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Mobile audiences want simple, slimmed down app products

I’ve said before that we’ve entered a time where the key technical disruption is happening in the gaps between services, which leads to waiting at the consumer level for transcendent innovation.

With the holidays upon us, I’m feeling the consumer doldrums more than ever. I’m bored with the offerings and updates this year.

Welcome to the remix.

New apps, devices, and services are built from the “same old” mobile/digital tools and services. Most new wearables are a just phone or pedometer in a new, less useful form. Each month it’s another new social media platform, another calendar/meeting/e-mail client, another dating service, another isometric war game, or another “disruptive” service on demand.

Beyond the first movers who may or may-not-have disrupted some market, latecomers often just tighten the supply chains to little effect with certainly no real payoff to the consumer.

Others apps are just the same frameworks in different costumes – a thousand variations of digital peanut butter.

Not better.

Not different.

Just more.

As our existing platforms aren’t evolving in leaps and bounds, there’s a tendency to “improve” through “more” as well – more features, more services, more advertising options stacked on top.

And, as noted above, often with little advantage to the consumer, or return to us. We need to resist the idea that adding is improving.

“People love to publish, but they hate to remove, which leads to overloaded Web sites and constant, inevitable redesigns,” writes Gerry McGovern at A List Apart.

Additionally, an older but still-on-point post from Jon Bolt at Boxes and Arrows points out, “The best products don’t focus on features, they focus on clarity.” But, if you want to know what you should add, make sure you’re talking to your customers.

This year I challenge you not to remix but refocus and add by smartly taking things away.

About Chuck Blevins

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