I recently participated in Mobile Web Africa 2014, sitting on a panel about Mobile content, users and consumption. Below are the four key points that I think are important when thinking about content and mobile today.
Content is back
- It used to be important, then it became cheap, throw-away. People created sites and services with bad content, flooded the mobile web. In education there are SO many apps, so many mobile learning services and products. Are they all good? No.
- People are coming back to the notion of quality content. It stands out. It is appreciated. Whether this is financial or not is another story.
- Quality content is a differentiator.
Content is contextual
- We are moving from mobile to multi-device usage.
- How it is consumed is crucial to how it is presented. Now more than ever, despite designing for mobile first, we need to think about the context of use for the different platforms and media.
- Pearson has a single body of content, how is it presented, layered, animated across platforms and media?
Content is social
- There were fears, and to an extent many of us in education are still cautious, about intruding into the social media lives of learners. Kids smell school, and My Space for them means their space. However, I think that with the rise of social media, the door has opened.
- “Social media is changing the way people interact, present ideas and information, and communicate.” Social media has grown beyond anyone’s expectation. This is where (young) people are “living” online, and they connect via mobile. According to Flurry Analytics, overall app use in 2013 posted 115% year-over-year growth. The segment that showed the most dramatic growth in 2013 was Messaging (Social and Photo sharing included), with over 200% growth.
- From an education perspective, we must include socialness in learning experiences. Peer-to-peer support and connectivity, tutoring, knowledge sharing. Content is social.
Content is layered
- We know that people scan the web. But you can’t scan all educational content. Much of it requires deep reading. What do to?
- Create layers – one for scanning, one for digging deeper, one for reference. We need to allow for multiple readings, multiple views.