Mobile UX: an Introduction Featuring the Latest Trends.

Mobile UX: an Introduction Featuring the Latest Trends.

What is mobile UX?

Literally? the letters U and X stand for User Xperience (as in ‘experience’). But according to the Interaction Design Foundation, the definition of ‘mobile UX’ means “the design of positive experiences during the use of mobile devices and wearables, and applications or services running on such devices.” (1) In other words, through efficient application designs, we can create, measure and tailor a positive user experience that may lead to conversions or continuous use of the service app.

How does it affect businesses in today’s technology? Best examples

As technology becomes even more intertwined with people’s lives, it is crucial for businesses to offer a seamless digital experience that accommodates their lifestyle. Author Goran Paunovic writes in his Forbes article that “Most business clients who engage in site design are looking for a revenue-driving product, but few are aware of how much their business can change for the better with the right UX.” (2)

Indeed, having the right UX matters. The numbers speak for themselves.
In the same article, Pauvonic reports of research done by Forrester Research: “a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400%”. But how can you differentiate a good UX design from a bad one? Read my next point to find out.

The good, the bad and the ugly.

One of the most recognized events that shaped UX history is, arguably, the downfall of Snapchat. A journalist for The Guardian (3)Edward Helmore writes that after their controversial redesign, they have suffered “their first decline in daily active users” as well as plummeting stock shares.
Bloomberg (4) reports that Snapchat lost over 325.1 million dollars in 2017.

On the other hand, an example of an app made famous by its unique navigation method: Tinder.
With their iconic swipe right/swipe left feature, the app designers got inspired and mimicked real-life rejection/approval movements(5). All that within the optimal on-screen thumb placement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smooth navigation is essential in providing good and memorable user experience, however, it isn’t the only aspect you should consider when you’re designing an app.

Do’s and don’ts.

In his article, Nick Babich, Editor-in-chief of UX planet, gives us 10 tips for a better UX.

1-      Know your customer.

2-      Don’t confuse your users, prioritize features.

3-      Don’t overcrowd the app, strive for minimalism.

4-      Make navigation feel familiar to users.

5-      Keep the right amount of space for finger tapping.

6-      Use legible font and color contrast.

7-      Provide visual feedback and animation to show app responsiveness.

8-      Make data entry easy and minimize the need for typing.

9-      Create a seamless, homogeneous, experience on all of your platforms.

10-  Test your design and constantly measure your app.

Considering that less than 0.01 of applications were predicted to be a financial success by their creators at the end of 2018, let’s have a look at the mobile UX trends of that year. (7)

Mobile UX trends of 2018

With the unleashing of the iPhone X, full screen and vibrant HD experiences dominated the trends. That trend also included apps who have integrated facial recognition and biometric fingerprints for authentication purposes.
Furthermore, Nick Babich writes that “ In 2016, Google stated that roughly 20 percent of all mobile searches were done with voice activation.  It’s easy to see why the next big thing for coming years will be voice-activated interfaces.” (8)

However, will the latter be on the list of predictions for the 2019 UX trends?
Indeed, design leader Sumit Dagar writes “Voice interfaces (VUI) is the next big thing in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). While visual and voice interfaces have largely remained independent entities till now, 2019 will see seamless integration of both and adoption at scale.”

He also predicts that in 2019, we’ll witness a “larger adoption of design systems amongst companies” but most importantly: the “liberal customization of design systems as companies target new geographies where users have less exposure to default systems.” (9) 

The implementation of a geographically customized mobile UX would mean that businesses now have a broader audience within their reach. Hence the reason why mobile UX is an essential investment for companies looking to expand their target audience.

 

All in all, 2019 looks like a very promising year tech wise. As interesting as it might seem to see all of the above actually come to life, I believe it would be more so to witness the unpredicted trends that could pop up during the year. But until then, I’ll keep a lookout.

 

Sources:

Picture credit: Basic ways of how people are holding their phones. Research by Steven Hoobe (6)

What if Retail’s future was now?


– ” When I’ll grow up … cars will fly in the sky! In ten years from now… we’ll pay for everything on our phone … we will absolutely do everything with it! ”

We are there, we are “tomorrow”, I am older and we are ten years later.

Then, even if all my mini-me’s speculations from ten years ago haven’t been all reached yet. Even if we’re not going to come back from parties in the Fifth Element taxis tomorrow … one thing is sure: consumer habits have changed. Our lives changed and our experiences too. But it is not ready to stop right? Then, what is the in-store customer experience of tomorrow?

