If you have been a CEO or a product manager you probably have been in this situation before: You have your perfect product roadmap and when you finally are close to get ‘The Last Version’, the product feels ‘outdated’, wrong and it looks like the world has moved towards another direction.
This is what is now happening with Mobile apps.
Think about it, how many apps do you really use? Most of us don’t use more than 3/4 on a daily basis. We don’t have time, we don’t remember we have them (especially when we need them) and the free ones don’t often offer a real value proposition. But what is even more important : we don’t care about apps, we care about notifications.
The way we experience content is changing. The idea of an app as an independent destination is becoming less important, and the idea of an app as a publishing tool, with related notifications that contain content and actions, is becoming more important. This will change what we design, and change our product strategy.
Apps as destinations makes less and less sense. Why open the Facebook app when you can get the content as a notification and take action — like something, comment on something — right there at the notification or OS level.
I really believe screens of apps won’t exist in a few years, other than buried deep in the device UI as a secondary navigation.
Large parts of this are built already; things like Google Now, Android notifications, iOS8 interactive notifications, iOS8 extensions, Twitter cards. Emerging platforms like Android Wear and Apple Watch are confirming these trends towards cards that work as notifications, content and actions.
We are in the era of personalization and we are impatient. We don’t tolerate average content and we want to get the right information at the right time without having to ask for it.
Why open the app when you don’t need to? Let’s take this a step further.
Imagine a vertical stream of cards, individually personalized and ranked based on who and what you care about, your current context (location, availability, etc.) and your likelihood to care about things based on historical data when you were in a similar context.
Imagine that you can scroll horizontally, and that shows you more content from the same source. So on a Facebook post, that is effectively your newsfeed presented horizontally rather than vertically.
But what is more, our mobile will really join the group of smart devices (yes finally). We have the smart wifi thermostat that adapts the temperature learning of our habits. I expect our smartphones will be doing that very soon. The board of ‘cards’ will show you what you actually are using and will adapt depending on your habits.
Responsive design is a nice thing, but we’re heading way beyond that. We’re talking about designing content that may appear on an incomprehensible number of devices and in an incomprehensible number of situations. This will need new design principles, new ways of thinking about researching context. Push forward with this yourself, don’t wait for it to happen.
Are you going to be part of the game?
There are many other people writing about these things and I’m really curious to see what you think about it. Don’t hesitate to write a comment and I’ll do my best to respond and keep the conversation moving forward!
Source : Linkedin