Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to sit on a Panal at the ICE Mobile gaming conference
The panels really snappy title was…
How do we apply what we learn in Mobile and Apply it to Emerging Technology Channels and Platforms in the Converged Future?
And on it was…
- Moderator: Sonja Kangas, Head of Game Lab, PAF
- Stephen Lovell, Online Product Development Manager, PaddyPower (Thats me!)
- Shaz Mirza, Mobile and New Channels Product Manager, Ladbrokes eGaming
- Charlie Palmer, Head of Mobile, Betfair
The theme for the panel was around what we could take from mobile while planning product development for the future and a lively discussion was had will all of the panelists making some great points.
To sum up our thoughts our key learnings were…
1. Listen to your customers
The technology itslef is only a means for people to do things, how and what they do is up to them we can only lead so much.
Use stats, analytics and research to find out what customers want
2. The interface is changing
Be it mobile, tablet, or TV the web as we know it is no longer the only player in town, how does your application cope with these new formats and more importantly how can your product evolve to take into account the new environments in which they are used?
Input devices are changing as well, the mouses days are numbered possibly with the advent of responsive touch screens and even that could be pushed out by gesture based controls such as Microsoft’s Kine ct, this has wide reaching implications for our products and applications.
3. Choose platforms carefully but expect to make a few mistakes, but make sure you start
Getting onto an emerging platform early can seem like a waste of time until it really gathers pace but it does allow you to experiment and make mistakes before it becomes critical.
4. The goal is a single, seamless user experience
For us allowing a customer to bet, play a game or a hand of cards anytime anywhere and anyhow is the goal allowing them to pick up on one platform where they left of on another platform.
But while that is the goal, new platforms also offer an opportunity to evolve your product so that the experience fits the platform, medium and environment the user is in/on.
5. Start thinking about how different devices can work together
We are already starting to see applications for the phone that interact with the iPad or the TV, how can we create experiences that are seamless while a user is on both devices, how can we make their lives easier in this way, by framing your thinking like that we will see products start to evolve that really drive better experiences for users.
6. New technology will lead to the blurring of the online and offline world
With the growth of mobile and cloud computing people now have access to enormous computing power in their pocket meaning that we have the opportunity to give them access to that and other things that will augment their experience in a normally offline world.
We are already seeing this with apps like Google Goggles, Amazon shopping and Accrossairs Nearest tube. Soon we will be able to walk around shops getting personalised offers sent to us as we walk past displays. How can you bridge the online and offline world for your customers?
7. Think about how the user wants to interact as well as what they want to do
Where are they, what else are they doing, is it noisy, are they standing/walking/in a car new platforms are changing the traditional model of lean forward browsing, what changes do you need to make to allow for this. Ethnographic research should be high on your agenda this year.
7. The road is long
Remember for how many years that it was the year of the mobile?
8. Its a really exciting time to be building new applications
So many opportunities and technologies and so little time, I am off to do some more!