in some unsavory customer tracking techniques, using unique identifier numbers or “perma-cookies” to track the websites that customers visited on their cellular devices to deliver targeted advertisements, a practice called “Relevant Advertising.”

The following article details how to opt out, for Verizon users that choose to do so. But it looks like having our every move online tracked is the new normal.

Read full article: http://bit.ly/2mqL7tS

Questioning the Value of Apps

We all know it’s an ‘app world’ now, and that users love the simplicity of one-trick apps that elegantly do things they want to do. But the following article brings up a lot of reasons why apps aren’t always so great. It begins by questioning why the majority of apps are even created in the first place. It also touches on the many problems that come with app development versus developing for the web for mobile platforms — problems that usually result in frustration due to greatly reduced feature sets and restrictive interfaces from what users are accustomed to on websites.

Have you ever tried actually using the Amazon app on iOS, Android, and Windows? … the Amazon app is a frustrating morass of missing and incomplete functions from the website. Sure, maybe you don’t need the full breadth of Amazon functions on your phone, though that’s debatable on a tablet. But natural web conveniences like opening links in new tabs, sharing links, the back button, searching within the page, and zooming in and out are available inconsistently, if at all.

And of course there’s the issue of privacy. What exactly are some of these apps accessing on your device? And how much additional data can they collect when users choose an app over the website?

Ultimately people will choose the best experience. Just because you offer an app doesn’t mean anyone will want it. App strategies must offer something totally unique, or so useful that users can’t live without it. Convenience on mobile devices is a good reason for creating an app, but not if it is so ill-thought out that users become frustrated.

Personally, I use lots of apps — mostly clever utilities that allow my devices to do cool or useful things like photo editing, FTP or synchronized note taking. But I usually reject apps and just use websites when it comes to information, e-commerce and search. I even resist mobile versions of websites, since I find most of them so feature-restricted and inconsistent with their full web counterparts. In fact, my favorite link on most mobile websites is the ‘view desktop version’ link, usually found at the bottom — present if the website owner understands that  users want to decide how to interact with them.

It may be an ‘app world,’ but that doesn’t mean that every app is necessary or even good. My advice is to not create an app for its own sake. But do create one when you can offer something so good that there’s no other way to deliver it.

Read full article: http://blog.codinghorror.com/app-pocalypse-now/

Internet Trends Report

Knowing how and where people get information is the best way to know how and where to deliver our messages and services. With that in mind, Kleiner Perkins analyst Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report is a valuable compilation of research and observation that sheds light in these areas to help us keep up with the constantly changing business/tech landscape. This year’s report, delivered at the recent “All Things Digital” conference, highlights several notable trends.

The move to mobile is in full throttle. Laptop and desktop sales will continue to decline as smartphone and tablets become the devices of choice in the ‘Post PC” era. Apple and Samsung claimed a combined 51% market share of global smartphone unit sales in Q4 2012, making them the dominant players in the field.

  • Tablets are being adopted even more quickly than smartphones. Measuring the first 12 quarters after launch, iPads have sold 3-times faster than iPhones. Tablet sales also eclipsed sales of desktops and laptops for Q4 2012, and projections are that annual tablet shipments will surpass laptops in 2013, and total PCs in 2015.
  • Mobile Internet traffic is now 15% of total global internet traffic.
  • Time spent with print and radio continue to trend downward while TV and Internet remain steady. Mobile, on the other hand, continues to trend upward. Interestingly, the money advertisers spend on print is 4-times greater than the time spent there, while money spent on mobile advertising is one-fourth the time spent, pointing to a $20B opportunity as advertisers catch up.

The entire presentation is 117 slides and provides information on topics including media, global browsing, and wearable tech.

View full report: [no longer available]

The Mobile Challenge and Opportunity

Everyone is talking about the shift to mobile devices. We can expect changes in the way business is done and how people get information as smartphones and tablets continue to proliferate. This article points to three strategic problems that businesses must solve as  workforces become more mobile.

Just as the internet fundamentally changed consumer behaviour and the way we do business in the 1990s, the continued rise of mobile is set to be a major disruptive force over the next decade … That is backed up by a recent Gartner survey of 2,000 chief information officers (CIOs) worldwide, with 70% putting mobile top of the list ahead of other trends such as big data, social media and cloud computing as the technology that will disrupt established business models most for the next 10 years.

There are many benefits, mostly economic, that will drive the spread of mobile technology. In our own businesses, it’s a good time to develop strategies to meet our customers and partners when they’re on the go.

Read full article: http://linkd.in/130cV6a

Some Trends to Watch in Digital Media

The twin forces of mobile and social are creating changes across the board for online businesses.  While it can appear overwhelming, there are opportunities if we grasp the trends and develop plans to position us “on the wave.” Here are five interesting trends that will continue to grow and, as a result, change things in ways that cause us to further adapt as the digital world speeds on.

We are all simultaneously creating, being disrupted by and exploiting an incredible array of changes in the way our digital world works. While these shifts can sometimes seem overwhelming because they are proliferating and accelerating so fast, their broad themes can be simplified to help us understand their underlying meaning.

  1. Multi-Screen Proliferation
  2. Advertising Precision
  3. Accelerating Automation
  4. Interruptive to Native
  5. Static to Real-Time

Read full article: http://linkd.in/18e9HAo

Apps vs Browsers? No Contest. It’s Apps!

When apps — you know, those little applications that run on smartphones and tables? —  first came out a few years ago, a debate arose over which were better, apps or mobile websites, and which consumers would prefer. Developers thought that offering tailored services through a browser was much more desirable, from both cost and usability standpoints, rather than apps, which users had to update constantly, and that developers would have to maintain for several platforms. But consumers, hands down, have chosen apps. There’s something about these little one-trick ponies that are so easy to use that people like.

In this recent report from Flurry, a mobile analytics and advertising platform, it’s clear that apps command the most time spent on mobile devices by a whopping 4-to-1 ratio, and therefore are something consumers want.

Today, the U.S. consumer spends an average of 2 hours and 38 minutes per day on smartphones and tablets. 80% of that time (2 hours and 7 minutes) is spent inside apps and 20% (31 minutes) is spent on the mobile web. Apps (and Facebook) are commanding a meaningful amount of consumers’ time. All mobile browsers combined … control 20% of consumers’ time. Gaming apps remain the largest category of all apps with 32% of time spent. Facebook is second with 18%, and Safari is 3rd with 12% Worth noting is that a lot of people are consuming web content from inside the Facebook app. For example, when a Facebook user clicks on a friend’s link or article, that content is shown inside its web view without launching a native web browser, which keeps the user in the app. So if we consider the proportion of Facebook app usage that is within their web view,  we can assert that Facebook has become the most adopted browser in terms of consumer time spent.

The article covers several more interesting points about apps, but the take-away is, it’s time to think about how we can use apps to best server our customers, and explore what other economies can apps provide. People are using them, so offering them will become a differentiator in the burgeoning mobile world.

Read full article: [no longer available]