Ever since our last Market Insights event, our phones have been blowing up with your tweets, IMs, emails, texts, comments, pings...asking for more info about mobile first. App and you shall receive. We dialed up our expert panel and asked them a few follow up questions.
What are a couple key takeaways you hope that attendees got from the discussion of "Mobile First?"
It’s better to take a small step forward than to come up with a perfect plan to solve everything. Using an iterative process like this allows you to try something, measure it, and apply what you the next time you make a change. You’ll learn more and get more done.
"Mobile first” is a great place to begin. Focusing on the small screen forces you to look at the constraints and opportunities, and build solutions that work for a growing number of mobile users.
That being said, it’s the one of many steps in developing a truly great customer experience. You also have to understand who your customers are, what they need, and how your company help them do this. You can then create content, build applications, and orchestrate interactions that enrich their lives by helping them solve real problems.
Responsive design is a tactic that should support a greater strategy. It’s not a silver bullet — it simply solves a presentation problem. Displaying content better for mobile doesn't make the content itself better or more relevant for your users.
Responsive design is dated as a concept and limits the consumer experience. Begin to embrace adaptive web or RESS: Responsive Design + Server Side Components.
Web based tracking and cookie technologies aren't working as well in mobile. Server side technology solves this.
At a very tactical level, there is usually a lot of low-hanging fruit around optimizing for mobile. Ensure your emails present well on mobile. Make sure your location finder on your site works from a mobile device (and can auto-detect your location).
From a more strategic level, make sure you are providing a good mobile web experience. But instead of asking what app you should create to keep up with every other brand with an app, you should be thinking about the role of apps. Think about where they fit within your brand’s ecosystem, how they are supporting your goals, how are they being used in conjunction with other channels, and what repeat utility can it provide to you customers. You don’t want to just recreate your mobile web experience in an app, you want to provide something extra, something useful, something that will matter to you customers.
What additional thoughts do you have that are important?
Mobile media inventory is under-priced right now. It's smart to take advantage of low cost and high reach.
Wearables are certainly going to be a huge market, comparable in size (maybe even bigger) than smartphones. Also, the internet of things (IoT) is going to be huge as well. We've only scratched the surface, but expect to see a proliferation of devices centered around a common communication language in the next 12-18 months.
Will you recap the resources that you personally find valuable for staying current on this topic?
Design + Development
Boy Genius Report: great for gadgets and industry news.
GigaOM: solid industry insights with venture capital perspective.
Daring Fireball: blog by industry vet John Gruber.
The Verge: good techie/geeky site.
Wall Street Journal tech blog: wide range of tech/mobile insights.
Instapaper: a way to save articles that strips out ads for reading on phone or tablet.