O2.co.uk paves the way for mobile internet

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That headline may be a strong claim but if you think of it as a mission statement, it gives you a picture of where Sarah Evans (O2’s head of mobile internet) and her team are planning to take O2’s new mobile site, which has now gone live. Read on to find out more.

At it’s core, the new site is all about usability. Following studies of myriad mobile websites and mobile use cases, the O2 mobile internet team wanted to create a mobile website which would work on as broad a range of mobile devices as possible. But, with over 2000 models of mobile phone on the O2 network, that was no easy task. Right now only 25 per cent of of the UK own a smartphone so the solution needed to be mobile website centred, rather than app centred which made the challenge even harder.

With that in mind, the team set out to understand users’ priorities when it comes to the mobile version of O2.co.uk. My O2 and ‘contact us’ stood out as key points for users, giving the team an instant start point for the new mobile site. With mobile optimisation very much in focus, the team want to make the process of using the site as slick and simple as possible for users, as Sarah explains 

“My vision is that customers shouldn’t have to open a full web page on their mobile unless they really want to. This is just the start of making that vision a reality. Accessing the new O2.co.uk will become more and more optimised.” 

The new version of O2.co.uk, which is currently in live beta form, allows users to easily access the My O2 account section of the site and offers mobile optimised support pages and store. Like the best websites, it’s the simple things done well which can make all the difference. Getting in touch frequently came up on user’s requirements which Sarah’s team responded to:

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“We’ve now added contact us at the bottom of every page on the mobile website to make it much easier to find numbers. You’ll never be more than a couple of clicks away from what you need.”

For the store itself users get a one-click option to call someone in telesales, right from their device. When it comes to accessibility and usability for mobile websites, particularly across such a wide range of devices, speed is crucial as Sarah explains:

“It was vital that we made things easier to find and quicker to load. We’ve learned a lot from running O2 Active, our mobile portal, and from studying usability. We redesigned O2 Active recently and the number of visitors has gone up substantially so we know we’re on the right track when we make the number of clicks to get to a reward as low as we can.” 

Sarah says the biggest challenge with designing the new O2 website was to ensure that people visiting via mobile stick around longer. She says: 

“The better the site is optimised for mobile, the more likely that is. And we’ve talked to lots of customers to understand what they want from the experience. Mobile-friendly sites are just better.

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The next step? Expanding mobile optimisation to every aspect of O2’s web presence including the entire O2 shop catalogue and this very blog. Right now users can access a subset of the O2 shop which enables customers to browse handset information, including the newly introduced eco rating for devices and tariffs, alongside that one-click telesales function if they want to make a purchase. 

In the future though, Sarah wants to add the functionality to purchase handsets and accessories directly through a mobile checkout process. Also in the road map for future additions is a store locator and the mobilisation of the already popular coming soon section.

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The new look site is the first step in a long road of improvements. Over the coming months Sarah and her team are going to be listening to users and watching feedback very carefully. Up until now they’ve focussed on what users care about most. In rolling out the next iterations of the mobile site, the team will continue to tune into what you, as users, want to see. So don’t be shy, let them know what you think in the comments below.

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