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Monday 14 October 2019

Mobile user experience:
5 types of micro-moments

When we hear mobile, responsive design usually jumps to mind. Indeed, a smartphone's screen is much smaller than a computer's. Using a website that is not adapted to this format can become a nightmare and cause even the most invested user to flee. 

Nevertheless, the real problem of mobile phones does not lie in their format but rather in their use. What sets the mobile phone apart is its omnipresence in the life of any user, allowing them to connect at any time of the day or night. The size of the screen, frequency and time of use are highly correlated: the smaller the screen, the more frequently it is used over short periods of time.

This phenomenon, for which the high frequency of use is only equalled by its short duration of use, is called "micro-moments". To help you put yourself in the user's shoes and understand their context, I have determined the 5 main types of micro-moments: 

1.A MICRO-MOMENT TRIGGERED BY WHAT HAS BEEN SEEN

Dating applications are very good at this. A user is single and sees a couple on the street? If they have a dating application installed on their smartphone, chances are they will feel compelled to go on it. 

Example of an application that meets this use: Tinder 

2. AN URGENT NEED

A user goes for a stroll one evening around a new city, and looks for a good restaurant within a 10-minute walk. Once again, they turn to their smartphone. 

Examples of applications that meet this use: Google Maps, TheFork 

3. AN IN-STORE ADVISORY

A pair of shoes seen in a store may interest a consumer, but they wonder if the pair can't be found for less elsewhere. They may also wish to seek advice or recommendations. 

Example of an application that meets this use: Amazon 

4. PASS THE TIME 

That notorious friend is running late again, keeping the person on the other end waiting... Naturally, the user has the reflex to take out their smartphone, with the sole purpose of occupying time, and to perhaps half-heartedly draw some inspiration. 

Example of an application that meets this use: Instagram 

5. MICRO-PRODUCTIVITY

Similar to the previous type of micro-moment used to occupy time, and different in the sense that it also allows you to advance in your to-do list. You might, for example, want to take advantage of the time spent on public transport to learn Spanish using an application. 

Example of an application that meets this use: Duolingo 

Ultimately, the question to ask yourself when designing a mobile experience, before even asking yourself how your logo will fit on this small screen, is: does the imagined experience correspond to one of these micro-moments?

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