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Web to Mobile

Promoting mobile from within the web sphere adds user convenience to the flow of any project. With available technologies and services in both spaces, a universal bridge can be formed to guide users along a path and set a direction for their experience. Since both worlds work in a nonlinear fashion, both spaces can strongly present interactive components that complement and feed off each other.

Web to SMS

A web-to-SMS form can greatly assist in navigating users from the web space to the mobile space. The web-to-SMS form (see FIGURE 4.2) allows users to submit their phone numbers through an online web site form.

Figure 4.2

Figure 4.2 A web-to-SMS submission form.

Once users submit their mobile numbers, they receive a corresponding SMS. This SMS-based interaction can be used in many ways:

  • The SMS can contain a 160-character message pertaining to the project.
  • The web-to-SMS form can contain an opt-in, so the SMS users receive is one of a series—for example, sports scores or weather reports.
  • The SMS could contain a 160-character message that contains a link to a mobile Internet site. Once users click the link, they will be navigated over to the mobile site for a complementary experience.
  • The SMS could also contain a link to download an application, such as a Java game or a Flash Lite.
  • The SMS could contain a link to download a ringtone. When users click the link, the corresponding web server detects the device type and serves up the appropriate ringtone format for that device.
  • The SMS could contain a link to download a video. When users click the link, the corresponding web server detects the device type and serves up the appropriate video format for that device.
  • The SMS could contain a link to download wallpaper. When users click the link, the corresponding web server detects the device type and serves up the appropriate image dimension for that device.

With the previous scenarios and others, the corresponding mobile experience needs to always complement what happens within the digital space—not simply replicate it. The most impactful, memorable experiences are the ones that leave a sense of intrigue to be pursued in the mobile space. Developers need to also add disclaimers that users must have unlimited data plans for all mobile Internet packages. Otherwise, users may end up with a heavier bill.

Download and Sync

Online users can also encounter mobile downloads via web sites. These downloads can be applications, image galleries, videos, Flash Lite experiences, ringtones, and more. These experiences are bundled into the interaction design of the online web site. Users encounter a mobile section and are prompted to download content.

These downloaded applications can also contain a live feed from the web site. For example, a downloaded application that has been installed on the mobile device can also pull in updates or news from the main web site via RSS feeds. This feed can be anything relevant from news, sales, updates, or anything related to project genre. If it is a game, it can be additional levels, additional characters, or skins. If users download or install applications on their handsets, they will likely appreciate a feed.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

The integration of an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) element into the online environment has become a somewhat playful feature among many campaign and Hollywood movie web sites. See FIGURE 4.3. It extends the online web experience into the mobile space in an effort to push users to movie theatres.

Figure 4.3

Figure 4.3 Mobile—Hollywood style.

With an IVR experience, users explore the online web site and interact with a "phone call creator." Through a series of set parameters and preselected lines of speech, users build the dialogue that the character is to speak. At the end of the interaction flow, users can preview the dialogue and then submit their friend's mobile number in order to send them the dialogue snippet as a prank.

Within minutes, the friend receives a call from the voice of the character from the web site. Projects that are more in-depth can actually personalize the name of the person who receives the call, so that the individual is addressed properly when he or she answers the phone. When stitched together, the dialogue appears somewhat real at first, providing a good laugh.

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