It’s no secret that we’ve become attached to our cell phones. In June 2019, the Washington Post reported this sensational and terrifying development: mobile devices may be responsible for new, horn-like protrusions growing from the base of our skulls—to support the weight of looking down all the time. Don’t worry too much, though. Follow-ups by the New York Times, Forbes, and others poked holes in the study’s suggested conclusion.
While our skeletons may or may not be adapting to our phone usage, our online habits certainly are. Mobile devices are responsible for at least 50% of email opens. Even more shocking—mobile now represents a whopping 70% of our minutes spent on digital media (according to comScore’s 2017 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus report). Adults in the U.S.A. glued their eyes to their mobile devices for an average of 3 hours and 35 minutes each day in 2018.
Why are we like this? In a fast-paced world, mobile technology is something of a chicken-or-the-egg conundrum. Are these devices creating a renewed focus on 24-7 productivity, or did our desire for increased productivity give rise to mobile? More importantly, what does any of this have to do with your abstract management system?
We Practically Live on Mobile Devices
With the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices in mind, it’s more crucial than ever to offer mobile-friendly abstract submissions when you put out a call for papers. This is the channel through which first world cultures are consuming their news, communicating with colleagues and friends, and spending down-time on the bus, at lunch, or in bed at night.
It wouldn’t be overstepping reason to presume speakers are no different from the rest of us. The odds are high that prospective presenters will first interact with your conference via a mobile access point.
They might spot your call for abstract submissions in an email at lunch that reminds them about the annual meeting that’s coming around again. A colleague might share a link to a LinkedIn or Facebook post from your association. They could come across it in a mobile web search while they’re at the lake for the weekend, away from a computer. Mobile functionality makes sure you don’t miss your moment while the abstract submission is top of mind.
We Want Flexibility—In Fact, We Love It
Mobile responsive design is an essential part of any website development process these days and for good reason. With the variety of devices and form factors we use to access the internet—desktops, laptops, tablets, phones—it’s hard to predict when and where we’ll switch over. And when the switch to mobile doesn’t go smoothly, most of us tend to get at least a little frustrated.
Your speakers might want to start their abstract submission riding the subway home from work, switch to a desktop in the living room when they get home, then finish it two days later when they think of it with a tablet in hand, sipping coffee on the porch. If you can meet them where they’re at, you’ll increase your chances that they don’t put it down for later—only to forget about it and miss the deadline.
Mobile-Ready Platforms Are Out There
Our abstract submission software at OpenWater was crafted with mobile in mind, as a one-stop solution for abstract management. The OpenWater platform integrates with the look and feel of your website and incorporates single-sign-in (for example, with Google accounts) for seamless, responsive access on any device. This potent combo of accessibility and ease of use will go a long way toward helping your speakers complete their abstract submissions on time.
But alas, it still can’t fix those mobile-related skull horns.