14 insights on the future of mobile content

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Throughout the year, I have attended numerous streaming media conferences.  Today, a random collection of best practices insights from some of the best mobile content gurus. 


-By 2014 more people will connect to the internet through mobile than desktop computers.

-25% of people have a smart phone.

-Tablet computers are currently 1% of computer sales.  Experts estimate this figure will rise to 23% by 2015.

-One of the most powerful usage trends is the shift from the “occasionally on” internet experience to the “always on” internet experience.  Today, a majority of the people have large portions of the day where they are not connected to the net.  The increasing sophistication of mobile devices will make the internet a 24-hour experience.  We will NEVER be offline.  This amazing level of connectivity will change the way we live and communicate.

-If you are going to build a mobile site, it must be startlingly simple. This runs counter to the basic premise of most information web sites.  A mobile website must combine two of the most difficult traits associated with web design: clean, efficient design, and boatloads of quality content.

-Too many developers build their mobile application based on their traditional web site design. They inadvertently recreate a web app on a mobile device, a device that is not suited to the same standards. All media have done this throughout history.  Early newspapers looked like books.  Early TV looked like glorified radio.  Early internet looked like online versions of paper brochures. Mobile content is not web at all.  It is an entirely new medium. 

“Less is more” should always drive all mobile device interface design. The tiny screen is ruthlessly unforgiving. The effects of clutter are exponentially amplified by the tiny interface.  Your mobile app design must have ultimate functionality and an amazingly simple interface.

-Slow load times are a deal breaker.  Remember, a lot of mobile customers access the mobile web when signal strength is bad.

-Mobile apps should be text driven.  Images take too long to load.  Use graphics sparingly and make them ultimately functional.

-No pop ups on mobile devices. They only slow things down.

-Stay away from Flash.  It is just too slow for mobile platforms.

-Make sure your mobile app has an obvious and focused purpose.  Build it around a clear call to action. Here is my product. Here is what you should do. Here is my price.

-Mobile devices are striving to achieve the perfect “Swiss army knife” solution.  Every tool, every app, every need, all handled on one device.  Single-use devices like Kindle, cell phones, game boxes, and GPS will wane in popularity. Devices won’t get simpler, they will get more complex.

-It’s not “field of dreams” in the mobile app world.  If you just build it they will NOT come. There are bunches of amazingly innovative apps that never gain popularity.  A successful app should be built in tandem with a powerfully integrated marketing platform.  Quality + Buzz = Success.

This is Part 4 in a web series on the future of mobile technology
Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

–Graeme Newell works for 602 Communications as a broadcast and cable marketing consultant. He specializes in emotional marketing.  He guarantees that his teasing seminar will immediately increase your news ratings or his workshop is free.  Find out more here.