Place, Space And The Mobile Interface

Place, Space And The Mobile Interface

A report by Method on the current mobile landscape surmises some of the key shifts in how smartphone users relate to and use their phones - and some of the ensuing engagement opportunities for brands.

Paloma M. Vazquez
  • 28 june 2010

A new report by Method – “Place, Space and the Mobile Interface” – surmises some key behavioral and attitudinal shifts that mobile has facilitated, and which brands seeking to engage with – and provide a solution for – consumers should be tracking to. An increasingly hyper-connected world dependent upon our (smart)phones to organize our lives and finances, plan our schedules, connect to others (both digitally and physically) and suggest to us where to go has opened up multiple opportunities for brands, designers and developers.

While the report doesn’t  necessarily uncover any unique shifts or applications that we have not collectively been discussing, it does offer a good synopsis for brands still getting up to speed on the mobile landscape. It also identifies some of the key shifts facilitated by the mobile landscape that will undoubtedly impact user behavior, attitudes and expectations:

  • Wallet Replacement and Ingrained Trust: We use our phones for personal finances, payment transactions and informing our purchase decisions. This has created a sense of trust that our mobile transactions, interactions and data are personal, private and safe. Perhaps the idea of scale gives many the sense that our (smart)phones are even more personal and trust-worthy than transactions on our personal computers, and the now-seemingly broader “internet”.
  • A personal compass and concierge: Yelp, Google Local, Foursquare, even Thrillist and Urban Daddy. Location-based services like these tell us where to go, and who else that we know might be there.
  • A physical simulation of analog reality: if you don’t know how to play the flute or aren’t willing to order a vuvuzela – simulating the sound of one on your smartphone might be the next best thing.
  • Facilitating analog relationships via virtual interaction: According to Method,

More and more, in this new tactile, location-aware context, we are connecting with each other in the physical world via virtual means. Text messages are a primary mechanism for coordinating meetings. Mobile social applications like Loopt allow us to broadcast location-specific activities to our friends, alerting them when we are nearby. Loopt dating offshoot Loopt Mix connects the single, available, and nearby in real-time. Foursquare uses a game-like check-in and reward system to connect people with locations and, as a result, to each other. All of this reflects a shifting social context, where virtual communication results in real-world connections.

Method’s “Place, Space and The Mobile Interface”


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