At UXArmy we have a rule for user research — do not proceed with a user research until the goals of that research have been fully established. Clear goals linked to business objectives are fundamental to derive the purpose of user research. The purpose is then further broken down into scenarios and associated questions that users would be asked during the research.
Rule book states, the purpose of any product, is in its service and relevance for the users. In practise though, it’s amazing how repeatedly, we lose track of this basic.
I chanced upon a review by a customer about the web application of Singapore Airlines. The customer complained clearly about anomalies in using the website. Turned out the website kept returning to the reservations page even after entering the destination, date of travel and selecting flights. Each time the customer tried again, the price kept changing and becoming higher than before. He finally called at the customer service center to check the actual pricing. Sure enough, the executive told him a price higher than the first time he had tried.
Mobile app users are less forgiving than desktop users.
The sooner you realize this, the quicker you can find creative solutions for these users.
Having made hundreds of user profiles and done numerous analyses on smartphone users over the years, I have learnt that mobile app users are driving markets for good.