Context-Aware Apps: How to Super Charge Your Customer Engagement

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Assess Value

Step Four: Assess the value and feasibility.

The value of contextual variables depends on the application. Determine the added business and customer value to prioritize the contextual variables to be included in the mobile solution. Make sure to also determine the method and technology necessary to collect, transform and integrate the contextual variables considering information accuracy, ability or cost of gathering that information and the impact on user experience. Because building an effective CAA sometimes necessitates the collection of personal, location-based data, it is crucial to state the benefits of providing such information and how it will be used so that the user will grant access. The goal of providing transparency about data usage is to build trust with the user instead of raising fear.

Developing an application that is used frequently by a specific audience requires a rigorous design and development process. This includes defining the app's goals and objectives, determining its features and functionality, designing a user experience that is both engaging and delightful and building the underlying architecture and analytics that will support the functions of the app — even before writing the first line of code.

Mobile devices are arguably the best way to deliver messages at the right time and place given their always-on nature. So, when building a mobile app with the goal of being useful and engaging, making it a context-aware app is ideal.

Context-aware applications, or CAAs, are the next generation of intelligent mobile applications. When allowed by their users, these apps use contextual data: from historical information about the user's demographics and behavior profiles to data about the current surroundings obtained through the smartphone's microphones, accelerometers, gyroscope, cameras and other sensors. Combining these inputs with the current time and location via GPS, CAAs paint a picture about the user's immediate context, and use the information to deliver tailored experiences in the form of timely, relevant and appropriate information, notifications and/or functionality. As compared to other apps, CAAs sustain a user's attention and are more effective at influencing or changing behavior.

But where do you start? In this slideshow, Gary Rozal, Ph.D., vice president, Analytics at Mobiquity, has identified five steps for developing the next evolution of mobile apps.

 

Related Topics : In Their Own Words: The Four Dark Horses for the Third Major Mobile OS Speak, HTC, Mobile Search, 3G, Location-Based Services

 
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