Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

How would you rate your last "Mobile Moment"?

One of the best parts of my job is speaking with our customers about their business challenges, and my favorite topic is the mobile user experience. Recently I spoke with the CEO of one of our financial services customers about their challenge to understand and deliver the right mobile experience to both the phone and the tablet.

Like many discussion around mobile experience, your top-of-mind thoughts and ideas come not from scientific market research or customer polls, but directly from your own personal experience - in this case, the CEO's most recent "mobile moment".

The term "mobile moment" has appeared in the press for years now. In the past, mobile moment referred to mobile crossover, the point at which mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic to your website. Or, how consumers would be looking to maximize every moment of their busy lives through their mobile device.

Forrester Research has recently advanced the idea of the mobile moment with their latest research, defining it as:

"A mobile moment is a point in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants immediately, in context."

This is an excellent definition. "Time, space, immediate, context". This is exactly what the CEO's personal story was about. "I travel to customer briefings and want to quickly review the account status and refresh my memory about the person I am meeting, and do it from my phone in the taxi on the way to the appointment. During the meeting I want to share some information from my tablet. After the meeting I want to immediately update our CRM system with notes from the meeting from my tablet. I find that I can't complete this from my tablet and have to wait until I get back to my hotel in the evening and complete the task from my PC."

We all have stories like this. Let's call it the "failed mobile moment".

Understanding the mobile moment starts with stories like this, then plotting and analyzing each of the moments in this workflow. It's not just about delivering a feature or function on the phone or tablet, it's about understanding what the user is doing immediately before and after this moment (time), the location where they will be (space), making the moment instant (immediate), and thoroughly understanding the narrative (context).

Like this CEO, I also travel frequently and have a very high rate of "failed mobile moments" while on the road. About 50% of my mobile moments fail. Common reasons include:

  1. Unable to access the Internet. (You should design your apps to account for the offline experience.)
  2. Slow page response or time-outs. (Doesn't someone test these things under slow network conditions?)
  3. Unable to perform the task at hand from the phone or tablet (like our CEO).
  4. Workflow leads to a website or app and which requires a username or password. (I can't possibly remember all my usernames and passwords while on the road.)
  5. Workflow leads to a website that is unusable on my device. (Scaling issues, menus or other controls fail, interstitial pages, etc.)
In banking and financial services, it's critical to understand the mobile moment and make sure it does not fail for your users. The stakes are high. As noted in a recent article from American Banker:

"Millennials, the 18-to-34-year-olds who lead the digital revolution, are a particular problem for big banks. Although millennials make up just a quarter of the U.S. population, they account for 43% of all mobile banking and finance users, according to "The Future of Account Opening," a study conducted by Andera in January 2014. By 2020, they will have more income than Gen Xers and baby boomers combined, according to Javelin Strategy and Research."

How would you rate your last "mobile moment"? Was it a success or a failure?