Dialing Into the Customer Experience: Design For Mobile

In a time when mobile devices are relied on for everything from booking travel to tracking fitness regimens, consumers' expectations are often limited only by their imagination.  

Globally, mobile phone users generate five petabytes of data per day. How that data can now be analyzed, accessed and shared has the potential to transform the way we live and work — and how we engage with the organizations and brands we care about most.  

For example, the Quantified Self movement is becoming increasingly mainstream. The amount of data individuals produce on a daily basis – from sleep patterns to exercise, nutrition, spending habits and more – can be easily stored and accessed pervasively in the cloud, then shared via social media to fuel friendly competition with like-minded communities, or create personal systems to track goals.

Plus, brands that consumers have relationships with can apply analytics to that data to offer more targeted services and promotions.

With new uses for data analytics and emphasis on creating greater context for mobile interactions, there must be a heightened emphasis on effective mobile app development and design to capitalize on untapped opportunities. Mobile solutions must be designed to capture patterns of interaction and create consistent experiences across multiple device and platform types — whether it’s a smartwatch, phone or tablet.

With 80% of apps used once and then deleted, designing engaging apps that go beyond the basic Web experience and optimize it for mobile users requires strategic thinking about how to deliver greater mobile functionality -- through a consumer-oriented lens.  

There are several industries that are already demonstrating results based on improved user engagement. Consider a health-services app that allows physicians to work seamlessly with patient data and collaborate with nurses to improve decision-making at the point of care.  In addition, by incorporating functionality like push notifications, banks can go beyond enabling simple account balance inquiries to delivering timely, customized products and services where and when the customer needs them. 

Delivering an effective mobile customer experience is about designing for mobile from the outset and using customer data to consistently deliver customized services and solutions. It also requires:

*Focus on user requirements by boiling down the essence of how customers want to engage with an organization via their mobile device. Is it simply to check account balances and rewards status, or is it increasingly about conducting transactions? As user requirements evolve, organizations must also ensure that apps offer convenient features that require minimal user input to deliver relevant content and offers.  

*Analyze usage patterns to better understand how customers are using their devices, what app functionality they rely on most or are underutilized, and how to anticipate demand for new features.  

*Create a trustworthy environment by using a mobile application development platform that can not only help develop and deliver new apps to market, but also ensure integration with existing systems and incorporate appropriate levels of security to support transactions and sharing of potentially sensitive data.

With analysts predicting that by 2017, there could be 200 billion downloads of mobile apps – competition for loyal users will only escalate. As mobile continues to change the way people live, work and communicate, organizations must demonstrate the ability to better capitalize on effective design strategies, user engagement principals, and the marriage of cloud, social and analytics capabilities. It will allow them to offer immediate, targeted and personalized services and solutions that strengthen long-term brand loyalty.

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