Today we’re going to talk about Nike, who for me has already taken a first step in the future. Please, feel free to tell me what you think at the end of this article. In the meantime, I will take you to NY! For this last point, focus, close your eyes there we are … you are in New York City!

Everything started in mid-November in New York with the opening of a flagship where smartphones guide the experience in store. Touch-sensitive screens, personalized lockers, QR codes … Did you say Tech? In the 5th avenue corner, surrounded by Cartier and Sach, this cube with tinted windows becomes the new temple of the customer experience where technology and digital make one. Welcome to the new store Nike “House of innovation 000” 100 % phygital.

Unique prerequisite to live the experience: have a smartphone. Because for those who would not have been able to download for free Nike’s app, a WiFi network in the store makes possible to do it directly in the store. Once the application installed on your mobile, the experience can finally begin declined in 6000 m2 and on the 6 levels of the store. By the way, what is phygital and why does it work so well?

 What is ‘’the phygital’’?

Definition: The phygital is one of the retail trends which regroups the physical world and the digital world. Leaned towards customer’s needs, the objective is to propose him the best possible experience. Real convergence point of the online and the offline, the objective is to pick the best of both worlds to offer simplified, continuous and personalized experiences to customers. This new retail trend makes the implementation of personalized promotional offers possible. It develops and optimizes the simplicity of purchase.

 5 phygital success factors applied to Nike

1- Immersion

People have to live a real experience that changes from ”regular shopping”.

Let’s return to our flagship visit, on 5th Avenue. Welcome to the ground floor nicknamed ‘’Nike Arena’’, with an electro music background. Customers are directly attracted by the central block with its white sneakers, the jars of colors, the colored laces. It contrasts with the employees in white laboratory blouses who come to explain to you how this “workshop” works.



2- The custom-made product

If you want to: you can customize your shoes from A to Z. And it works because customers hurry to take pictures: shoes, window, giant screens… all the Flagship technology goes to pictures!

Involving the customer into the ”creation” process and giving them the possibility to make their product unique is a way to make people feel important for the brand.

3- The community

The customer experience personalization goes even farther and plays on the affiliation to the community “members” of the brand. The fact to belong to a group. Because the last floor, “Nike Expert Studio” is reserved for the members NikePlus. How to become a member? It is enough to have downloaded the application on your smartphone and to have filled your e-mail address. A premium status within reach of your thumb in fact.

In addition to that, a team is available for a personalized shopping session, to customize your clothes even to make of the custom-made product in the studio which is on-the-spot. A real personalized shopping session, dedicated to some elected representatives.

4- Data analysis for a simplified experience

If you are in a hurry, you can come down directly to the “Speed Shop”, located on the floor below, to get back your articles beforehand reserved online. Direction to the black lockers wall, where the usernames are displayed in brilliant letters. Once the unbolted locker and clothes or shoes were tried, you have the possibility, armed with your application, to pay directly with your smartphone by scanning the QR codes of articles before leaving a few minutes later. An express performance where customers and brands find some benefit. Time-saving for some, earning some data for the others. Time is money you said? I believe that it has never been as true.


 

5- Convenience

In other floors men/ women /children, we notice QR codes presence on labels to the feet of the exhibition model. There also, the wish to simplify the customer experience in the store is present. By scanning these labels, the consumer can know in real time the available sizes in store. He can even try clothes and sneakers via the option “changing room” or ” pick-up area “. The option geo-localization – activated only if the customer gave his authorization beforehand – allows Nike to follow your moves, to know your position in the store and thus to deliver clothes to the wished floor.

This last factor is very important to consider when implementing a phygital strategy. Convenience makes the experience doable and easy. Customers are saving time while doing the shopping. It’s like buying in a science fiction movie!

 

Conclusion:

To conclude the future of the retail would be “the personal data analysis” according to Heidi O’ Neill, the president of Nike Direct. The objective for the American group is to create an ‘’alive store, as well reactive as digital’’. In other words, Nike wants to offer an in-store shopping as personalized, fast and easy as the online experience.

