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Consumer Expectations

Consumer expectations of mobile phones are wildly different than their expectations for the web. First of all, they want phones to work like appliances. Web browsers are allowed to crash; can you imagine your phone "crashing"? It's happened to me more than once. Consumers are also more demanding about user experience on mobile phones than they are on the web. On the web, users will put up with having to hunt around for the information they need. On a mobile phone, they're paying for air time (or data transferred, in the case of GRPS and 3G services), so they're much less likely to want to spend time looking for the information they need—and much less forgiving when it's difficult to find. The mobile phone experience is more "intimate" than the web, because the phone is a more personal device than a computer. People carry their phones close to them, and decorate them like fetish objects. When they have a frustrating experience with the phone, it's more jarring. All this underscores the importance of getting the application design (including relentless use of information architecture, especially for content-rich services).

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