Make Mobile Work for Your Audience

The lonelybrand crew had the opportunity to spend last weekend at SocialDevCamp Chicago: Summer Camp for the Social Web. It’s a combination Conference + Unconference + Hackathon that brings people from across the country to talk about the future of the social web. In case you missed out on the action, we put together recaps of a few of our favorite sessions.

Session: Continuous User Experience

Jonathan Ozeran & Chris Courtney

Jonathan Ozeran and Chris Courtney addressed an issue that resonates with lonelybrand’s mobile philosophy: apps should never resort to duplicating an existing web property. It’s important to build an experience your audience will appreciate, and that means exploring where, when and how your they use mobile devices.

The session introduced the concept of “finger first” – that is, how can you optimize your design for mobile instead of mouse?

Some companies, like Chicago’s own RedEye, get it and some companies, like the New York Times, don’t.

What did RedEye do right? From the start, they focused on the customer: young mobile users who travel via public transit. Thus, they planned a mobile strategy that ditched digitizing existing content. Instead RedEye went with tools that their audience can (and do) use on a daily basis: transit tracker, local dining and drink options and the favorite, missed connections. News is also featured, but it is a subset of the other tools that are offered, not the main attraction.

b2b blogging, b2b social media

And it worked. The RedEye app has yielded 40k+ downloads and a 70% retention rate in the first 60 days of availability.

When your company goes mobile, keep the RedEye case study in mind. Instead of producing the mobile version of your site, get to know your audience and give them the tools they need, not the tools they already have.