When we consider that more than two-thirds of the customers in a phase of purchase in a store consult their mobile (l’Observatoire du commerce mobile -June 2017) we understand why the group wants to democratize purchase and payment via this device. Furthermore, if 81 % of the European millennials admit being satisfied with their experience in a shop (a study of the Monitoring center Cetelem on 2018), 61 % declare to want to experiment playful, festive or surprising experiences in store. A strategy which has a bright future ahead judging by the potential to work on…

 

Find out more with Cathy Sparks, Global Nike Direct Stores & Services interview:

 

Mobile UX: an Introduction Featuring the Latest Trends.

Mobile Proximity Marketing in France

Location-based data at your fingertips 

THE FRENCH MOBILE LANDSCAPE

LenouvelEconomist run two months ago as a headline, that we moved on to the « Mobile moment ». In fact, Google announced last September that mobile queries had exceeded those made via desktop over the summer 2017 in France.

French actors are clearly lagging behind in terms of brands leveraging mobile to increase conversion but the wind is shifting rapidly and they are on their way to catch up. The main updates and fields of improvement are around increasing the page load times, investing in accelerated Mobile Pages provided by Google, adopting mobile first contents, etc.
On this matter, according to Thomas Husson, analyst at Forrester, this revolution is not only about « a change in mobile usage » but more widely, it is an « evolution of consumers’ states of mind » who want to receive services in real time to satisfy their demands whenever they feel the need for it. In terms of improving customer experience and enabling brand loyalty, he adds that brands should properly perform upstream measures to evaluate the full value of mobile driving in-store traffic, as 85% to 90% of the transactions are still made offline. That is why collecting contextual data link to consumers is key in order to anticipate their needs.

 

Another key milestone coming this year is the launch of Google’s mobile first index which will impact your overall mobile marketing strategy.Will it become your new SEO Bible? In any case, it will change the whole search result experience giving full credit to the mobile version of your site to rank it on Google. You will need more than ever to understand your users’ behaviour and preferences in order to engage them truly with mobile optimized content and optimized website to increase your mobile conversion rate.

 MOBILE USAGE AND SMS CAMPAIGNS

According to the 2018 Baromobile study released by OMD (Omnicom Media Group) together with the expert in drive-to-store S4M, the level of consciousness around « Data connexion » has arised and consumers are using more and more mobile :

 

Furthermore, according to the 2016 Study made by the Mobile Marketing Association together with L’ARCEP, «  80% of the mobile users receiving a commercial SMS declare themself interested by its content», whereas «  20% among them have already clicked on a promotional link ». So we can ask ourself :

  • Which sms strategies brands are leveraging off to push their in-store conversion ?

For locale acquisition campaign, SMS geofencing is a circumvented tool. Since 2015 in France the commercialization of SMS in client acquisition is rising as retailers and brands want to grow their SMS database and increase conversion. According to a 2016 study, a tremendous open rate reaching 95% (of which 90% within 4 minutes – study from MMA – Arcep) with a memorization rate of 60% (INSEE 2016).

  • What simple content to push ? 

Flash sales notifications, discounts with flash codes,link redirecting toward a landing page, videos. You can as well personalize your sms by creating custom SENDER Id (or OADC) but remember 160 characters maximum and the STOP mention included to be privacy-friendly.

  • How to use geofencing in your SMS geotargeting techniques ?

Retailers are using geolocation as a real life « cookie » to drive traffic in store thanks to GPS, beacons or wifi technologies.  One of the condition using geofencing properly before sending any commercial offer is that you must first get the permission from a mobile phone number to text message them. It can be done through an  SMS keyword sent to an SMS code : « shoes » to 3638 or an optin obtained through a previous campaign. Once customers give their permission to share their location, you will be able to set your campaign and choose for instance a radius of 20km (the maximum distance) around the postal address of potential clients or a radius of 1km around your retail store to reach them.

  • What’s the main advantage of SMS geotargeting ?

It provide you with a high precision target based on past and real time results and, thanks to optimization algorythms, you will be able in the future to consistently improve your targeting audience predicting their needs, their purchase intents while analysing POS traffic and factors influencing them.

Some french specialist in geo profiling and geolocation for retailers like Ubudu  in the tourism industry, can help you building your proximity marketing strategy by providing you with high-precision geolocation features (up to 10cm !). You will be able to send push notification according to their location, send them personalized welcome message, enable customers to avoid lining in store and enable them finding products and services as fast as possible to provide them unprecedent experiences !

  • Toward an omichannel strategy ?

