Mobile is the new face of engagement

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Photo from JDHancock

New Forrester Research Report:

1 billion consumers will own smartphones by 2016, with U.S. users owning 257 million smartphones and 126 million tablets.

By 2016, 350 million employees will use smartphones, with 200 million of them bringing their own.

Mobile spending will reach $1.3 trillion by 2016, or 35 percent of the technology economy, with the app market generating $56 billion by 2015.

Apple, Google and Microsoft are expected to control 91 percent of the U.S. smartphone market and 98 percent of the U.S. tablet market by 2016.

Businesses are expected to double their spending on mobile projects by 2015.

Mobile Money

Simply the best summary I have seen so far.

Shamelessly ripped from fast company.

Mobile Money

It its a bit squinty and/or you can’t be bothered screengrabbing yourself, drop me a mail and I’ll send you mine…

Basically Apple/Google will fight it out after everyone gets sidelined due to great consumer relationships, retailer pull and market leading smartphones. (Spoiler alert) And the Googleplex will probably win.


Nokia blues

Nokia: Culture will out

A wonderful series of insights from Adam Greenfield (Formerly head of design direction for service and user-interface design at Nokia)

I’m even using his cheery photo through Nokia’s window.

He writes on the contrast between the daily and weekly rhythms of work in his own practice, and what he saw during two years at Nokia.

Executive summary: “Despite the omnipresent burden of responsibility, and the inherent risk of failure, there’s an excitement and pleasure in working on one’s own behalf that was for the most part missing entirely from my Nokian experience. The word I keep coming back to, in my head, is “unbound,” and it’s an unbelievably lovely and liberating sensation.”

His new experiences indicate why you shouldn’t look for innovation from large organizations. Of course its also a comment on Nokia’s recent and ongoing troubles. Read the rest of this entry »

15 Incredible mobile stats

Someone sent me this so I’m not sure of its source but it does list its sources.

Mobile marketing stats

Mobile phones dominate in South Africa

South africa tech

From the Neilsen blog.

As I spend half my time there and its where my family live, here’s some really interesting stats:

More Africans have access to mobile phones than to clean drinking water

In South Africa, the continent’s strongest economy, mobile phone use has gone from 17 percent of adults in 2000 to 76 percent in 2010.

Today, more South Africans – 29 million – use mobile phones than radio (28 million), TV (27 million) or personal computers (6 million).

Only 5 million South Africans use landline phones.

Quite staggering

Travel is the benchmark for mobile

Iphone travel app pack
(image from Lifehacker)

An article at Tnooz from Jason Taylor, VP of platform strategy at Usablenet which outlines why the travel industry has found itself as the benchmark for mobile with early adopters among business travellers driving the overall market forward for other verticals. There’s quite a lot I would add but this exactly why I chose to work where I do!

To summarise:

Business travelers were one of the the first to rely on their mobile phones to access the Internet for productivity purposes, and importantly, this demographic was also the first that could afford smartphones – with companies subsidizing the cost of best-in-class mobile devices to keep their employees productive while on the road.

The reality of business travelers using the mobile web in large numbers resulted in travel companies being the first to optimize specifically for the channel – with airlines to hotels to all companies in the travel ecosystem devoting significant resources to develop mobile sites and apps.

Some milestones:

1. Mobile commerce – in 2006 Amtrak became the first travel company to launch an optimized mobile site that offered transactions to all Internet-enabled mobile devices.

2. Reaching a global mobile audience – in 2007 Northwest Airlines became the first truly international mobile site by introducing support of 13 Asian languages.

3. Leveraging mobile apps for increased brand loyalty – In the hotel industry, Omni Hotels was the first to offer mobile applications for the iPhone and BlackBerry – recognizing the need for dedicated native apps on the major mobile platforms.

4. Location-aware features enhance the mobile travel experience – in 2011 Expedia was among the first to incorporate location-aware features into its optimized mobile site by leveraging new HTML5 technologies – allowing features like push notifications to be more easily accessible to the traveler.
Also Expedia is innovating in location and mobile is by leveraging the smartphone’s internal GPS to offer travelers the ability to search for hotels with same day vacancies near their physical location.

Choosing simple design isn’t always so simple


See the whole interactive panorama at Gilles Vidal’s photography site

Designing for the mobile is often seen as a process of simplification or an effort to “strip out functionality to the core essence of the service.”

Simplicity in design should be a given but is the process of ‘mobilization not miniaturisation” as straightforward?

Interesting perspective here which raises some very good thoughts.

In essence a highly complex functional product can have a “clean” interface – think Google or a product with few features can look cluttered – think Craigslist.

Interestingly portals, dashboards etc. can look very cluttered but are made up of simple elements (see pic above!) The key to making these systems easy to use is to work on matching displays to mental models, and training users on the proper mental models.

Given that growth is inevitable due to added functionality or scale (discuss? – actually I don’t agree with that) an original clean interface may simply stop working. But then pushing things too far to simplify may mean that users are unable to complete their key goals.

This puts it quite well.