Are you on the Mobile Bandwagon? | npENGAGE

Are you on the Mobile Bandwagon?

By on Feb 15, 2012 | NONPROFIT-FUNDRAISING

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Mobile is a growing trend that just won’t quit.  Is your organization ready?

If you follow the news about smartphones, then you might have noticed that in 2011, shipments of smartphones outpaced shipments of PCs.  And that in 2012, sales of smartphones are poised to outpace sales of PCs.  Now, normally I only follow this kind of news when I’m listening to Marketplace or Morning Edition, but that’s pretty much every day lately.  (Side note – anyone else in GenX feel like our transformation into our parents is almost complete?)

And I’m not even mentioning tablets like the iPad, Kindle Fire, and other smaller-than-PC-but-larger-than-phone devices out there.  The presidential candidates are accepting contributions via phone (a credit card swiper, that is), and the Girl Scouts are too for cookies!

I was not an early adopter of a mobile device.  I carried an old-fashioned flip phone for so long that some of my friends at the Convio Summit 2010 made fun of me.  I branched out with an iPod touch, and that was my gateway into the smartphone world.  And I’ve never looked back.

I take my phone everywhere.  I mean EVERYWHERE.  Yes, sometimes even to the bathroom (but no, I don’t answer it when it rings, although based on my experience there are plenty of people who do).  It’s my email, my camera, my book, my photo album, my Facebook account, my bank, the way I order pizza, and sometimes I even use it to make calls.  I used to lug around my laptop everywhere, but that led to sore shoulders and a lot of missed opportunity to keep in touch.

But there are certain things that I prefer to do using a computer with a bigger keyboard.  Sometimes it’s because I’m doing something complicated, but more often it’s simply just a bad user interface.

For example, if I’m motivated to make a donation to an organization because of current events, and I’m not near a computer, then I’ll try to use my phone.  But if the main webpage (where most everyone will go to find the DONATE button) isn’t mobile optimized, then I’ll give up.  Same thing if the donation form itself is hard to navigate.  I’ll intend to do it later, and sometimes I will and sometimes I won’t.  And that’s a missed opportunity.

A mobile-optimized homepage and a mobile-optimized donation form are the tip of the icebergs, but are also one of the most important pieces to get right.  You won’t get a second chance for a while.  So even if you’re behind the curve on mobile, don’t try to boil the ocean – just start with those two simple steps.  Homepage and donation form.

And you kids get offa my lawn.

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