Brands are struggling to encourage their consumers to switch to the brands mobile service-applications. The social and digital marketing strategies ensure that the consumer’s attention is drawn to the applications, but still it is a challenge for the brands to make the user completely switch to the use of their mobile applications. The size of the application, the frequency of use, and other issues form a barrier for the consumer in the considering whether he or she will be required to download the app. In addition there is what the consumer expects to happen when their commitment to the use of an application is requested. Expectations can run faster than the mobile technology can allow. Tracking of the behavior and desires of consumers remains difficult. No wonder that the remarks about the applications come faster on the surface than improvements in the applications.
Yet there seems to be a gap between what consumers want to see when using an application and how they actually use the applications. Is there a latency effect in the user experience of consumers when it comes to mobile service applications? Is there a slow learning curve when using the mobile service applications? And does the consumer have great expectations of the applications because of his or her earlier user experiences?
The user experience within a user experience and interface within an interface
The consumer as user of a mobile device, is attached to the user experience and interface of his or her mobile phone. When using the mobile he or she uses a particular model that has been mentally constructed. Based on this mental model, the user is able to handle the device. Then it is to imagine how many models our memory has processed over the years to facillitate the current use of mobile devices. It is not surprising that when you hold another mobile device in your hands, your brain switches to an another model, or it has to explore the new mobile device to form a new mental model.
The user knows best how his mobile device operates. It’s like the device has become his second nature and if he wants to get more enjoyment out of the application and want to use it more often, then the use of the application should be adapted to be controlled by the way the mobile device is controlled. In other words, the mobile must be similar to the operating system of the mobile device of the user, otherwise it could create confusion in the model that the user has constructed mentally. Despite the concerns and demands of consumers, the consumer shows little flexibility to use the mobile serivce applications for example travel service apps. One reason might be that consumers feels that his or her motivation for using the application has to be stimulated. But should the user be addressed on his or her usage behavior in relation to the application, say in the form of more instructional interaction? Occassionaly with through discreet user support that can guide the user through the application.
But generally it is best to achieve coherence between the mental model of the user tasks and the mental model of using the mobile phone, and then integrate that consistency in the user experience of the mobile application. The development of the learning curve for the user mostly depend on what the mental model of the user is and how much effort it requires to store a new model.