According to ContactLab’s Email Marketing Report 2014, in the last year in Italy, users who read email on the move experienced a growth of almost 50%, increasing to 3 million. "10% of Italians connected to the network with three different devices, a number that has grown by 67% in one year."
This data helps us to understand how mobile tools have radically changed our habits; the smartphone has become one of the key tools to communicate, share experiences, seek information and use services. We are attached to our smartphones, whether it’s reading emails or keeping up to date on everything that's happening, keeping in touch with friends and sharing experiences virtually through pictures and videos.
There are different types of applications, of various complexity. There are applications for entertainment venues, while others allow you to access tourist information, timetables of trains and buses etc.
The answer to some daily necessities can be found using smartphone applications that allow us to perform remote actions (such as turning off an appliance in the house) and to be leaders of small projects and social changes, such as new council citizenship initiatives (management of urban services, risk and emergency) or immediate news broadcasts (seeing news unveil in real time in regards to unforeseen events).
If we think of a new web communication strategy, we must account for how these new tools have a critical role in the management of our daily activities.
Here are some practical tips to make the best of your application:
It is important to design an interface that matches the taste of the users, making it visually appealing and easy to use. However it is always better to simplify graphics and provide larger text compared to the desktop counterparts.
The application must be designed so that its use is as easy to understand as possible. This means keeping menus simple and easily being able to navigate different pages. Mobile applications should (usually) only allow vertical scroll. Keep navigation simple also by reducing the number of pages compared to a desktop application.
It is often important to geo-localize the information provided. You will often find applications that provide tourist information about places to visit and restaurants to eat requesting your geo-location. This is so applications can perform their duty by providing information that is relevant to the user. A summary map of the relevant points of interest accompanied by a legend is the most intuitive and easy to enjoy.
For this reason do not only create lists of elements but also allow users to perform searches and other tasks.