My In-The-Moment Fail with KUOW FM

image: KUOW logo

This morning I was up early and making breakfast for the boys before shuttling them off to school (daycare, really, but we call it school). They were eating and for the moment they were pretty quiet. In that moment of rare and relative silence I thought it might be nice to turn on Morning Edition on the local NPR station. I stopped for a second to think about that because we don’t have a radio in the house. Looking at my phone I decided to try the local station’s web site, KUOW.org, because I’m pretty sure they have a mobile app for listening to the station. So I tapped the url into my phone’s ever-present Google search bar on the phone’s home screen. Why I didn’t open the phone’s browser directly and type in the URL, which I know,  I’m not quite sure.

What I got was search results and KUOW was the first result, as expected:

image: KUOW Search Result

I then simply tapped the link to KUOW News and Information – the top search result – and was taken to their NON-mobile web site! What?? I was a confused as well as frustrated because I thought they had a mobile site.

image: KUOW Site

Grr.. Well, I was here so I zoomed in, panned around and didn’t see any sort of promotion for the mobile app. I did see a “Listen Now” link on the top of the page and tried that but the only options were to use iTunes, Real Player (!!?), or Windows. Out of time, I bailed out and just enjoyed the quiet kitchen.

FAIL

******************************

What could have saved this campaign?

Before outlining a potential solution I want to point out that KUOW actually does have a mobile app and even has a mobile site, pictured below.

image: KUOW Mobile Site

In fact, the mobile site was EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR. I just wanted to listen to what was playing on-air and the mobile site features that functionality front-and-center.

So what gives? Here’s what’s going on:

1) If you tap “www.kuow.org” directly into your phone’s browser (I use Chrome) their site automatically re-directs you to “m.kuow.org”. This is good. However if you search for ‘KUOW” using Google or Bing on your phone the top search result, which most would choose, points to “www.kuow.org/news”.  But if you go directly to that URL with your phone you don’t get re-directed to the mobile site. In other words, you only get their mobile site if you go to the very top-level of their site, “www.kuow.org”. But the search engines aren’t sending people there! They need to implement re-direction on all their non-mobile pages.

2) Give the mobile app a prominent home on the non-mobile site, preferably near the top of the page and not buried – as it is now – in the pile of footer links way down at the bottom of the page. And use the term “Mobile App” instead of just “Mobile”.

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About Kelly McIvor

Kelly McIvor is an 18 year veteran of mobile and is currently Principal at Atomic Mobile and professor (adjunct) at the University of Washington Graduate School of Communications where he teaches a popular courses on Mobile Media and Marketing in the Masters of Communications in Digital Media (MCDM) program. Kelly holds a BA in Business from the University of Washington.
This entry was posted in mobile apps, Mobile Web, Strategy, User Experience and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to My In-The-Moment Fail with KUOW FM

  1. anwarul says:

    mobile needful things in everywhere!!! now a days, mobile marketing is best way of modern world!!!

  2. If you build a mobile version of your website, you think you would check in your statistics once in a while to see if its working properly. The bounce rate should be of the charts for mobile. Unless everybody looked for the obscure link the the mobile website, which I doubt. Not redirecting is fail one, not noticing is fail two. Not having a proper link to the mobile website makes it a three strike fail.

  3. KUOW949 says:

    Kelly: thanks for the feedback. We’re in the process of designing a responsive website, so stay tuned! Best, Jenna (director, digital media)

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