It’s been a while since my previous post, and two significant things have changed since last time. The first and most important change is that I’ve got a job working with digital media for a a Norwegian savings bank, SpareBank 1 SMN. I will blog about that later. The second change is that I switched my old Nokia N82 for one of them iPhones.

My ex-phone Nokia N82 have been outdated for a while now, yet it was top of the tops when I bought it a couple of years ago with a top-notch 5 MP camera, WLAN, GPS, full color web browser, e-mail support, downloading and installing other applications, in addition to texting and making phone calls.

Yet, the usability on the N82 was so poor I couldn’t be bothered doing other stuff than texting, making calls and taking pictures! I did check my e-mail if I was expecting something important, but that was about it.

While I’m fiddling with my new iPhone4 I realise that little, yet so much, has changed. It has the same features; WLAN, a 5 MP camera, GPS, browser, e-mail client, applications, texting and making calls. But with the extremly user-friendly iOS4 and the large touch screen on the iPhone, everything is done with ease. At least nothing like the hassle it was fighting with the Symbian-based N82 to load a webpage, not to mention the navigation!

Now, I know I’m not giving you anything revolutionary here, and I’m actually feeling a bit outdated as I’ve surely lagged behind the early adopters – one of which I often associate myself with. But it’s important to realize how people’s usage of the mobile phone does alter how the web is used, and that sooner rather than later the masses will start interacting with your brand online.

In other words; your website.

Here’s four ways the iPhone changed my digital life.

1. E-mail? Facebook? Text message? Doesn’t matter.

I don’t differentiate on e-mail, Facebook and text messages anymore, at least not while on the go. It doesn’t matter how people reach out to me, but getting e-mails, Facebook messages and texts in the same way does however increase the amount of messages delivered instantly to me – previously it was only texts. I do however find myself slower to reply on texts than earlier.

I check my e-mail more often and from everywhere. I’ve got an Exchange account in order to keep my calendar, contact list and e-mail synchronized across my laptop, desktop computer and my phone. I obviously still keep certain mails unread in order to go through them and respond thoroughly when I have the time, and I still don’t get any less e-mails — but the time where I get huge surprises at late evenings with lots of tasks to do all of a sudden is gone.

At least I know what’s coming.

2. Reading news and blogs more efficient – and sharing it!

Being a digital native, as they call it, I’ve always had the urge to stay on top of things, whether it’s checking the latest news, football news, blogs, and personal stuff such as my e-mail, Twitter and Facebook as mentioned above. By combining Google Reader and the iPhone apps Reeder and Instapaper I can cover all the blogs and newsfeeds I want systematically.

Some of the feeds only give you the introtext for the article; unless I really find the title and the excerpt intriguing I don’t bother reading more especially for those sites who are bloated with ads and loads slowly on a poor 3G connection.

When I come across items I want to spend more time reading, I use Instapaper to mark it for reading later, and I share good articles related to digital media through Reeder (which you can find in my lifestream).

3. Choosing vendors on the go

Having the web in the palm of my hand gives me the opportunity to find vendors with ease. The recent weeks I’ve both found a plumber and an electrician through their websites, which I in turn found through the Norwegian Yellow Pages app. Whilst I’m detached from the computer, I’m still connected to the web and the customers websites.  Those vendors with websites displaying poorly on the iPhone were discarded by a few quick taps.

For those sites who had stylesheets adapting the sites to my phone, I was impressed and pleased – they gave me a positive first brand impression, which obviously comes in handy for them when I’m in a purchasing mode.

4. Less time in front of the computer

In sum the points above means I now spend less time in front of the computer, still accomplishing the same tasks as before – albeit doing so when I usually wouldn’t do anything productive. For instance the 10-15 minutes on the bus before and after work every day.

Key lesson

Scot McKee wrote a couple of months back his monthly column in the B2B Marketing Magazine about Mobile Internet – if not now, when, making the same point I’m about to put forward;

“Your customers want to use their mobile devices – SmartPhones, NetBooks, Tablets – to access content (your content) when it’s convenient to them, which is hardly ever whilst they’re sitting at their desks. They want to see your content at the airport, on the train, in a coffee shop, on the street, while they’re waiting for something else, whenever they have a spare moment.”

I’m changing my online behaviour, as are other people. The one key point I want to make is to be sure your content can be consumed from the mobile phone. The website is often the first point of contact for a brand, which makes it even more important that the initial brand impression stands out.

Is your site ready for handheld devices?

Haakon

Working with digital products and services at SpareBank 1 and SpareBank 1 SMN. Lives in Trondheim, but Vardø born and bred.

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