The mobile movement, as we pointed out in technology damnation 75, is as much of a curse as it is a blessing. As we noted in our post:
- you will be expected to work anywhere, anytime;
- data entry will be painful as small screens, and smaller keyboards made for real mice, will be the norm (and you can thank Apple and their new mini 4″ iPhone); and
- task time will triple as small, limited power processors, chug, chug, chug trying to deal with media-heavy websites and bloated data transfer protocols despite the fact that
- suppliers and customers will expect a whole new level of relationship management
So what can you do?
- define your relationship management processes and protocols and make sure new suppliers and customers know, day one, what they can expect and the level, and kind, of service you will provide
- limit the amount of functionality that your applications will support on a mobile device to needed functionality
- make sure mobile applications and devices support scanning/sensor reading as much as possible (bar codes, QR codes, RFID chips, etc.); manual data entry should be web-based OCR (image, upload for server processing, user override, save); etc.
- make sure support channels are well defined so that only people who are working or on call get contacted when requests come in — don’t automatically route a non-critical support call to the primary rep at 3 am in the morning when a secondary support rep is on call half a world away at 3 pm in the afternoon (VOIP is a wonderful thing)
We’re stuck with these devices whether we like ’em or not, so let’s make sure we design for them appropriately and work-life boundaries are properly set, otherwise, we’ll all be asking: