Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm a mobile geek

"Ok then...that's it."

That's what Bruce Campbell proclaims in Army Of Darkness, once he's said the magic words that will protect him from the undead.

I'm making my own proclamation that I'm a mobile device geek. I've known it internally for a while, but until the Palm Pre came out, I didn't realize how far down the rabbit hole I'd gone. Once I saw it, I knew it was over. I started reading blogs and telling all my iPhone friends that finally, there was a true iPhone killer. Truth is, I really like the iPhone. I just wanted a number pad underneath it.

But people have become really attached to their phones in a way the never became attached to their desktops, laptops or ISPs. Well, maybe in the beginning, we loved AOL, prodigy, Compuserve and the like.

So what makes people attached to their mobile devices? Is it because it can be customized unlike most personal computers? I think part of the reason is, like you car, it's always with you. It's like a piece of clothing. It represents your personality, how smart, cool or complex you are.

Around my workplace, everyone loves their iPhone and is showing all of the cool applications they've found. My group, of course is the Palm Treo lovers group, but I was beginning give up. I wanted a touch screen and a real keyboard. And finally it came... or will come.

While I don't wish any harm to come to the iPhone, let's hope the Pre is the real deal ... and that it comes out soon.

Friday, August 10, 2007

How many clicks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

I recently had a discussion about how far a user would go to purchase an item from an online ad. Ultimately, it would depend on the level of interest, but let's pretend for a moment that the level of interest for all products is equal. I, myself, being a person who might lean toward the ADD persuasion, would most likely go as far as 4 clicks, with reading, to find the information I sought or the product I wished to purchase. The other person's response was "I'd go as far as I'd need to.

And while I thought I was following the Web's "Best practices" mantra of "the fewer clicks, the better," I couldn't help but wonder if his perspective had truth to it. What would a user's experience be if he/she had to go 10 clicks vs 3. Would the user be happier? Would they feel safer buying a product withthe more info that 10 clicks would provide?

I assume there is a happy balance somewhere but I've found no studies or empirical data to prove either viewpoint yet.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Web Content on the Mobile Side (Web 2.01?)

With the advent of the iPhone and the general (and probably subsequent) explosion of mobile web availability in the marketplace, it's a bit baffling why interactive agencies as a whole haven't jumped on the mobile content bandwagon.

I recently saw an article (I think it was from marketingsherpa) that 64% of decision makers are viewing your email on their Blackberrys. That's a hefty amount by any standard and certainly enough to warrant a look into creating more mobile content. With all of the buzz created by Web 2.0, what happened to mobile? It certainly has the power to pull in the community aspect.

One part of the article I disagreed with was that it suggested to research whether the concept was cost effective. The truth is that the web has not always been created that way. Some of the best products have been created by the "if you build it, they will come" attitude. I think the mobile web will definitely mature that way.

Heck, the infrastructure is already there. Connection speeds will go up and prices will go down if people see there's valuable content to be found. So here, in my opinion are some of the people who are doing it right.

1. Bank of America- In terms of functionality, they've always done it right. works on several levels. The to their success is that they focus on customer wants, not their business objectives.

2. Twitter- to me Twitter was made for mobile.

3. BBC - clean fast load, straight up news.

4. Google - still my homepage, mobile or not. As Microsoft-esque as they're becoming, they sure know how to do search, email and other mobile stuff well. The mobile Google Maps is a MUST HAVE for the Treo (I have 700p). It has found me many a time.

5. - While it does take a while to load a map, you do have the choice to get basic info quickly.

To me, the key is to let go of all of those creative juices and business objectives and focus a laser on a solely user-centered, task-based web experience. Nothing else.

If web users are impatient, then mobile users are crazy insane. It's hard enough to maneuver through a web page not designed for a mobile user. It's even worse to find a site that IS designed for the mobile user that attempts to fit a 2-foot package through a 1-foot opening. It's not rocket science but it takes definitely takes a straightforward approach.

If you build it right, they will come.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What's the Web for?

The web means a lot of things to a lot of people. And many of those people believe that the web's main purpose the one they use it for. Who's right? Obviously, they all are. The important thing, is the passion of belief. Let's look at passion for a second and rate all of the media in terms of that for which individuals are most passionate:

Internet- though this could really be borken up into several pieces (blogs, networking, news sites, podcasts, etc) The web elicits the highest amount of passion because it has the highest amount of ownership. Its like a million different football teams all playing at once. We all route for our hometown.

Film-This is a bit different. While I believe that television does more to shape our lives, there's still something larger than life about the big screen. It still has a mystery, a specialness. There aren't a lot of famous TV critics out there.

Print- Again, TV does more but print still has a power. If something has actually been printed on paper, somehow it is immortal, and therefore has an effect on people. People flock back to their favorite authors. Bestseller lists are well known, and even local columnists have a loyal following that eleiciit feedback.

TV- Yes, here it is: the invisible 900-lb. gorilla in the room. It's always around. In the background. But there are so many channels now that it has literally become diluted.

Radio- The electronic media that started it all (after print) is still our faithful friend. And lately, the strong political talk shows have certainly affected our individual and nation al psyche. It could certainly challenge TV for attention. so there you have it. The top media in terms of passion by user.