There is a substantial interest today in the development of the tech scene with hundreds of news sites and thousands of blogs dedicated to covering even the smallest movements of the big players in the market. Enthusiasts are obsessed with the rumours around the latest gadgets and apps and are always on the lookout for the next big thing.
But when it all boils down to it, the hardware and software is just a means to an end. A way of enabling the user to complete an action, to facilitate a service that makes their life a bit easier. Mobile advocate Scott Bales suggests that a platform’s success is much more to do with user behaviour than the specifics of the technology itself.
One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to exploring the mobile landscape as a means to engage modern mobile consumers is that the device or technology is king.
As an app developer or a product manager, your first step is to accept that the technology device does not matter, your first priority is creating a unique and compelling mobile experience for the consumer.
Bales highlights the importance of understanding how any technology fits into the users’ lives and behaviours and mentions three key aspects to consider;
- Context – when and where does the consumer use your service?
- Behaviour – how and why do they use it?
- Utility – what does it do and how does it do it?
Only by understanding in detail how the end user is to interact with your service can you possibly hope to produce something that will stand the test of time. But we see this over and over again, web or mobile products ‘designed’ by engineers without an in-depth consideration for user behaviour. With a focus on function over form. But if a user can’t figure out how to use an application, or it doesn’t fit easily into their lives, than your product could be dead in the water.
With the competition never as fierce for users’ attention as it is at the moment, the smallest details could be the difference between your product’s success or failure. For this reason, it is more important than ever to strip away the technology itself, and focus on creating something that can be easily and intuitively used and that fits seamlessly into the user’s lives and behaviours.
‘Mobile Lovers’, Banksy