Should your company have a mobile website?
Patagonia’s content marketing strategy is the kind of thing we are always gabbing about at our industry events and the like. It’s easy to reference and they’ve been doing a great job for a long time, particularly in the digital space. Giselle Abramovich, from Digiday put out a great piece on them last week that made me think about how we can learn from Patagonia’s insights. It’s a great article, not very long and worth a read if you have the time. To me, the quotes from Bill Boland, Patagonia’s Digital Creative Director are the most interesting part of the article because they are so clear and insightful.
“Our content stays away from the hard sell,” said Bill Boland, Patagonia’s digital creative director. “But we are finding that our customers are interested in talking about our products.
At ThoughtMatrix, we believe usability testing should be done early and often. Not only are well-tested sites and applications better from a user-experience standpoint, they save on support, re-design and re-development costs. One drawback however is the considerable time, effort and dollars often associated with testing. A great way to alleviate this resource burden is by utilizing remote testing. Remote testing uses many of the same methods of data collection and reporting you would use in a lab setting but does so more efficiently and often more effectively.
In our first article, we discussed the amazing flexibility that responsive design offers. But this flexibility comes with a price that might negatively affect your fastest-growing audiences – mobile and tablet users. While offering a flexible layout, responsive design requires the latest browsers, more code, and large images. In short, responsive layouts can be bandwidth hogs and resource-intensive to render. This affects users on the move, where bandwidth is the scarcest, and where processors lack the raw power of their desktop predecessors.
Users of Gmail, iGoogle, Google Voice, and the like may be familiar with Google Play, but as with the rollout of most Google offerings, this one has been flying under the radar. For the uninformed, it’s Google’s answer to competitors like Apple’s iTunes, iBooks and App Store, and Amazon’s catalog of videos, TV, music, books, apps and more. In this post, I’lll cover some pros and cons.
With mobile smartphone use growing at such an astounding pace, I’m constantly amazed that there are still so many top-tier companies that do not have a dedicated mobile website experience. I believe that this rapid growth seems to be outpacing many IT and marketing executives’ ability to digest and grasp how mobile is going to drastically affect their business growth – particularly in the consumer space.
With mobile, the year 2012 will be a unique parallel to 1996-97, when many industry titans were caught with their pants down by the speed at which web use grew, and were unable to launch a compelling website faster than their competitors.
One of the most important factors in evaluating a website design is answering the question, “What is the average screen size my visitors will use to view my site?” Over the past few years, this evaluation process has become both more complex and more confusing due to the explosion of Internet-connected devices. Website access has shifted dramatically, and mobile/tablet browsing is expected to surpass desktop usage over the next two years.
At a recent TechWeek Chicago event, I presented the major technology trends that are changing how existing UX design processes are viewed and the new approaches companies can employ to stay ahead of these trends. Both “Lean UX” and the rapid growth of mobile browsing have contributed to our radical approach to reinventing teams and processes to meet the challenges of today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. This new approach is born out of two ideas circulating amongst the User Experience and App Development communities that moves away from traditional design processes to a more iterative and open approach and also considers developing for mobile users first as a means to focus the design.
For more detailed information on the forces driving rapid change in the UX Design field, watch the “What’s Next for UX” webinar that illustrates new approaches and presents practical methods to help design teams stay ahead of these trends. Watch the webinar now >
We all like to think other people use a website the same way we do; however, this simply isn’t true. Some people only scan or search sites, some dig deep into sections while others do both—everyone uses a site differently. These interactions are also affected by how usable your site is. People often think usability comes down to one thing—how easy your website is to navigate. But an often-overlooked aspect revolves around how easy it is for users to consume, interact or appreciate what you have to offer.
You might think video is an easy way to make your site more usable, especially since it has become increasingly easy to include on the web. But just putting video up on your site doesn’t automatically make it better or easier to use.
I had the pleasure of speaking to the students at the Chicago Tech Academy (CTA) this past week about my career in design and preparing themselves for a future career in design or tech. The school was started two years ago with generous private sector funding from local organizations, including the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) and CompTIA along with support from businesses like Microsoft and Cisco. The goal of the school is to help prepare students for success in college and technology-rich careers through an immersion in the entrepreneurial and tech business communities. The program also includes a double helping of English and math courses and active community involvement from industry leaders in the form of internships and mentoring programs.
SDL Innovate 2011 Santa Clara, CA—Having recently attended the SDL conference, one of the keynote speakers—Toby Bell, VP at Gartner Research— presented “Online Channel Optimization” which captivated the audience for two hours while he presented best practices and new research studies.