~ How important is mobile going to be in 2014? ~

I'm sure you've been reading it in newspapers, online and on toilet doors everywhere. Mobile is the new pink, it's one of the most popular trends predicted for the 2014. To be fair, in the last few years, these smart, slick, sexy gadgets have become such a huge part of our lives, they might as well be crowned 'honorary body parts'. The question is, how can your company turn the mobile trend into a gold mine?

By Charlie Stroe

In the pre-Christmas rush for presents you might have missed a really interesting piece of research which found that mobile now accounts for the majority of emails opened, with a 51 per cent share. Maybe you were too busy buying tablets and smartphones for Christmas to notice that the mobile trend is possibly the most popular prediction for 2014. If so, never fear, Stone Junction is here!

And we've got three top tips for your company, in case you're planning to go mobile in 2014. And really, if you haven't done so yet, you should really make a move quickly, or you might be stuck with the unpopular kids at the front of the bus. Or the back of the bus. Or wherever the unpopular kids sit these days.

1. Do it right
Don't just go mobile for the hell of it, make sure you fulfil a need, fill a gap, make it count and all that jazz. Do your research. First know what you're trying to achieve and synchronise it with what your audiences want. Think about making the mobile customer experience better than average. Aim for brilliant.

For example, I really enjoy using the BBC News and Guardian apps. A quick browse over my morning coffee offers me most of the information I need to eliminate the feeling that the time has finally come to purchase a TV. And so, my TV-less existence continues.

2. Your new best friend – responsive design
Apps can be awesome, but you shouldn't ignore your website. The variety of gadgets out there makes it difficult to settle on a static layout and content for your website. That's why responsive design is a must for any company that wants to go mobile. It ensures you don't annoy your visitors with teeny tiny text, enormous images or the pesky jumbled layout.

A responsive website uses the same URL, regardless of what device it's accessed from, whereas a mobile website has a different URL. Although creating a separate mobile website is an affordable and fast solution, to really future proof your web page – and optimise it for the almighty Google – responsive design is definitely the way to go. Nobody really wants to separate points of data entry.

3. “Experi-test” it
Don't be afraid to experiment with these new platforms. Get your audience involved; encourage them to interact with your app or mobile website. Use the device's ability to take pictures, scan QR codes, track location and share using social media.

Experiment and test - then test and experiment. Make sure you constantly check your website or apps on different devices to be confident it looks good and achieves the objectives you've set for it. Ask your audience and get your visitors involved.

If something isn't working for your company, don't be afraid to change it and most importantly, don't lose hope. Much like buying the perfect Christmas present, it takes a lot of experimenting, testing and patience to get it right.

Image courtesy of  koratmember/

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