How mobile expertise can differentiate your offer
Good and relevant research has been the mainstay of success in website design and delivery for some time now. Not only the rapidly changing technology but also massive and significant paradigm shifts in user behaviour and perception have dictated that those who want to succeed and grow in these markets need to keep abreast of developments – and even anticipate them if possible.
The rise of the worldwide web has been meteoric going from virtually nothing to a global community of billions in around 20 years. But the history of the web is the history of great fails and falls as well as astonishing successes. For every Facebook there are ten Myspaces (maybe even a hundred or a thousand, who knows!) AOL dominated the early web – where are they now? And remember how Netscape was the major browser and Yahoo the major – well whatever it was that Yahoo did!
Of course Google and Amazon have powered on and become major multi-national conglomerates but they have regularly reinvented themselves and they are constantly monitoring the market to try to second-guess where it is going and what consumers will be wanting in a year – or five years’- time.
We can’t all be Google – but we can make sure we have a weather-eye on the market place and a discerning ear to the ground by using web research. Mobiles are the new battleground for e-commerce and they – or some extension of them – are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Consequently the mobile user experience of your site is going to be the single most critical factor in determining how your site is perceived and, ultimately, its success or failure. And mobile usability research is a vital component in maintaining your relevance and competitiveness.
You might think that research in these areas is something you can easily do yourself – but there is much more to it than you might think. For example, knowledge of the technology and kit, including the most recent developments, is crucial to framing research and this sort of mobile expertise resides in a very few specialised organisations (such as Usability 24/7). It is also easy to convince yourself that the quality of the scoping or moderation doesn’t matter too much as you can record the interviews or even attend them in person and get the answers to your questions from this process. While this is true (and it can often – but not always! – be helpful for owners to attend research) if the initial project definition and question set haven’t been properly developed, refined and validated you might just end up asking meaningless, irrelevant or out-of-date questions. The answers you get might be accurate and even informative on some levels but they won’t give the insights required to progress and optimise your investment.
Your website is you window to the commercial world and needs to have every advantage possible built in and working to optimum levels. It is worth spending a relatively small amount of time and money investing in researchers who understand the market and technology intimately and have a track record and depth of experience in international e-commerce. That way you can be sure that the recommendations you get are based on knowledge, current best practice and technology options and are relevant, valid and implementable.
If you want to make sure you maintain your competitive edge with mobile research, why not call us free on 08000 246 247 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.