A Conceptual Framework for Competitive Mobile Content Provision

 How can content providers understand then tailor content for delivery to users of mobile devices in ever-changing life contexts? The following abstract describes my PhD study and dissertation.

Visit The University of Melbourne Digital Repository to access the dissertation.

Abstract

Content provision via mobile technology platforms (such as smart mobile phones and tablet computers) raises interesting practical and research challenges for the field of Information Systems (IS). Much of the IS literature about mobile content provision is concerned with the ‘user experience’, with a particular focus on technology. In contrast, there is limited academic work looking at the ‘content’ component of the mobile experience.

Quite often in information system development the content is seen as separate to the system and does not receive as much consideration. This study is specifically interested in how providers (such as individuals, consultants, small business, newspapers, media companies and universities) can understand and then tailor content for delivery to users of mobile devices in ever-changing life contexts.

This study proposes that it is the content that users come to the mobile platform to consume and which gives the experience much of its value and meaning. It is therefore through the development of appealing content offerings that content providers stand their best chance of establishing a competitive advantage on the mobile platform.

In the mobile sphere content providers are observed focusing their efforts upon the development of micro information systems (in the form of mobile content offerings) which contain everything required by, and of value to the mobile technology user in the moment of use. These offerings are modular in nature (self-sufficient, but able to be associated with other systems) and geared towards helping users to optimize their quality of life.

This study puts forward a theoretical framework for research into mobile content provision which describes and supports this modular, content-driven approach. This framework is both descriptive (detailing what providers are actually doing in relation to mobile content provision) and prescriptive, because the observations are taken further and a set of concepts, constructs and principles defined, to inform future IS research and to aid strategic decision-making about competitive content offering development and provision on the mobile platform.

In particular, current IS theoretical frameworks and models, based on utility and user satisfaction, are no longer adequate ways for providers, researchers or developers to conceive the needs and expectations of mobile information system users. Instead, qualitative evidence shows that providers expect people to value and with mobile content offerings that help them to resolve everyday predicaments and contribute to their quality of life.

This study therefore proposes the Continuous Quality of Life Optimization Principle as a better way to understand the complex, deeply personal, mobile content experience — and the predicament and bondability constructs as more effective ways to understand and then tailor content for delivery to users of mobile devices in ever-changing life contexts.

Visit The University of Melbourne Digital Repository to access the dissertation.

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