10 Observations on the changing UX Landscape.

Some of my general observations and thoughts about changing technology trends and user behaviour.

  1. MOBILE phones.   I heard at a recent Digital Hub event – If you don’t have a mobile strategy in next couple years, you won’t have internet strategy.  Maybe a bit melodramatic but we can’t deny how increasingly important mobile phones are  becoming to how users engage with the internet and looks like mobiles are also set to have big impact on how consumers purchase on-line.
  2. Importance of Location Based Services: such as Facebook Places which allows users to log in and locate which friends are nearby via GPS Mobile.  Handy when you’re wondering where everybody is on a Friday night.
  3. Growth of On-Line Deals.: 120,0000 people purchased online deals in July 2011 from Living Social, Groupon (City Deal) and Grab One.  Will this phenomena continue?  Will Groupon, as rumoured, start offering international deals?  How will the Facebook equivalent; Facebook Deals  do when it launches in Ireland in the near future?
  4. Social Media is NOT  just an add-on to internet strategy.  At a recent Social Media Working Group we heard from Tourism Ireland on the importance of Social Media in engaging customers and the impact it has on consumer decisions.    We now know that it is also an import driver of traffic to your site.
  5. The Value of Peer to Peer recommendation in Social Media.  At the same working group Activis Marketing told us that 90% of consumers trust recommendations from their social circle and 70% make decisions based on that recommendation.   It’s official – Personal recommendations far out ways the official company recommendation.
  6. Proliferation of Media on-line:   At a recent ReMix meeting in the RDS, Mike Downey, Media Guru (or is it evangelist?) at Microsoft, told us that currently 49.2% of internet traffic is streaming media; some of which is audio but mostly made up of video (You Tube).   We get it – people like to watch and share videos (and TV/movies) on-line.
  7. The Evolution of User Action.  Tha is, how users interact with technology, such as touch or (less so) voice.  We are used to touch on our mobile phones and IPads but  Windows 8 operating system will also be touch activated and other technolgies bound to follow.
  8. Users want to be more In Charge of the experience. As Mike from Microsoft calls it, going from ‘a lean back’ to a ‘lead forward’ experience.  Users like interactive experiences that they can adapt to their own needs/taste.
  9. Just in Time Content.  People want be able access their own information quickly and easily and not have to wade through lots of data/different screens.
  10. Social Media working group presentations tell us that people prefer to talk about and share Positive rather negative stories on-line.   And I have no statistic for this but a colleague recently told me the top (non-serious news) trends on twitter tend to be either A) a hero story  B) about an animal..  so if you have a story about an animal who rescued someone… dog
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