Making the Most of Mini-Messages on a Mobile Platform

The use of mobile devices shows no sign of slowing down: the number of global users of mobile devices surpassed desktop users in 2014 and keeps growing; in 2015, 66 percent of all U.S. email was opened or read on a mobile device.

For school PR practitioners, this means we need to pay special attention to factors that get in the way of our messages being successfully delivered and understood on the miniature platform of smartphones. Ann Wylie of Wylie Communications has put together a collection of five obstacles to reading on smartphones that details factors you should consider when crafting and pushing out messages bound for small devices.

  1. Screen Size
    At 3.5 x 6.5 inches, smartphone screens severely restrict a user’s view of your message. Content that appears above the fold on a 30-inch monitor requires five screens on a smartphone.
  2. Portable and Interruptible
    Yes, users can access your message whenever and wherever, but that often happens in the midst of their doing something else. Viewing of your message may come in spits and spurts, with attention spans on mobile devices being half as long as those on desktops. Get to the point quickly and make tasks simple.
  3. Single Window
    Multi-window interfaces are not common on smartphones. The ability to switch back and forth from one web page to another to fill out forms or transfer notes is limited, at best, and generally clumsy. Be sure to keep related content and necessary actions on the same page.
  4. Touchscreen
    Two words: fat fingers.
  5. Variable Connectivity
    While cell network coverage and speed have greatly improved, there are still plenty of locations and circumstances that can hinder a smooth experience for users. Every new page and every heavy design or content element (especially on a balky network) increase the likelihood that a user will bail out before they finish reading your message.

Be sure to check out the full story, complete with citations and footnotes, to prepare yourself to make a mega-impact with your mini-messages.

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