Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

firefox android

How do you convince your computer users to try out your mobile app? The problems I see are:

  • Detection - There's no way to read people's minds and figure out what phone they use based off of what computer they use. Firefox.com incorrectly assumed that I was an Android user and gave me an ad for their Android browser.
  • Interest - If they are using a computer to view your site, they probably don't care about your mobile app.
  • Detail page - I see many sites, like Firefox for example, linking to Android Market or iOS App Store. What's the point of showing this to computer users? Those portals have a download link that only work on a phone.
share|improve this question
1  
I believe you're mistaken about download links: iPhone app links take you to iTunes, where you can download the app. –  tajmo Nov 28 '11 at 21:00
1  
Firefox isn't assuming you're an Android user, they're advertising their Android app; it's the only smartphone version that exists, there is not/will not be an iPhone version. –  Ben Brocka Nov 28 '11 at 21:16
    
@tajmo The app is useless until it is on a physical phone. What's the point of storing it on iTunes? I think most people's mental model is app->phone, not app->iTunes->phone. –  JoJo Nov 29 '11 at 17:38
    
@jojo The point of downloading to iTunes is that it goes on your iPhone the next time your sync. It's one of two ways to get an app on your phone. For a lot of users, that's how it's done. Don't confuse YOUR way with THE way. –  tajmo Nov 29 '11 at 17:54

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The simple answer is "Provide your users value."

If there is value worthy of a user downloading your app, they will do it.

Firefox is a tough example as nearly every smart phone already has a web browser. Convincing people that there is added value in installing Firefox on their phone is a tough sales pitch.

To answer your bullet points:

  • Detection - if you are targeting them via your mobile web site, you can certainly figure out which phone they are using. If you want to target them on a desktop, you'd want to pitch them the options, which aren't really that many. It's mainly iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows7 and a handful of others that you may or may not even be targeting given your region or particular user demographics.

  • Interest. I don't think there's any correlation to how interested a person would be in your mobile app based on the fact that they happen to be using a desktop computer at the moment. It's more likely an indication of time of day or particular location they happen to be in.

  • Detail page - I can't speak for Android, but the App Store can be reached via a desktop via iTunes just as easily as via the phone. I can purchase and download mobile apps on my computer for later use on my iPhone quite easily.

share|improve this answer
2  
The android market can also be used directly via desktop and can be used to download/purchase apps directly to your phone as well. market.android.com –  Ben Brocka Nov 28 '11 at 21:32

I think it would be fun to use a QR code in this case, and offer something extra besides the app you want to sell! ...for example in case of Mozilla it could be the synchronization feature for FREE.

enter image description here

The problem with QR codes is that they are still not so popular... QR Code Awareness Statistics

share|improve this answer
    
Those QR Code statistics were published a year ago, which is a light year for this particular technology. I don't think awareness is a severe problem now - the problem is people misusing them. –  Nic Nov 28 '11 at 15:59

To riff off of ChrisF's answer, build something relevant as a prerequisite. Then build awareness through whatever appropriate means. Our clients are shopping centers, so we will use on-premise signage to promote the new app, as well as email to existing subscribers. If you're a pure web-based entity, email your desktop user base and consider web display advertising in contexts that ensure you're reaching your likely user base.

Does your product solve a particular problem? Can you get PR coverage? Is it worth writing about on Gizmodo? Or Lifehacker?

Also consider that potential mobile users may not be the same as desktop users at all. You will reach them differently.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.