Rachel Smith

Consumer experience: Start with Mobile-First thinking



As the purpose of this FAQ series highlights, the adoption of a mobile-first approach is absolutely essential for modern businesses. Long gone are the days when mobile ad strategies were on the radar or considered a ‘nice to have'. We are now fully immersed in a mobile-first era in which companies must embrace to maintain relevance. 

Mobile devices are an integral part of our society, so much so that the number of mobiles outnumbers the number of people in the world!¹ Last year, 58% of site visits were from mobile devices, signifying a shift from desktop, which only directed 42% of website traffic². Now in 2019, for the first time ever, mobile ad spend finally accounts for half of global digital advertising expenditure³. This financial stamp of approval is a significant indicator of the growth in popularity and success of a mobile-first approach thus far. 

However, simply having a mobile presence will soon not be enough. The wake of GDPR has given rise to a new chapter, whereby specific ‘user targeting’ needs to be replaced by a strong emphasis on user experience. Mobile users are growing increasingly discernable and will consume, collate and cut out content as a means to curate their ideal mobile experience. In light of these behaviours, only the brands who champion user experience and recognise the importance of design, creative and the nuances of human behaviour will come out on top.

What is user experience?

No doubt you’ll already be familiar with the term ‘user experience’ - probably because it’s so multifaceted that it can be used in a variety of contexts (e.g. online purchases, customer service response times, brand communications, packaging). Generally what we are advocating in this instance, is a strong thought process behind the journey that a new or existing user goes on when interacting (in any form), with your brand. Ensuring a user journey is the most friction-free, enjoyable and memorable experience should be a top priority for brands as it is very much the glue that holds the consumer relationship together. 

Mobiles are our best friends 

User experiences vary depending on where the consumer comes into contact with the brand. Mobiles are the publics favourite⁴ and most frequently used⁵ device. You don’t have to look hard to work out why. Mobiles offer an unparalleled source of communication and knowledge at a level of immediacy that cannot be competed with by any other device. Why wait to go home if you can do a quick search and win that debate in real-time over whether a cucumber is a fruit or vegetable (it’s actually a fruit).

The fondness and reliance on these devices has created a great dependency, so much so that users report to checking their phones every 12 minutes⁶. Some users are so intimately connected to their phones that nearly a third believe their mobile knows more about them than their own family does⁷. 

This relationship between user and mobile isn’t just pinned to the device itself; if your brand has successfully made the cut with your mobile strategy, then you have essentially made it into the consumers inner-circle. This opportunity for brands is huge, as there is a shared mutual respect and intimacy that allows brands to reach consumers (and vice versa) wherever they are: in bed, travelling, watching TV and even in the bathroom! 

Once you’re in, it’s vital to provide the best user experience you can, because users value a dialogical relationship so favourably that they’ll cut you off if you’re not accessible enough. For instance, imagine a brand not responding fast enough to a complaint made on Twitter, it's considered rude and as good as ghosting someone you’re in a relationship with - believe us, you will be swiftly dumped.

Mobiles are for experiences 

Whilst users spend a lot of time on their mobiles cumulatively, they tend to only engage for very short periods at a time, therefore the experience must be expertly tailored to offer exactly what the user wants, or the audience is lost. Spotify and Citymapper are excellent examples of brands that have achieved a great user experience on mobile because they have taken time and effort into optimising the experience on a small screen.

There are significant advantages for choosing mobiles over desktop, including the fact that mobile devices can be held in the user's hand. This in itself can bring the users closer to the brand or product - it’s easier to feel a connection with, or imagine owning an advertised product when you are holding it in the palm of your hand instead of looking at it ahead of you.

Traditionally, the mobile advertising experience on mobile has involved recycled television campaigns and static images. However, the move to a user experience era has paved the way for ultra-innovative and engaging advertising experiences - tactile experiences that only mobile devices can facilitate. Advertisements housed on mobiles can tap into mobile-first technologies such as haptics, gyro and touch, to facilitate kinesthetic learning and create sensory and interactive experiences. These interactions are brilliant for assisting the memory of the ad and are much more meaningful to the user than static ads. 

Going the extra mile with mobile ads promotes a positive impression of the brand because it implies that the experience for the end-user is highly important to the brand, and ergo the end-user is highly important. We’re calling for the end of boring mobile ads and to give users what they want - exciting ads that they can enjoy engaging with.

If you’re looking for assistance on creating a great user experience on mobile, get in touch with our team at hello@adludio.com to discuss how our pioneering mobile creative platform could help elevate your business.