Ten years ago, if you said you were a consumer, it meant that you liked to buy things. One hundred and ten years ago, consumption referred to tuberculosis. I’ll leave you to ponder the irony of that the next time you watch a video of someone walking into a pole as they study their phone.
Today, consumption is all about content. We are consuming information all the time, at any age and on whatever device still has some battery life.
Who Are the Big Eaters?
Some of our favorite things to consume are infographics. This article is loaded with them: The Generational Content Gap on contently.com breaks down consumption by three groups: Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials. Who spends the most time devouring content? No, not the Millennials and not the Gen Xers. Both spend 5 to 10 hours a week consuming. The Baby Boomers win with their 20+ hour a week habit.
LinkedIn has identified “Content Revolutionaries” spending 8 hours a week just reading and producing professional content. No cat videos, no rapping babies, just work stuff.
From TV Dinners to Mobile Consumption
Smartphones and tablets are rapidly catching up to the favorite devices which are PCs and laptops. User Experience (UX) design and research expert Laura Klein sums it up: “Mobile experiences are often a series of micro interactions – quick tasks that the user performs, often in a highly distracting, public environment using a very small screen.”
Mobile content must grab the user’s attention while also being easy to digest. That means the content has to be quick, clean, obvious and interruptible. And don’t expect lengthy interaction. No one will be composing paragraphs on their phone. They’ll do more reading than typing.
It’s Not Just What You’re Eating. The Restaurant Matters, Too.
You can’t forget that the user experience also involves site performance. 75% of users say that the performance of the web site is the number one factor when judging quality of experience (QoE). Providers need to drive content consumption, create loyalty and provide a high quality experience. Why? To generate revenue, of course. Consumption can be unlimited but it isn’t free!
To obtain high quality experience, you need customized workflows, a flexible platform and minimal complexity. Limelight’s Orchestrate Platform provides a unified and integrated set of systems, tools, and processes that help organizations reliably publish and deliver digital experiences with a consistently high QoE. Through a flexible and modular architecture, Orchestrate enables organizations to solve critical challenges via out-of-the-box functionality or enhance workflows with powerful APIs.
Talk About Atmosphere! Limelight Shines on UX
Limelight continues to improve the experience of consuming for our users. Our UX expert Joanna Proulx says, “The next challenge for Limelight UX is to integrate and rationalize our users' experiences with the Control portal and other touchpoints. We've heard their feedback through surveys and usability tests and are modernizing the interfaces and workflows accordingly. Important data and settings will be fewer clicks away, switching account contexts will be seamless, reports will be more informative, flexible, and engaging, and the overall look and feel will be tuned to clarity, legibility, and signal over noise. Please contact us if anyone wishes to take part in ongoing user research.”
Check out Joanna’s article, Designing for Mobile Superpower, in UX Magazine. Mobile networking is giving users incredible access and control. Be sure to use your magical powers for good. Integrated cloud goodness is a great place to start consuming. It’s the powerful cotton candy of the internet. Ours tastes like lime.