Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Why Aftonbladet is my favourite mobile site!

The short version: Aftonbladet has designed a mobile experience around me. I´m the centre of that experience. They are giving me the content or information I need, where and when I need it. They are entertaining me and giving me something I cannot find elsewhere. First a short, short background.

Aftonbladet is one of Sweden´s biggest national newspapers. At an early stage they have been focusing on the mobile channel. In May this year they launched a new mobile site. In average the mobile site has 1,2 million unique visitors per day. Numbers don´t lie. They are in their own category when it comes to performance in the mobile channel in Sweden. 

When it comes to designing an awesome mobile experience there are lot´s of stuff you need to consider and focus on. 

Mobile = Personal Internet 

First. Mobile has transformed itself to becoming the primary way people access the internet. It has become people´s personal and private internet. You mobile phone is your private device, it´s in your pocket when it´s not in your hands, and you will never leave the device out of sight. 

Mobile is about context

You are using your mobile phone many times per day in different situations depending on time and place. Either you are bored, waiting for the bus and want to kill time. Or maybe you are in hurry and want to check out something right now. Over time you probably have developed a behaviour where you repeat actions like setting you alarm, checking your mail, weather or listening to music. It´s what Google has defined as urgent now, bored now, repetitive now state of minds. 

Therefore, you should treat any mobile experience with respect to the user, what they want, how they want it and when they want it. And of course the more interesting content you will give the user, the better, and the more time they will spend with your mobile site. 

Mobile = opportunities.

You need to exploit the endless functions and opportunities that comes with a mobile phone. It has GPS in it, it´s easier to share stuff compared to using your desktop etc. Of course there are more mobile phone specific features (push, accelerometer etc) enabled when developing a native apps.

I will give you a few examples why I think Aftonbladet has created the best mobile experience with that in mind.

"Good Morning. News while you were asleep."

In the morning I usually wake up after some snoozing. I´m grabbing my phone and starting to browse the Internet for the first time of many during a normal day. I want to know what has happened over night, that´s the first thing. The first thing you access on the site is "Goodmorning. News while you were asleep." A collection of news that has happened during the last 8 hours. Yes, that´s exactly what I want. 

Local weather forecast

After I have browsed the news I wanna know the weather right now, or more exactly the temperature. Then I know what to wear. You click the menu bar and there you can see the temperature right now from your location. Mobile is about location and the GPS gives you the possibility of adding a location layer on top of the information you wanna present for the user. It´s extremely relevant for me for to know the weather and I don´t wanna access the iPhone´s own weather app, because I know it´s inaccurate.  

Live event interaction

I´m still watching TV on my, well, good old TV. In this case Melodifestivalen (Eurovision Song Contest). Damn! (all Swedes do this) I´m not carried away - a bit bored - and of course I´m keeping my mobile phone close. When you enter Aftonbladet´s site you are able to instantly rate the live performance and you can see how other people are rating the performances. Awesome. 

Sharing news

One big problem when it comes to sharing news on your mobile phone is that you need to reenter your username and password to be able to share it on Twitter, Facebook or whatever. It takes time, and I prefer  to copy paste the URL instead. However, this is an awesome example of how sharing is made easy using the mobile phones own sharing function. It takes you directly to the app. Smooth. 

There are lot´s of other stuff that makes the mobile site stand out. When there are big live soccer matches they are broadcasting with live pictures and text. Text is not extraordinary but the amount of live pictures are. 

The mobile site also has a separate TV section, even with a live section. I would like to know they are organised around producing such a huge amount of news and content?

Big up to Aftonbladet. You have won the mobile news battle in my (and many others) opinion.