Mobile First & The Product Mindset

1024 576 David DeWolf

With the rise of portable computing devices, Google announced about a year ago that it was pursuing a new product development mindset – one they described as “Mobile First.” The approach ensures that mobility will be central – not an afterthought – to their product strategy.

Over the past year, we have seen many of our clients follow Google and consider mobility from the earliest phases of the product lifecycle.  We have found that a Mobile First strategy is complimentary, in fact an accelerator to, the Product Mindset and we have been urging our clients to embrace a true mobile strategy (not mobile for mobile’s sake). By leveraging the unique advantages of Mobile, products are able to drive to self-funding earlier in their lifecycle.

Because mobile devices tend to act as an extension of an individual they are more readily available and tend to be more personal. Multi-touch surfaces engage users in a more sensory form than has ever been possible. Increased audio and video integration allows the devices to interact through vocal cues (yes, these devices actually carry on conversations, they talk to you and can hear and respond to you). Mobile devices are aware of your location and where you are heading. They provide increased ability for both input and output and they tend to be “always on.” These characteristics of mobile devices have the potential to significantly impact interactions between products and their consumers.

Leading innovators who leverage a Mobile First strategy and consider these new features to be core to their products will find new ways to build more personal, consistent, robust, and meaningful interactions – all of which will lead to increased revenue, usage, market share, and adoption.

This, after all, is the Product Mindset. The Product Mindset focuses efforts on those that bring about self-funding and have the greatest impact on ROI. The Product Mindset gives preference to features that drive revenue, increase market share, and encourage both adoption and usage. By leveraging a Mobile First strategy, product managers will begin to drive real value through the mobile revolution. The days of web-centric design are behind us, today is the era of mobile and the mobile web.

What are some of the leading innovations that you’ve seen in mobile products? What innovators are leveraging the power of more personal interactions and which ones are still simply porting a web strategy over to their mobile devices? Are you embracing the mobile revolution? Have you deployed a Mobile First strategy?