Mobilebeat 2014: The Beginning of the "Age of Context"

Jul 14, 2014   

Posted by Schneidermike

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I went to the gold coast last week to suck up some knowledge at the 2014 Mobilebeat Conference (put on by the good people at Venturebeat) at one of my absolute favorite cities for inspiration. For a long time I have been speaking on the power of location and what is coming, and it has been really great to be in the trenches working on the very things I observed and helped shape in the past. 

Much like the content covered in Shel Israel and Robert Scoble's book, "The Age of Context", we looked into the crystal ball at Skyhook and we saw ways for app developers, device makers, publishers and ad-tech companies to leverage the power of location to learn something. This vision is now becoming an actionable reality, as the data now available combines to deliver insights that drastically reduce the the chasm between development and user vitality. Context can ensure that we are delivering the most relevant experience in the form of content or clicks. 

Appticipation

What is Appticipation? It's a word I made up. Appticipation is the ability for a mobile application to think ahead and know what a user will want to do. It is done to increase engagement with the application, increase session time and make the experience more meaningful. 

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At MobileBeat, Walmart discussed how they are experimenting with appticipation via an in-store mode to give its users the experience they need when they need it. Gibu Thomas, @WalmartLabs SVP Mobile & Digital talked about howright now, this means that a user gets in-store specials, new items and item rollbacks. Similar to Cardstar, Walmart is using geofences to track the location of their customers. When they are in the stores, the app switches modes to attempt to put the most relevant experience in their hands. 

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How Retail Apps Can Leverage Context to Increase User Engagement > > 

This is another huge indicator that location is the next big data point to inform user experience design. Designing specifically for what a user will do in place specific use cases means product visionaries need powerful insights into where users go and why they go to those places. Being able to analyze and categorize the frequency in which a user goes to a place or types of places (retailer shopping vs. WalMart) allows designers and developers to vastly improve experiences. 

It's become about making experiences super relevant in all aspects of the app experience. Hotel Tonight (screenshot to the right) has taken this to heart by making their error screens extremely user friendly and engaging, including using location to let you know when you're out of range of Hotel Tonight. Explaining why you're receiving the experience is crucial to users returning to the app. If they think it's supposed to work a certain way, it should. If it doesn't and you explain why, there's a better chance of them reengaging. 

Want to add Appticipation to your app? Skyhook would love to talk to you about taking full advantage of location and context to your application to make your app more engaging, increase usage frequency and session length. Click here to contact us and we will have someone in touch with you shortly.variety_shot-5

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