Providing Equal Experiences Across Devices

We all know that it is important to have your site content accessible to visitors using mobile smart-devices. However, some web-sites and online services seem to overlook the importance of consistency in the quality of their web experience across devices.

Here is a quick 4th-of-July-coming-of-age-tale (starring myself) to illustrate my point:

As a (mediocre) musician and avid music-listener, I strive to have access to as much music as possible, without any illegal downloading. So during a patriotism-induced realization about injustices in the music industry, I decided to upgrade to a paid-subscription to Spotify, a phenomenal music listening service (free version also available) which I highly reccomend. This subscription allows me to listen to all of the music in the Spotify library ad-free on both my computer AND my mobile phone. So during a small (but still very American) get-together I hosted, I would be able to play some truly American tunes for all of my friends.

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However, due to some inconsistencies across devices in Spotify’s mobile app, I found I was unable to use the “radio” feature (which creates a custom radio station based on a selected song or artist) because that feature is unavailable in the current version of the Spotify windowsphone app. Naturally, I began to wonder what cruel trick was being played on me by the powers-that-be at Spotify HQ. After all, the feature is available for iPhone and Android users. Apparently just not for Nolen…

My point is this: When a user is happy with the web-experience they are provided on a single device, he/she expects to achieve that fantastic web-experience on any of their smart-devices of choice. And if the user becomes aware of those inconsistencies, he/she may end up feeling deprived of the original experience that they so enjoyed. So create a phenomenal web-experience, and be consistent!

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