We've got a brand new mobile application coming now out and lots of people have been asking me what’s in it. To be honest, it's much easier to tell you what's not in it - and that’s dashboards and reports. I can hear you saying, ‘How can an analytics vendor have a mobile app with no dashboards or reports?’ But the truth is no one really uses a mobile app to view dashboards or reports. It's the wrong format for looking at a clunky dashboard or detailed report. People prefer to view these on their desktop because it's simpler and faster to do what they need to do. The point of a mobile device isn't to replicate a desktop, so we've had to completely rethink our app based on what people want to do on their phones. What really got me thinking about this was some research that Donald Farmer gave me. It broke down how people consume data in four key ways – glimpsing, snacking, chunking and immersion.
4 modes of data consumption
Glimpsing is where you pick up your phone and glance at it but don’t do anything further. For example, checking the time on your phone or looking at a notification telling you that you've got a new message. It’s about micro-moments. Then there’s snacking, which is where you pick up your device and just scroll through something quickly, like reading a message. This gives you an idea of what something is about in a few seconds, but you don’t click on the link or read it in detail. You may decide to save a link though or read it later. Chunking is where you actually carve out time to take in information, like clicking on the link, reading a long-form article or looking at a dashboard. The last one is immersion, which involves actually responding to what you’ve seen. You become fully immersed in the task like writing a long-form story or doing some analysis.