Click and Mortar and pure players businesses are leveraging consistently the mobile experience to fuel their omnichannel strategy by multiplying acquisition campaigns and activations. Sephora is a good example of a makeup store retailer using sms within its 360° « Wonder » Christmas campaign and whom has been recently rewarded for it (read the dedicated article here).

 DRIVE TO STORE STRATEGIES & BUSINESS CASES

Mobile is key when we think of cross-canal and ROPOiste strategies because acccording to the 2016 study of L’Observatoire du ROPO², on average out of 100 visits in a retailer store (during a period of 3 months), 46% of visitors are cross canal (visiting the website and the store) and conversion rate made via mobile in France is reaching 56 %. That is why, brands should perform various drive to store activations such as Drive to store RTB, Facebook Offers or SMS.

Lets focus on mobile display advertising wich offer huge potential in terms of activating local customer :
→ You can stimulate real time visits in store by targeting precisely your customer catchment area. Plateforms such as Adsquare, which is a mobile first data exchange, allow you to broadcast custom offers based on contextual information (open hours, weather, events and dedicated locations), within where you can adjust the radius of your reach and add advertisings redirecting to Google Map.
→ One insightful business case is the partnership made between the french adtech startup Databerries (now Teemo) and Intersport around its « Real life targeting » solution. It includes a SDK (a set of programming tools for your app), integrating easily geolocation data from 40 app publishers (including Marmiton, L’équipe). For Intersport, a « visit » is equal to a 15 minute visit in store. Thanks to Databerries, Intersport confirms that for one euro invested, it take back 4 to 6 euros margin (study available here)
In terms of your overall customer journey, what could be the next steps once you have attracted potential customers in-store ? Leveraging in real-time your data collected is essential :

2/ During the visits :

  • In-store wifi : accessing the free In-Store wifi access to identify your visitors and activate marketing trigger (push notifications, trigger content on wi-fi connection landing page) to collect data and new optins
  • Geofencing local notification

3/ Post-visits : Behavioral retargeting
By collecting  of individual data visits and sending :
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  • SMS / Email offering complementary/lookalike products
  • SMS/Email to encourage revisiting the store with a welcome back message

 

 DRIVE TO STORE STRATEGIES & BUSINESS CASES

Transforming your store into a « Data Generator » and enhancing your database plateform in order to serve your drive to store and omnichannel strategy is the way to procede in order to boost your sales. Retailers are in this way tending to adopt the « Cookie less » targeting model thanks to the unique identifiers.

→ A great variety of first party location data is now at your disposal like the Mobile ID (MAC Address), Mobile Number and optin thanks to the synchronisation between a device having a unique identifier and emitters like wifi sensors, IoT signals, GPS, beacons. You will be therefore able to cross historical location data, detailed behavioral pattern, as well as intentionist data within the same place. Adtech technologies are rightly improving their capacities offering now Location-smart SDKs. On the media buying plateform side (DSP, DMP, trading desks), french actors are doing more and more partnerships to access millions of unique ID, combine it with online identifiers and geolocation data. For instance Vectaury is coupling its DSP with its SDK to propose ultra qualified segmented audience and thanks to different partnerships with Mondadori, Madvertise,  they have access to more than 10 millions located user data that they propose to publishers to maximise their conversion.

«  Mobility data » as it is called, has become therefore a new source of information and is used as a proxy for second and third party engagement data (read the article here).
For instance, Fidzup can provide you a clear measurement of your Drive-to-store ROI by performing behavioral targeting in and out of the store (buying intention, catchment area, competitors customers) and is able to collecte granular data coming from Store, section, fitting rooms, floor, cash registers. (To know more about Fidzup : here).

However, in order to ensure clean and high qualitative data origin, your mobile advertisers must cross-referencing location data through different sources. Examples would be using GPS, phone operators, beacons or specific algorythms and detect any possible ad fraud in order to collect compliant and qualitative actionable data. On the compliance part, the french mobile actor Vectaury is offering a new optin since the beginning of 2018 : a « Geo-transparent optin »banner to simplify the consent collection of mobile users and perform anonymized profiling (read article here).
As a matter of fact, the overall marketing need to collect contextual data is becoming widespread and confirmed by the last trends in the Adtech market. Since the beginning of the year 2018, the first Adtech sector attracting investments in France is the Drive- to- store sector. French actors like Teemo (Ex Databerries), Mozoo,  Vectaury or Fidzup are leveraging offline market opportunies given the fact that this market is not under the Google and Facebook dominance. For instance, the French Actor Tabmo is trying to make the usage of mobile DSP more accessible to agencies accompanying brand thanks to its creation module : « GPstore (drive to store),  MScroll (canvas type) and the SlideMotion (read the article here).

