I attended the MIMA Summit this week in Minneapolis.  It was an energizing day of sessions and keynotes by a who’s who of the digital space today. One thread that seemed to permeate the talks was the concept of “moments.”

Moments are those opportunities when you have the user’s attention.  This is where the stakes are high and you must capitalize on the opportunity.  These moments take many forms and there are a variety of ways to make the most of them.

The design talk that I attended focused on designing for the human.   When the moment occurs the designer must demonstrate a deep empathy for the user and have a contextual understanding of the user’s intention.  Only through the cognizance of the user’s intention can the design be properly tailored to provide the needed functionality to engage the user.

To better understand the context, data comes into play.  While we are busy collecting scores of data from user interactions, the data is worthless unless we can effectively leverage it to help us embrace the user.  Data informs us about how to connect with the user at the right moment, the right place, and in the right way.

When it comes to mobile apps, the initial interaction with the user is a crucial moment.  The majority of apps are abandoned after just one or two uses.  This emphasizes the need to get the first time user experience right.  Apps should let users learn gradually, provide positive reinforcement, and demonstrate value to the user from the get go.

Amy Webb, the keynote speaker in the afternoon at the MIMA Summit, summed up the recurring theme as she discussed emerging technologies and how they are enabling us to better deliver the right message for that moment in time.  As our data increases and technology becomes more innovative we continue to get closer to understanding user sentiment.  By understanding that user sentiment, we are better able to deliver on that moment.

Forrester speaks of the mobile mind shift.   This is the expectation that I can get what I want in my immediate context and moments of need.  While this seems like a tall order, mobile doesn’t have to be everything to all people.  It’s better to focus on performing a small set of functions very well at the right moment.  We must continually bear this in mind as we develop our systems and apps in a user centric manner.

The MIMA Summit certainly met my moment of need, and then some.  User-centered design, backed by the right data and delivered the right way will help you make the most of those critical moments where you have your user’s attention. What are you doing to create those moments for your customers?

Author

Joe Koletar

Joe is the Enterprise Mobile Technology Lead for RBA.

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