Who transformed my website?

Hmm, somebody want shopping, me! I want to get a new shirt from my favorite brand J.Crew on my iPhone. When I type jcrew.com the website automatically takes me to m.crew.com. a M is for mobile.

 Image

My first impression: simple, easy and the featured collection. The mobile site is well organized with different categories. I hit the women section, and I found one shirt I like.

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I can zoom in and out of the image. I can see different color options with a simple swipe. Overall impression: the mobile site of J.Crew is convenient and easy and assists me very well.

Design thinking=user experience

It is so easy for consumers to look up brand’ website on mobile because you never let go of your smartphone. On the mobile, users can click what they want to see, see different images, make a zoom-in and out, and it continues to check out.

These are exactly what consumers would want to do with their smartphone like they did with the computer. However, there’s a problem. The screen sizes of a desktop, an iPhone and a table PC are too diverse. Brands that wish to grab mobile device users must check if their websites is designed with appropriate size, shape and buttons for touchscreen users. Design thinking is not only beautifying content/context but also considering design that users can use the mobile/web functions easily, conveniently and intuitively like I did with the J.Crew mobile website.

Marketing as service

According to Fleishman-Hillard, Internet is the leading influence in consumer purchasing choice. Marketing is more responsive to provide consumers with well-developed and organized information on the Internet so that information can promote consumers’ buying and using a product/service. People would rely on the Internet more and more because the number of people who have smartphone and table PC is increasing annually.

However, there are still many companies that have not prepared with the new mobile environment like J.Crew. These poor companies can have a rescue by digital marketing agencies. These agencies can help business builde a mobile marketing platform . I am not talking about a simple transformation from a computer-based website to a mobile-based website. Digital marketing agencies help their clients to build a web/mobile site that they can engage with their consumers and keep consumers come back. How this can be done? It can be through, for example, ideation and wire framing that a client can see a bigger and clearer picture with the business. (I will discuss about ideation and wire framing in the following.)

Agile marketing methods

Before look at the ideation and wire framing, I would like to point out an important concept, agile marketing methods. The world is evolving and changing so fast. In the business environment, time is especially critical. Most of the time, an agency has to work in a limited short time and has to pull their best out of the result. For the desperate situation, agility is a great way to save time and effort of both a client and an agency. For the agency, modification is capable for the agency to handle, and the client can monitor the progress of the work from meeting to meeting. This is because agility promotes communication between the client and the agency. The key point of agile marketing is interaction with each other. It allows collaboration between two parties become concrete. Instant feedback can be given and received, and objectives of a project can be more clarified through the agile method.

 For more readings about agile marketing, refer the following links provided by professor Yorke Rhodes.

Ideation

When I worked at a research and consulting company back in Korea, I was involved with several ideation projects with employees and customers for new product development. As an agency side, my company took a role of a moderator. We threw relevant questions and helped participants express their ideas and opinions about the projects. Then, we analyzed the data and picked up insights from many ideas. This is a fascinating because inventive and valuable can be acquired from anybody, and the solid idea could be built through relevant questions and answers.

Similarly, digital marketing project requires ideation when a client and an agency work on the project together. Different people have different great perspectives, so getting all the great ideas is the key in the ideation. Ideation is a way that an agency takes useful information from clients like a brainstorming. And then, collected ideas get solid shapes that can be utilized for the project.

Ideation can be done in a different way. There are various types of platforms that business can monitor, communicate and evaluate real customers’ voices and insights such as an online community. From these Internet sources, business can explore new and helpful ideas of customers. In addition to this less-filtered platform, business can invite customers on the online chat session, email or poll that customers can share their thoughts and ideas.

Wire framing

Wire framing is important in terms of actualizing ideas into a visible result. Wire framing is a helpful and visual aid for agency to present their ideas to client.  Clients can clearly see a location of buttons, flow of usage, etc.

Balsamiq is one of wire framing service provides. (See my posting about Balsmiq at http://oliviaheo.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/new-look-for-my-blog-with-balamiq/)

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 11.40.02 PM

When it comes to wire framing, color is not involved and it helps developers do not get blinded with color and concentrate on flow of context. Without color, agency also can save time because they can distribute less time on coloring, but concentrating on the flow and position of items.

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