It is no more a question of proximity advertising but about the unicity of the location data that lead to new marketing strategies : Online to offline attribution, retargeting and re-engagement. What is important to keep in mind is to leverage on your CRM data and – onboarding thanks to  cross-device data combination. According to Ray Kingman, CEO, Semcasting «  By using IP, location and device matching, marketers can leverage mobile to execute deterministic attribution with 70%-90% coverage matching across all channels and platforms – both online and offline».

New marketing metrics are therefore emerging to mesure the online ad impact on offline sales with KPIs such as :  visit rate,  Cost-per-Visit (CPV), visit direction, number of visits, areas visited location intelligence:

To go further on the metrics subject, earlier at the Mobile World Congress hold in Barcelona (from the 26st of Feb until the 1st of March), the company Augury took the opportunity to publicize its first complete app ecosystem intelligence solution by launching «  Active Insights »which combines cross-app data and provide full cross device reports . The Ogury mobile data collection plateform has data from more than 400 million users with audience segments based on the mobile users app usage. It give marketer competitors insights, how to deal with churn rate and  how to segment their target to deploy mobile ad targeting then outside the apps which hit an unprecedent scale in terms of insights.

FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS

After casting a wide net around mobile strategies.. what if blockchain was coming into play ? Mobiquity Networks, a mobile  location data intelligence provider adopted a blockchain layer into its marketing strategy. Its plateform gathers ID, IDFA (Apple Identifier) with anonymized location data (like footfall traffic in-store) via third-party permission-based mobile apps, primarily shopping apps and combined with other data in order to be sold to clients. Adding a hybrid blockchain layer to your database can help your business dealing with your data separation problems providing structures to guide your data pointers and breakdown each « event » within your blockchain together with IDs source written into it. Blockchain is therefore an extra key consideration to not underestimated in the digital marketing and advertising data management landscape.

To conclude, drive-to-store strategies on the marketing as not yet entered into a mature stage has its overall impact measurement (whatever the device used) is still not entirely manage by measurement companies. The latter are trying to provide real time insights to measure the entire online and near/in store customer journey that will allow brand to perform hyper locale marketing campaigns. The advent of contactless mobile payments is another factor that is going to reinforce the practice of real time targeted actions as well as analysis based on these new consumer behaviour shopping habits.

Therefore, the « mobile-ization  » amongst retailers and pure players brands is on its way in France, blending greater ease and convenience of shopping experience for mobile users and customers looking for greater on the go experiences.

SOURCES

  1. https://www.lenouveleconomiste.fr/lesdossiers/mobile-moment-62588/ 
  2. http://www.cbnews.fr/etudes/etude-baromobile-la-data-au-coeur-a1040631
  3. https://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/
  4. https://www.google.fr/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwik8_iywPbZAhVJZlAKHX1bAx8QFggvMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbnews.fr%2Fmarques%2Fla-poste-devoile-les-laureats-de-la-septieme-edition-des-trophees-du-media-courrier-a1037642&usg=AOvVaw2gh6S4fZIaJFS-YBvxU6W-
  5. https://www.journaldunet.com/ebusiness/publicite/1207018-adtech-les-business-qui-excitent-les-investisseurs/

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Mobile UX: an Introduction Featuring the Latest Trends.

Machine Learning: The future for every businesses

What is it ?

Machine Learning in simple word is when the machines begin to learn like humans and not only execute the instructions contained in the algorithms present in their processors.

It is therefore the automatic learning of any (re) programmable system, which presupposes that the notion of algorithms does not disappear but that other elements, in this case the data, are added to the algorithms. The goal is to allow the systems to learn and evolve towards performances not only of calculations but also related to actual thoughts.  In fact, at this level, the systems know how to adapt the results according to available algorithms and all the data which is available and has been acquired, interpreted.

Machine Learning

It is also really important to state the difference between data mining and machine learning. In fact, data mining is a discipline already known and which consists of reprocessing the already known data to leave properties and precisions still unknown. On the other hand,  thanks to the ‘known data’ Machine Learning tries to teach systems to predict what the result could be obtained from the data still unknown.

