With anyone who’s anyone in the business world thinking about digital transformation, mobile is one of those key inescapable elements. Organisations large and small are hashing out ideas for mobile strategy, from apps to mobile-friendly websites, and quite rightly so.
Figures show that many of us use our smartphones to connect with brands these days, with 93% of internet users accessing the web from the phone. As an integral part of our daily lives, we’re not often far from jabbing a finger to look something up via our phones or tap into an app for some reason or another.
The reasons for implementing a strong mobile strategy when looking at a digital transformation project go without saying. So, to hear that a study from Forrester revealed that many companies have more than one mobile project on the go at a time isn’t a revelation.
That doesn’t mean that the route to launching successful mobile strategies is easy or barrier-free. Like anything in the world of digital transformation, failure to adopt the right approach or understand your users can litter the path with problems.
Where UX comes in
Step into the realm of UX design for a moment, and the link between integrating this into mobile digital transformation becomes clear. UX design is all about focusing on the user, understanding their pressures, wants, needs and pain points, and developing answers to those.
Rather than simply focusing on the information you want to get across as a brand, the UX way would guide you to think about how your products or services provide something valuable and unique to the customer.
Mobile, just like most digital platforms in the modern age, are being pushed forward not by businesses, but by the people who use them. Those same people who rely on their phone for information, entertainment, and connection.
It’s the users who are demanding more from their mobiles in terms of capability and functionality, and the same goes for the apps and platforms that deliver via a mobile device. A survey by Kissmetrics demonstrates this perfectly, with 30% of people saying they’d abandon a mobile page that didn’t load within 6-10 seconds.
By putting the user first when looking at your mobile strategy, you’ll be on the right path to creating appealing platforms that meet your audience’s expectations and work effectively to deliver what you need as a brand.
What users want
The key to any effective digital transformation project is understanding your audience. That means your specific audience as a brand. If approached right, one of the first steps is identifying the different personas that use or engage with your business and developing a strategy that meets their wants and needs.
But, there are some common threads across all brands that every UX designer will take into consideration when developing user-friendly platforms. They include:
- Functionality – using apps or digital devices that perform well, delight the user at every stage, and don’t throw up barriers
- Answering a need – great apps and mobile platforms tap into what an audience desires, whether that’s as a purchaser, for entertainment, or to gather information
- Giving them the power – UX design focuses on the user because they are ones in the driving seat when it comes to giving brands a competitive edge. Apps and platforms that provide users with autonomy will help you create effective connections with your customers.
Integrating UX design with mobile
Understanding the huge benefits of approaching your digital transformation and interlinking mobile strategies is one important first step. But where do you go from there? Mobile itself is a unique proposition in the digital world, with its own challenges and benefits. Just like any digital project however, the most influential thing you can do from the word “go”, is to take a step back rather than rushing the strategy.
Tying UX into the project from the very first stages is the most important piece of the puzzle. Because your strategy will be heavily influenced by your users, you’ll need to get them in on the act from day one. That means using tools like workshops and surveys to start building a picture of each persona.
From an internal point of view, getting business leaders on board from the start will help you push the projects forward without a hitch. This, along with a clear mobile vision are all vital aspects to getting things right.
The right expertise
For UX design and mobile development, you’ll need to get people in with the right expertise. UX design is unlike any other technical area, with designers having all the technical skills they need, but an innate understanding of creating devices that appeal to audiences as well as understanding how to approach this.
So, you hire some great UX designers or enlist the help of an agency to guide your mobile strand of the digital transformation project. Job done, right? Well, not quite. Mobile app development requires a specific skillset, so if you want to develop mobile platforms that do the business, you’ll need UX designers with specific mobile expertise. And not only that, it’s also worth considering the platform you’ll be using, whether that’s Apple or Android, because certain UX designers may be au fait with certain platforms and not others.
Any forward-thinking company will be looking at mobile strategy along with their digital transformation. In fact, the mobile part of the transformation is likely to take centre stage in many cases, as businesses rush to create apps and mobile platforms that will push their brand’s ambitions forward.
By taking a step back and considering your users, you can effectively bolster your mobile strategy and in turn your digital transformation. UX design is something that will help you as a business put your audience’s needs and desires first and foremost, giving you a unique opportunity to deliver above and beyond on their expectations.
But you’ll need the right expertise and the right approach, with UX implemented as part of the plan from day one. The benefit is this – get all this right, and you’ll be creating valuable platforms for your customers to use and engage with, and all this will help you outstrip the competition and stay relevant.