The Mobile Question: Lessons in Design and Strategy for Your Mobile Experience


Earlier this month I gave a presentation at the 2010 IA Summit in Phoenix, AZ on Mobile Strategy. I’m happy to say it was well attended, and everyone had lots of good questions. In the presentation I went over a method to determine where you should spend your time “going mobile”. For some it’s an app, others it’s a site – where some should be focusing on Blackberry vs an iPhone (or vice-versa). Hopefully I made everything a little less confusing, and gave everyone the information needed to make an informed roadmap to move forward.

First, I went over the general trends and numbers of what’s going on in the mobile space – nothing in my opinion moves faster, or changes more frequently. It hard to keep-up, and new stats come out everyday.

To start here’s my presentation (hosted on SlideShare), you can download the PDF here, or listen to the podcast.

The first step (after learning a bit about mobile in general) is determining what type of mobile project you have:

  • Mobile First
  • Content
  • Application or ecommerce
  • Entertainment

Each of these have specific properties that will help inform your strategy. As an example, if you’re creating a Mobile First product – you’re going to need to target multiple devices, starting with one of the dominate mobile OSes: iPhone or Android. You’re going to most likely go native, as your project being mobile specific will need access to many of the phones core functionality. That, vs a content site with a well established .com – who would want to go with something like a mobile formatted website as a companion to the desktop site.

The second step is to get into the design process, which has lots of factors:

  • What parts of your existing site need to go mobile? (if you have an existing site…)
  • Who are your mobile users?
  • What devices are they using?
  • How do you design for mobile?
  • What devices do you need to focus on?
  • What technologies do you use?

I try to answer all these, and almost like a decision tree, you usually come out with a solid plan to move forward.

At the end of the presentation I go over a number of upcoming trends surrounding mobile. I’f you’re looking to keep up with mobile trends, I’ve created a twitter account that posts all the mobile related articles I’m currently reading: @mobilefeeds

Luke W. (www.lukew.com) attended my talk, and posted a recap - IA Summit: The Mobile Question – and boxesandarrows just posted the podcasts, you can download my presentation’s podcast here.

My slides make a bit more sense with me talking to them ;-) so I’d like to see everyone in the Dallas, TX area come see me at Big (D)esign on Saturday, May 29th – and if you’re getting ready for a mobile project, see me at the conference for some one-on-one.

2 thoughts on “The Mobile Question: Lessons in Design and Strategy for Your Mobile Experience

  1. Love the updates to the preso. You will be awesome.

  2. I just wanted to say I truly enjoyed interviewing you, and would like to say THANK YOU very much for taking the time to speak with me. I look forward to holding many more future conversations with you. I wanted to attend the after party but I am quite tired. I really want to talk with you soon about some projects that I am working on. I think that you will be a great mentor to someone like me, and at this moment, I need all the design, develop support I can get!! I also know that your schedule is quite busy so, I shall just stay in touch through your website and hope that we can grab lunch one day to talk details.

    Thanks again I look forward to viewing the presentation when the video is finished editing!

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