The human-first principles for mobile success

4 min read
Margaret Kelsey
  •  Jun 17, 2016
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We all strive to be better human beings. We want an attractive body, a meaningful life, and to become more intelligent about the things that count. And the more connected we become to our mobile products, the more we expect from them. Mobile products are essentially an extension of ourselves.Twitter Logo 

We invited mobile guru and Silicon Valley veteran SC Moatti to teach us the “human-first” principles that are the foundation for mobile design success. Watch SC’s full talk below, or read on for our short recap.


Differentiating the consumer journey for mobile products

SC’s first example of a consumer journey came from her time at Trulia. Their average user would have already made the decision that they need to move or rent a new place before turning to Trulia. So those users are potentially dealing with a lot of anxiety as they’re thinking about finances, logistics, and time. Trulia’s goal—and the goal of every product manager or product designer—was to get the user to a place of success. In this case, success meant finding a place to rent.

“What makes the best mobile product is also what makes our best self.”

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When considering this and other consumer journeys, SC asked us to consider what’s unique to mobile that no other platform has.

There are 2 answers. The first is that mobile is linked to a user’s real identity, since mobile devices are personal to each user. SC describes this as a cultural transformation rather than a technology change. Mobile is a technology that’s with users at any point in time. Mobile products can know who users really are rather than only knowing them as an avatarTwitter Logo or persona.

The second answer: Mobile products can also be completely contextual—they can understand a user’s environment or mood. Mobile products allow for the ability to personalize to a degree that was previously unimaginable, and measure in context.  

More from SC Moatti: 3 ways to be just pushy enough on mobile

So how can you design mobile products that work in this new paradigm of real identity and contextuality? Since mobile is so tied to the person, SC postulates that what makes the best mobile product is also what makes our best self.Twitter Logo

SC applies the mind/body/spirit framework to mobile design principles:

  • Mind: learning. The best mobile products learn as we use them.Twitter Logo
  • Spirit: meaning. The best mobile products give users meaning.Twitter Logo
  • Body: beauty. The best mobile products operate by beauty.Twitter Logo

To hear SC dive deeper into how to align the principles of mind/body/spirit to your mobile products, watch the video above!

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