Last week, Perficient’s Mobile and Modern Web Group held a virtual roundtable to discuss user-centric mobile product management and why putting users first is the first step in successful innovation and growth. The roundtable entitled, “Reframing Your Mobile Experience for Product Success”, featured an incredible lineup of mobile product experts from a wide range of disciplines within Perficient.
Our panelists included:
Jeff Small, Director, Mobile Product Management (Moderator)
Grant Davies, Principal, Digital Strategy
Nicola Smith, Senior Manager, Experience Design
Grace Tsai, Director, Digital Marketing
Nicolas Frantzen, Director, Data Solutions
Jonathan Crockett, Director, Mobile Solutions
The goal of the hour-long conversation was to reinforce the importance of placing the customer front and center in planning and executing your product roadmap. Over breakfast from Panera Bread, I guided the spirited conversation around topics including the mobile landscape, mobile goals, the importance of user-centric thinking, and the mobile experience as a practical conversation.
The Mobile Landscape
To kick things off, the group began by setting the context of the discussion, Modern Mobile Product Management. Mobile has become such a ubiquitous engagement channel, that it warrants focus to ensure that you’re taking full advantage of the opportunity it represents. As Grant stated, “Over 80% of people across all income levels in the United States have a smartphone, which means every business has an opportunity to engage customers through mobile”. If you aren’t engaging users on mobile, you are missing your target audience. Mobile has become the primary access point for digital experiences, and consumers now expect omnichannel experiences that allow them to seamlessly pick up their digital experience across any platform. “To address users’ needs, you must understand how we got to where we are, what consumer behavior shifts have occurred, and what underlying technology is driving those customer experiences,” said Jonathan, “Consumer expectations are higher than ever, and companies need mobile to meet them.”
Of course, you can’t talk mobile without addressing the elephant in the room, namely identifying, and measuring your mobile goals. This is where Grace and Nicola leaned in and provided all the context, rationale, and processes to gain a keen understanding of how you go about establishing and reaching those goals, driving continued mobile growth and success. “You need to understand what goals you want to meet and then ensure that the mobile product you are building meets those needs as best it can,” stated Nicola, “Your business KPIs need to connect with your experience KPIs.”
Data-driven insights are an essential component of delivering a seamless user experience. “Your company is designing experiences for humans with very different personalities and motivations,” said Grace, “KPIs can be used to learn more about your target audience so you can alter that experience to better fit their needs”. Nicolas added that, “When you really know your customer, that data can be used across channels and provide tremendous value for the rest of your organization.”
When putting it all together, the customers must come first, therefore, user-centric design thinking is essential to mobile experience success. “You must focus on outcomes, not output”, said Jonathan, “For your mobile product to be successful, you must listen to your users and leverage their feedback to drive decision-making”. The importance of building empathy with users and working tirelessly to reduce friction to help them achieve their goal is baked into successful modern mobile products. Grace added that, “extracting value from your experiences is a combination of up-front research, building a hypothesis, and using experimentation to test and adapt as needed”. Value is not one-size-fits-all from a user perspective. Nicolas stated, “You have to be able to tailor different types of user experiences to fit different types of individual users through approaches such as adaptive UI.”
The Mobile Experience as a Practical Conversation
The mobile experience has evolved as consumers have come to expect personalized experiences. “Consumers are looking for self-service from their mobile apps,” stated Nicolas, “The more capable your app makes your users, the more valuable you become to that person”. Aesthetics and design are also an important factor in the mobile experience. “Experience and design are now joined at the hip,” said Grant. “The expectation of providing a beautiful experience is rapidly expanding past the B2C space into B2B and B2E,” added Nicola.
Continuing the Conversation
At Perficient, we take a holistic, product and user-centric approach to mobile. This is key to ensuring a high-quality experience across the entire mobile landscape.