More about the failure of location-based applications

Why LBS Applications Fail by David H. Williams is a good overview of issues regarding the problems of location-based applications. The author describes them at the 7 deadly sins... The Seven Deadly Sins of Location-Based Services. Source: E911-LBS Consulting 2006.

Regarding my own interests (the user experience of location-awareness), here are some excerpts that I found interesting:

Sin #5- Flawed Technical and User Design This is the failure to design toward the specific value proposition that is important to the target markets. Root causes include:

  1. Inattention to use cases of the service, the associated user interface, and the degree of personalization of the service
  2. Lack of creativity and innovation
  3. Not recognizing all the complexities involved in an LBS deployment: application setup, network and operational processes and systems, business operations and customer service
  4. Failure to adapt to realities of wireless device information presentation limitations

Sin #7 - Deficient Marketing This refers to the inability to get visibility in the marketplace. Root causes include:

  1. Taking a mass market approach versus niche product marketing
  2. A tendency to adopt a "Build It and They Will Come" mentality, while losing focus on the key value proposition(s)
  3. Not recognizing that customer education and giving the customer a sense of personalization is essential

Why do I blog this? I am gathering some thoughts for a talk about the user experience of LBS, the situation is not that different form 2 years ago. The article offer some relevant insights but here are some weird points (like "An example of a company that does a good job of identifying and targeting opportunities is Virgin Wireless, one of Richard Branson's companies. The company's vibrant marketing strategy, using billboards and the company's website, clearly targets teenagers with its "cool" slogans, brightly colored phones and simple plans."). If that's a good way to "identity and target opportunities"... :(