Mobile User Characteristics

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Mobile first emerged as a favorite buzzword, as penetration and traffic patterns have made mobile optimization and native apps must-haves for almost all consumer-facing businesses. However, mobile comes with its unique characteristics when it comes to customer behavior.

Here’s a quick take on these distinct characteristics:

  1. Limited Real Estate. With no search gateway like Google, you are constantly reminding your user to ask herself whether she’d like to keep your app on her mobile or uninstall.
  2. Low tolerance. The product performance expectations are very high for responsiveness and accuracy. If you disappoint, you lose users.
  3. No returns. When a mobile user clicks away from an app, there is no back button, so it’s usually an exit, not a detour.
  4. Low attention & multitasking. App usage is usually an activity that accompanies another one, such as commuting, waiting for a meal, or sitting in a meeting.
  5. Targeted usage. When a user fires up your app, she usually has a specific thing she is looking for. Social apps are an exception to this.
  6. Shorter sessions. The engagement time of mobile users is about half that of web users.

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