(Book Review) Mobilized

The mobile formula = BODY + SPIRIT + MIND

I would rated this book at awesome 7/10 ★ .

Mobile Conquered the World

The mobile revolution is a momentous change that overlaps artificial intelligence, personalized marketing and “sticky” technology. You always keep your mobile device close by which can be seen by the fact that most people check their phones as soon as they wake up. Most of the time, I did.

The mobile revolution uses technology, but it centers on people. Great “mobile products” embrace “human-first principles.” They are designed to enhance people’s capacity for social and creative interaction.

As mobile technology develops further, your device will get smaller and neater. Soon, mobile tech will embed in everyday objects and, perhaps, in the near future even within your body. Although I would be sternly against it.

A Gold Rush

People now use mobile devices more than they use desk-based computers. Like a new gold rush, the mobile boom creates losers and winners. Innovative companies adopt a “mobile-first” strategy, though some fail to understand or implement it well.

Overall, the mobile industry contributes an average of 5% of gross domestic product in many countries.

The smartphone app is the linchpin of mobile success. Today, nearly 90% of people who access online services do so through “dedicated” apps, not web browsers. These apps secure customer loyalty, allow “push notifications” and enable tracking of marketing campaigns.

With a dedicated app, your firm can sell more without buying ads, though an app’s upfront costs daunt many companies. Developing a great app that works across multiple platforms including various brands of cellphones and tablets would takes a substantial investment.

But, it pays you back in greater customer interaction with your products and services. For example, shoppers now can design customized T-shirts on a smartphone app just part of the “smart apparel” trend. And at the end, it Call-To-Action would suggest user to pay to print the designed customized T-shirt.

The “Mobile Formula”: Body – Spirit – Mind

The author suggest that for success in the mobile revolution, firms need to follow the Mobile Formula, a trio of rules which govern the development and nature of mobile products:

1. The Body Rule (How its look)

User wants beauty and effectiveness in the design of mobile products. They want that “wow” factor.

Perceiving beauty whether you think it is objective or subjective will generates a “primal response: that wow reaction. In the mobile revolution, beauty also resides in efficiency. Designers use the “thumb test” to ensure that their devices and apps are easy to operate. Pandora and Instagram created simple interaction experiences. GreenOwl Mobile uses voice recognition technology so drivers can use its app hands-free. Simplified as much as possible, interfaces can become beautifully invisible.

Simplicity of usage also matters; a steep learning curve can hinders users’ fluid interaction with mobile products. Good apps and devices must pass what Flipboard founder Mike McCue calls “the mom test.” He asks his staffers to consider whether their mothers would struggle to use the product.

Our mobile products are new extensions of ourselves.

In “building for beauty,” designers create mobile products that extend the human body. Their designs add both “focusing” and “expanding” functions.

Five clear, concise “design elements” draw users’ pinpointed attention and build trust. These focusing functions are: “onboarding,” as with tutorials; “single task” functions, like “call-to-action” buttons; “navigation,” like side menus; “performance,” as in reliable functioning; and “gesture,” such as the standard swipe.

Establishing users’ trust opens the door to permission-based personalization, like push notifications and location tracking, which can broaden an app’s interactions with its customers but could also come at the expense of user personal privacy. Users reacted favorably when Airbnb simply changed its “like” symbol from a star to a heart; they gave it 30% more wish-list bookmarks. See, these little changes helps.

Expanding design elements would come in two types that is “Pull” and “Push“:

Pull” expansion elements pop up to ask for user permission; “Push” elements deliver notifications. For example, Instagram focuses users with simplicity and clear navigation, allowing them to create photos easily. With users’ permission, the app accesses their address books to enable sharing.

2. The Spirit Rule (Human Needs for Meaning)

The disruptive aspect of mobile devices is that users keep them close at hand all the time. This touches on the spirit rule of the Mobile Formula.

This rule dwells on meaning, individually and in communities. To mean something to people in order to touch their spirit with mobile devices use “internal” and “external filters.” These filters connect with what matters to the individual user (internal) and with what matters to their social identity (external).

Psychologist Roy Baumeister explains that having to exert willpower all the time makes people burn out. Highly personalized mobile products ease such stress and tone down “decision fatigue.” For example, Uber soothes the tension of getting a ride. Tinder eases the stress of finding a date. Such services make people feel looked-after and indulged.

“Every mobile designer has an impossible mission: They have to delight billions of people 110 times a day with something they can only touch or talk to.

3. The Mind Rule (Learning Ability)

Mobile companies must learn “fast” to survive and learn “slow” to refine, revitalize and “reinvent” their offerings and their corporate missions. The good companies pursue human-first goals, but all mobile firms must learn quickly.

Even mobile products learn and adapt, tailoring themselves continually to users’ needs. Mobile users demand a blistering pace of innovation with their ever-changing habits, interests and fads. Technology must do more than keep up; it must provide novel, improved experiences to users who upgrade every 18 to 24 months.

“Beautiful things create empathy. If a viewer finds a painting beautiful, it is beautiful. If a listener is touched by a symphony, it is a moving piece of music.”

Mobile companies can’t learn without the right mechanisms. They use both “scientific” and “artistic tools” to learn and implement lessons from users. On the scientific side, “funnels” open tech pathways and “goals” quantify the desired results. Scientific tools facilitate big data analysis and smart business approaches. Artistic tools provide users with fresh, creative pathways. They include “shortcuts” that shorten pathways by letting users skip steps, “hooks” that broaden funnel openings by playing to users’ curiosity and “layers” that make the entire funnel bigger by adding enticing new channels.

In summary

What we should expect from [our mobile products] is what we wish for ourselves: an attractive body, a meaningful life and becoming smarter about the things that count. This is the foundation behind successful mobile products.

Good examples of mind-centered learning include Nokia’s giving small teams the freedom to incubate ideas independently and Facebook’s having a random sample of users test its push notifications. People now regard web access almost as a “human right.”

In developing countries, secondhand mobile devices give people Internet access to health, education and work. People use their phones to find jobs, read, seek medical care and conduct trade.

Read more:

With their savvy, inquisitive, always-connected behavior, millennials drive the mobile revolution. Devices still matter, but apps matter more.

Getting on Facebook easily is the main draw for most mobile users. Facebook packages all the elements of the Mobile Formula: fast- and slow-learning; human-first; and mind, body and spirit. From that perspective, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg fathered the present-day mobile revolution.

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Author: Aarif Billah

Those who matters would know, and those doesn't know won't matter

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