Magazine article CRM Magazine

What Makes a Successful Mobile User Experience? Uncovering the Traits That Set Industry Leaders Apart

Magazine article CRM Magazine

What Makes a Successful Mobile User Experience? Uncovering the Traits That Set Industry Leaders Apart

Article excerpt

ON A recent trip to Chicago to visit my in-laws, I came down with a nasty cold. Instead of cleaning them out of tissues, I decided to head over to the nearest Target to stock up. Since I had never before set foot in this particular store, I pulled out my phone and searched for tissues on the Target app. Helpfully, the app told me I could find tissues in aisle A42. I headed in what I thought was that direction, only to find out after about 10 minutes of searching that the store didn't have an aisle A42.

This is a great example of consumers' increasing expectation that they will be able to turn to their mobile device to find exactly what they want, in context, and in their moment of need. But firms that provide a subpar mobile experience, as in this case, end up disappointing customers. In doing so, they are leaving money on the table.

Airbnb, which has booked overnight stays for more than 11 million guests and is valued at $10 billion, gets more than 37 percent of its traffic from mobile devices. Instagram, which launched in 2010, was sold for $1 billion less than two years later. Even bigger, Uber was valued at $18 billion earlier this year, thanks to its complete disruption of the taxi industry around the globe.

These companies offer a mobile experience that separates them from the pack. Forrester's research on mobile user experiences has found that the following common attributes set these-- and other--best mobile experiences apart:

They deliver clear value. The best mobile experiences provide users with immediate value, from the second they download and open the application. Throughout the experience, they prioritize core functionality relevant to need and perform reliably. The worst experiences are bogged down with unnecessary content and fail to deliver at moments of need.

In its first one and a half months of operation, the iPhone app Heyday amassed half a million customers. The Heyday team knew that most people learn about apps from others, so it set out to engage customers from their first interaction. The app collects photos from users' phones and assembles them into a timeline, chronicling where they've been and what they've seen, and shows this visual history from the first interaction. In contrast, Friday, another journaling app, shows an empty timeline when first downloaded, forcing users to work before enjoying the experience. …

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