Enough with theory, let’s see how Machine Learning can affect businesses:

Detecting cyberattacks

According to a recent study published by the consulting firm Accenture, French companies are receiving and suffering two to three effective cyberattacks per month. Given the increasing amount of data, identifying illegal activities among a stream of legitimate actions is becoming increasingly complex. Manual scanning of such a large amount of data is no longer possible.

Nowadays, there are two ways of detecting cyberattacks and intrusions which, both, have their own limits: the human and the machine. In addition to the constantly increasing data volume, the typology of attacks is becoming ever more diverse.

The AI is a revolution in cybersecurity mostly because it takes a similar approach to the human one. Indeed, the AI is looking for an abnormal fact and the differentiation between a legitimate action and an attack is therefore based on the experience of what it has already seen in the past. It is precisely on this principle that an anomaly detection operated by artificial intelligence is based: with time, it will learn (via machine learning) what is the usual behaviour and qualify it as normal. Any other behaviour will then be considered as suspect.

 

Machine learning gradually tends to revolutionize the medical world as well.

Researchers from Stanford University created a new algorithm with a database of nearly 130,000 clinical images of skin lesions, representing more than 2,000 different diseases. The machine learning massively ingested the huge quantity of information and then processed them by algorithms. And it allowed to classify the lesions into three categories: non-cancerous, benign cancer and malignant cancer. The test has shown impressive results with a number of 69.4% accuracy for the machine against 65.8% for dermatologists.

 

Machine Learning in the marketing:

In marketing, the identification of combinations of factors is crucial because it has a real impact on sales.

We can take the example of the retail industry and more specifically the clothing’s industry.  In certain periods of the year, clothing sales are determined and set up in advance. In fact, winter is associated with warm clothing (hats, coats, sweaters), while summer comes with light clothing (shorts, skirts, sandals, short sleeves). It can be biased when the seasons are not following the usual cycle with cold temperatures in winter and warm ones in summer. Significant variations are increasingly taking place today because of the climate change and the global warming. Machine Learning will, then, allow retailers to provide clothes that people are the most likely to buy in the event of severe temperature fluctuations. Machine Learning will take into account the weather and each customer will have items personally suggested according to many factors and temperatures will be one of them.

For example :

I am working as an Inside Sales at ContentSquare and I am helping online businesses to change their culture by empowering all digital teams to understand the impact and effectiveness of every piece of content and user experience they create.

As a guide within the ContentSquare solution (a user experience and optimisation platform), ARTI, the Artificial Intelligence, is present in all the analysis modules.

This machine learning has a simple objective: contribute to the optimization of the conversion of e-commerce websites. Thus, ARTI suggests operational recommendations to accompany, in a daily routine, digital teams in optimizing the user experience for their Internet customers.

The three key points to remember is that ARTI helps to identify the pages of the e-commerce site and the areas that need to be worked on and optimized. Mr Robot also transmits methodological expertise, giving teams advice on how to analyze a given page or area. And last but not least, ARTI acts as a guide within the modules of the solution. The autonomous access to the data makes it possible to offer the teams a better knowledge of the users who are always more demanding and in search of personal relations with the brands. This constitutes a real vector of change: the more competent in behavioural analysis, the latter can finally give meaning to their actions by placing the users at the heart of the reflection.

The main idea with machine learning at ContentSquare would be to go from a SaaS model to a Site as a Service. Meaning that, thanks to AI and Machine Learning, it will be possible to propose a different user experience and interface for each one.

 

Mobile UX: an Introduction Featuring the Latest Trends.

QRcode, THE offline-to-online tool.

QRcode implementation tips. 

  • What is a QRcode?

QRcode means Quick Response code.

QRcode was created in 1994 by a Toyota supplier named Denso. It was used to track automotive components through the logistic process. Denso later shared its invention under a free license.

Then it spread all around the world.

QRcode is a two-dimensional barcode consisting of a black and white pixel pattern which allows to encode up to a few hundred characters such as URL, text, geo-location datas, SMS, emails, Wi-Fi access code, vcard (for personal data sharing)…

Smartphones and tablets are able to recognize and decode them exceptionally fast, that explain their name Quick Response. The applicable standard for QRcode is ISO/CEI 18004:2006.

QRcode should not be confused with barcode or datamatrix.

  • How to create a QRcode?

Many online tools allow creating a QRcode such as QRcode generator, kaywa.com, unitag.io, codactiv.com (with statistical outputs)…

Just copy/paste the URL and get your QRcode file.

