Keeping it simple rules mobile

Back in design school we had a professor who used to always quote someone who I cannot recall now. “Design is the absence of complexity”. I believe it was even posted on the wall for a long spell. And why not, it makes perfect sense. In a world with gadgets galore, more whistles that you can handle, and bells, yeah those too, we are understandably tempted to “doll it up” with all kinds of garbage we just don’t need. Correction: WE need it, our customers definitely do not.

As with every tool, mobile is unique. It has its “thing” and that thing is magnified by simple design, direct function, and a complete absence of all things complicated. People are on their mobile devices looking at your app/website because of a  few likely reasons: they are currently in a competitor’s store and want to see if you can sell them the same thing for less, they are in your store and want to see if you can sell it to them for less online, they are bored in another situation and are using their phone to shop; in all cases they don’t want to be bothered with a lot of extra garbage.

Making a mobile strategy in going to be crucial for 2011. Retailers who ignore this will be left behind. Retails who embrace this will certainly thrive. Think about why users are at your online store, think about what they are doing there, what they need to accomplish, and, above all, how can you satisfy all of those things in the fewest steps, showing the most minimal information. As Julie A. Ask, VP and principal analyst, specializing in mobile commerce at Forrester Research says, “In mobile commerce, simplicity is a virtue”.