Feb 18, 2013

MRMW in Kuala Lumpur

I, as a guest blogger attended the MRMW in Kuala Lumpur Jan. 29-30 which was the first time held in Asia. The sessions were quite helpful and comprehensive to understand what’s happening in the mobile research industry.


Definition of mobile research:
What do you think of mobile? One would say it is a device such as smart phone, the other may say portability. According to Kantar Mobile, mobile research is divided into three ways in terms of user experience. 1) SMS (text message), 2) WPA (mobile web) and APP (application based). Each way contains different advantages. GPS and camera are available on APP and SMS is easier to send push notification for real time request to users. Definition is sometimes important for a team to plan new projects. How would you define mobile research?

Substitution? :
Internet research through PC has been still emerging in some counties. We sometimes see longer surveys such as LOI (Length of Survey) of 40 minutes on PC. But, would you want to respond to a survey of 40 minutes long, that includes complicated matrix with more than 10 options with long descriptions through mobile? My answer would be NO. Mobile research is not a substitution ofPC. “Small is beautiful” by one of the speakers is understandable. We need to adjust if it is too big to handle for users through mobile phone.
Experience, this word is one of the most frequent words I heard in the conference that is becoming a buzz word in the Internet industry like UX (User Experience) after UI (User Interface). It’s probably the most important factor to successfully design mobile research and provide well developed UX optimized to each mobile device. It is obvious that LOI of 40 minutes is not good experience for mobile users. You may embed buttons that are easier for users to touch instead of radio buttons we usually adopt for PC research.

In some Asian countries, the number of users using mobile is higher than that of PC to connect to the Internet. The fact is that we need to approach users connecting the Internet with different types of device such as tablets, PCs and smartphones. How can we avoid the bias coming from each device? This is a big problem. PC is not the only way to access a right target. We need to compile up data for each country and each segment to get useful and non biased results.

Network accessibility:
We need to take into account the network accessibility. Is free Wifi available everywhere in the country? No limitation for data communication amount? Communication environment totally depends on each country and it needs to be considered because this is directly related on how to develop a product. For example in some countries, applying off-line mode would be required for its app working on iPhone. Do you totally understand the mobile circumstance which is a prerequisite which we can’t miss in each country?

Next Wave:
Mobile has a wide range of meanings. What do you imagine the next wave after tablets or smartphones would be like? The IT giants are trying to invent new mobile devices that works on eye glasses. This is a great example. New technology and new devices completely replace our existing ways. “It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change."

The presentation decks can be viewed or downloaded using this link: https://www.box.com/s/mm5tdlnon5102lvsc9fa

Photos of MRMW Asia can be viewed or downloaded here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38419325@N02/sets/72157632753567554/

The next MRMW conference will be held in Minneapolis, USA at July16-18, 2013