Digital/Online Marketing Communications Strategy

The Call for Custom Smartphone Home Screens

By on January 23, 2014 in mobile with 0 Comments

smartphone with app iconsOdds are, you use a mobile smartphone, right?

Okay, now guess how many times you look at it during the course of just one day.

If you’re in line with the average mobile phone user, the answer is about 100.

To see if that’s accurate, you can start to keep a daily tally, or, you can take the word of a recent study by Mobile Posse and Phoenix Marketing International, called “The Ultimate Guide in the Next Big Wave in Mobile: The Home Screen.”

Look Ma: No more idle hands or idle minds

According to this report, there are primary drivers for why we reach for our mobile phone and these boil down to fear of missing something and found time.

Fear of Missing Something: Basically, most of us just can’t bear the thought of being the last to know. We want to be aware of what’s happening with family and friends and stay on top of what’s happening news-wise.

Mobile phones enable us to be “always on” with easy access to social media, email and text messages. We add apps to let us know the latest stock prices, sports scores, weather, world news, local news, or whatever else happens to be of personal interest.

Found Time: This refers to those in-between moments during the day when there’s nothing much to do. Like when you’re sitting on subway, standing in a line at a store, or waiting for someone to meet you at the coffee shop.

Back in the old days, we might thumb though those magazines that are conveniently placed next to the supermarket checkout, or maybe just wait without doing anything more. But nowadays we’re nearly programmed to multitask. We’re less likely to let our mind lay idle — the call of the smartphone is too strong to ignore.

The allure of alerts

Even when killing time, most of us need a reason to reach for our mobile and the strongest magnets are alerts and notifications. When we hear that familiar sound to let us know we have a new text message, or see we’ve missed a phone call, more often than not, we tend to check into those things right away.

Surveys for the report show the average person has set up their mobile device to receive at least one alert from 13 main categories:

graphic showing the most common categories for mobile alerts

The call for custom home screens

The increasing importance of notifications and alerts means the home screen is the most valuable piece of real estate on a mobile device.

Mobile Posse’s report reckons this opens up opportunities to move away from one-size fits all home screens to more niche-oriented approaches. It advocates for an “active” home screen that we can customize to give us only the information we want, without having to click any further to get to it.

Now, it just so happens Mobile Posse offers products to customize home screens, so the report plays right into its own hand. Even so, an ever more personal phone could well be the wave of the very near future.

Making the most of a home screen puts you in the sweet spot of  a mobile user’s ever shifting attention span.

Your two cents

What do you think? Would you prefer to have a customizable home screen for your mobile phone? Feel free to share your comments.

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About the Author

About the Author: Deni Kasrel is seasoned (slightly spicy) specialist in digital/online communications. .

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