  • How to read a QRcode?

Similarly, many apps are available, often the same. Qrafter, QRcode, QRcode reader, Smart Scan Lite…

  • Few tips:

1- Think first about the benefits of QR codes for your customers?

2- Make obvious what are the service embedded in the QRcode (link, discount, app downloading…) and how to use it.

3- Carry out extensive real life tests to validate QRcode design. For instance, putting QRcodes in the subway means no network. If a QRcode is provided on a screen, reflection has to be taken into account, especially when smartphone’s light is automatically on in case of darkness. I once, was not able to scan a QRcode on a interactive terminal because a spider was dead between the screen and the protective glass right in front of the QRcode.

4- The ideal size of a QRcode is ten times smaller than the reading distance. For a 20 centimeter scanning, a size of 2×2 centimeter is enough. Don’t undersize the QRcode.

5- Leave free space around the QRcode, it is mandatory for the reading. It is called quiet zone. The minimum size of a quiet zone is the size of two patterns (the small square that constitute the QRcode)

6- For long content URL, use short URL to reduce the size of the QRcode. Indeed, the complexity of a QRcode is linked to the content embedded. For example, a 21×21 patterns QRcode embeds around 10 to 25 digits content, a 25×25 patterns QRcode, 25 to 47 digits etc…

7- If your QRcode is exposed to harsh conditions, increase the error-correction level to its maximum. Indeed, by default a QRcode embeds a level of 7% redundancy meaning that the QRcode can still be readable even if 7% of the patterns are damaged. This level can be increased till 30% of redundancy.

8- Monitor the use of your QRcode by tagging the URL and getting analytics.

 

  • 3 practical implementations:

First example. Simple but nevertheless effective use of a QRcode, add LinkedIn link on a resume:

QRcode

Second example. Make a link between a product and its datas.

During the development stage of charging stations for electric vehicles called EVlink, we discovered that customers (end-users, installers, prescribers) were permanently seeking for information such as installation guide, technical characteristics, wiring diagrams, protection devices required…

On the product itself we added a QRcode. In fact, we transformed an industrial datamatrix (embedding commercial reference and serial number, including date code) to a QRcode embedding the URL of a landing page in addition.

QRcode

Once he has scanned the QR code, the customer is led to the whole datasheet of the product and is invited to install mySchneider app.QRcode

Scanning the QRcode a second time with mySchneider app, the customer can then:

-get a detailed product datasheet.

-access to FAQ.

-download all the related documents.

-submit to the Customer Care Center a mail. All the product individual datas will be transmitted: commercial reference, serial number, date code.

-can be put in touch by phone with his local Customer Care Center.

-or find a distributor close to him.

QRcode

Associated with QRcode, mySchneider app makes the link between product and datas for a more digitized customer experience.

QRcode

Third example:  game library.

During a discussion with the person in charge of my town’s game library, she was complaining of the low turn-over for games for players over 10-years. The reason for her, was the long and complicated rules. People had to rent the games first, then read carefully the rules to sometimes discover that they do not like or have small time remaining to play.

I was aware of the French website called videoregles.net, animated by Yahndrev, a heavily involved webmaster whose passion is to “translate” written playing rules into fun and attractive videos. The content was available; the “only” thing to do was to link it to the game itself.

In April 2014, I established contact through the forum to share the proposal to create QRcode label directly affixed on the game. And then we created and printed labels that were stuck on the main games.

QRcode

To help people learn more about the game, well before booking it, we also wrote an article in the town newspaper with games QRcodes in.QRcode

Fourth example: Easy connection to Wifi at home for guests.

Thanks to Unitag.io, it’s easy to create and print a QRcode to allow your guests to easily connect the Wifi.

QRcode

 

Why is QRcode so unloved in Western countries, whereas it is so popular in China?

The answer is probably that a third-party QRcode reading app is needed and there’s no room left in our western mobile phones for additional app whatever the value brought. In China, QRcode reader is natively integrated into Wechat, the well-known social media app. You can learn more by reading this.

Things may change, since Google finally decided, in February 2017, to add a native QRcode reader on Google Chrome for iOS devices that support 3D-touch. No doubt that other GAFA will follow.

QRcode

If you appreciated the topic, as a bonus, have a look on this incredible video that proves that QRcodes applications have no limits.

Laurent HELAINE @laurentlnpro