Wham Bam Thank You Brand!

The Internet:  It’s not just for computers anymore.

One of the biggest shifts in the digital landscape has been the consumer shift from the traditional desktop PC, browser-based web to engaging information through applications and devices that can be accessed at their desk, on their couch or out in the real world.

And because they are moving away from traditional, at-computer engagements, focusing on one thing at a time is rapidly becoming one of those quaint things we used to do “back in the day.”  Even tasks that truly require a user’s undivided attention are increasingly subsumed by consumers’ desire to be connected at all times.

So what does this mean for marketers?

Brands are no longer immune to consumer’s increasingly sophisticated time management.  Digital (and other on-demand engagements) allow consumers to choose the time and place that brand engagement is appropriate for them.  And the more portable and accessible the internet gets, the more options the consumer has.

Regardless of the specific deployment (i.e. a branded mobile application, web-based service, game or video) one constant remains:  The available time the consumer has for you is limited.  So bring the most important stuff right to the forefront and allow them to get in and out efficiently— give it to them fast and make it good.

Where to Start?

Without going into to much detail in this article, brands need to start with a keen understanding of their target market and truly understand how they live.  Get inside their experience and learn more about what they want from you and where they will be when they want it. (See Our Post: “Get Into Character: Using Method Acting in the UX Design Process”)

Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize.

After you have identified your audience, mapped out your offering and decided on where you will launch it, the next most important thing to do is prioritize. Remember, consumers are not focused on your UI and content, your site/app is only one of the things they are doing right now, so making things easy to understand is paramount.  Luke Wroblewski presents this concept nicely with some notes from Jonathan Brill’s keynote address at the Design for Mobile conference.

Especially key:

  • The future of mobile… requires being aware of environments. People are more than an eyeball and a finger.
  • We have to move from training users to predicting them. Make devices respond to users instead of the reverse.

Try it for yourself!

If you would like to understand more about delivering great experiences quickly and effectively, please try the following experiment.

  1. Leave your office.
  2. Walk.
  3. Now look up a restaurant near you.
  4. Take note of how important it is to find something quickly while still walking, looking out for traffic, the noises, glare on the screen, the weather, the cute girl walking the other way, etc.
  5. How would you redesign the interface now?

Summing it Up

When you add the hectic nature of real life to the short-attention, multi-tasking consumer mindset (yes, you are that consumer too), you can quickly see how important it becomes to create brand engagements that deliver fast. And I’m not talking about downloading fast (although that is important) but delivering what the consumer wanted or needed fast so they could get back to what was really important to them.