DC Mobile Monday “Frictionless Design” event notes

#DCMoMo event hosted by @PappasGroup

This event was more about catching up with some friends for me but the panelist offered some interesting tidbits.

Demian Perry, NPR (@perrydc)
- Your app needs to demonstrate its core focus (and excellence) within seconds of the user encountering it. “You have a few seconds to show a user what to do. If they have to think, you lose them.”
- The shift toward the lean startup method means more failure (since it’s hypothesis-based and tested on the fly) but a greater focus on (and accountability toward) doing what’s right for the audience.
- NPR just hired an “innovation accountant” to check effectiveness of digital promotion (among other things).

Robert Spier, Travel Channel (@reaubaire)
- in large companies, especially where digital is done by a standalone team, it’s helpful to craft a one-sentence mission statement for an app to preserve consensus throughout the design & development process.
- don’t underestimate the importance of constant promotion — launch week is just the beginning.
- Scripps is seeing early promise from a strategy that places their ‘TV Everywhere’ apps (as distinct from bespoke apps for major broadcast channels) on a common framework and enables bundled sales packages.

Chris Koth, PBS
- Trying to focus on removing points of user friction at the outset, to enable a better experience inside the app.
- PBS is starting to think about how to evolve the app experience so it changes (i.e., becomes even more relevant) for power users.

Lil Tidings, Rosetta Stone (@liltydings)
- Don’t assume your experience (and those in your network) is a fair proxy for most of your users (or right model for the app you’re building).
- Lil shared a great perspective on how Rosetta Stone is evolving into a learning company that uses Design Thinking and is attempting to pioneer innovation from with (disrupting itself in the process); there is an interesting dynamic forming between the primacy of intuitive design choices and being thoughtful on how best to understand data correlation.
- the most enjoyable experiences will win — at RS, “MVP” stands for Minimum Valueable Product.

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