There’s been a lot of talk about how to use context on mobile websites. And although you can agree or disagree with some of the views about context one thing is certain: We can’t know the users context based on the device he’s using.
We use our mobile device while shopping, waiting in line, in the car, at home watching tv or – although some won’t admit to it – on the toilet. Still there are companies that insist on stripping everything off their website that has a slight chance of interesting me as a visitor only to provide me with a website on a weight watchers diet just because they think they know what I’m looking for. This always leaves me with a nasty aftertaste of what could have been a lovely experience.
But wouldn’t it be nice to somehow be able to add some context to our visitors? Well yes, of course it would! And I think that in the near future we will be able to do so. Just think of what your device can measure. We already have time and location, but what if our devices could analyse sounds and smells or measure our heartbeat. I agree that even with all that information we still wouldn’t know what our visitor is looking for so the option for an anorexic website is still off, but it would give us some idea of what our visitor is doing. And the more we know about our visitors, the more options we have for clever targeted content.
This might sound a bit far fetched, but I honestly think that it will not be long before our mobile devices don’t only know where we’ve been, but also know what we’ve been doing. And when they do, it’s up to us, web developers and IT professionals to tap into that information. But to do that, we need to start acting now. We need to start fattening up our mobile websites so that when the time comes we can offer the best experience to our visitors.
So here’s my plea for the for the future: let’s agree on leaving anorexic mobile websites in the past and focus on fuller and fatter user experiences in the future.