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Mobile Business Without The Apps
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Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
6/13/2014 | 8:15:31 AM
Re: Brilliant
@Dave, if everyone in Brazil had a smartphone I'm guessing that they would have made a different choice -- though if everyone in Brazil had a smartphone it would be a much different country. The Pew research showed an amazingly high correlation between smarphone use and higher levels of education: Those who stopped their education earlier skew heavily toward feature phone use.

There are all sorts of other implications for that correlation, but I think the real takeaway is that the company took the time to learn about their target market and used the right technology to reach them. That's a solid lesson for just about any enterprise.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 4:11:25 PM
Re: Mobile Business Without The Apps
@zerox203, I think that the idea is wrapped up in a design principle I learned early in my software dev career: Make things as simple as possible, and no simpler. There are still too many designers who equate simplicity with a lack of sophistication: I think they're quite mistaken in that belief.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 2:42:23 PM
Re: Brilliant
@Rich, it's amazing the kind of things you can do if you take the time to learn about your audience, isn't it? I might be thinking about things too simply, but it seems to me that there might just be a lesson in the way they're doing things.
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 2:41:23 PM
Re: It doesn't have to be Brazil
@Doug, "KISS" is one of those design principles that too many app designers jettison when they become lead on a project. One of the things that impressed me was that they haven't forgotten about user interface: It's still quite critical to their success, it's just expressed in a much simpler way than most of us think about.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 1:23:58 PM
Everything is mobile now
Costanzo nails it with this closing comment:  "Mobility is an archaic term because everything is mobile now."

Right on, and this project is an excellent example of how smart use of technology can not only serve business needs but actually change people's livees for the better by opening them up to employment oppoortunities.

@Curt (+ rest of community): Do you see opportunities for applying a similar approach to other markets (I'm thinking of Detroit for starters). If so, what would be the key differences between doing this in a US market versus the market served here?
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 1:22:04 PM
Re: Brilliant
This is certianly quite clever. I guess I only have one question-- if everyone in Brazil had smart phones would they have selected a different strategy, because appless to me sounds good under any circumstances.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2014 | 1:04:27 PM
Re: Mobile Business Without The Apps
Seconded on Rich and Mr. Henschens's points both (which really aren't so different, when you think about it). You hear it repeated in meeting rooms across the globe - the key is to understand your target audience, and market something they want to them in the way that they want. A lot of companies give what you've referred to in the past as 'lip service' to that idea, Curt, without really doing it. This is a great example of it being done right. Think about all the money that would have been wasted with a smartphone app!

The Black & Decker example brings up another great case. It doesn't have to be simply that you're reaching for a lower level of customer for you to choose a simpler solution. If you have a variety of customers, the simple solution may still be the best. The question is whether it will save you time, money, and effort, while still maximizing success (although, hitting your lowest common denominator is part of that). In the end, nothing else really matters, does it? Nobody's going to look at your flashy accelerated graphics when your department's in the red, are they?
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
6/11/2014 | 1:19:30 PM
It doesn't have to be Brazil
Salesforce.com customer Stanley Black & Decker did a mobile app using SMS right here in the USA. The company's MAC Tools truck drivers, who go from shop to shop delivering tools, wanted something fast and simple to verify deliveries and orders, and not all of them had smart phones. SMS is stupid simple, relaible, and cheap. Those are attributes more businesses should consider before investing a bundle in expensive, hard-to-maintain native apps or even Web apps.
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