A bike or a car?
Both are used differently, but the ‘goal’ dictates. Once you know the best way to interact with your audience, the right technology will follow. You need the right tool for the right job, whether it be a website, an app, or even a combination of the two to capture the attention of your mobile audience.
Mobile is impossible to ignore regardless of the industry you are in, and it’s all about retention. So why are the two fundamental for business?
You can say apps are being produced to not only provide genuine entertainment, (yes – even firing disgruntled birds at pigs!), but also to allow us to be more productive and even save some money. Apps provide a unique, lasting and engaging experience, to not only make your clients aware of your services, acting like a branding tool - but to also increase customer loyalty. Building relationships and being able to work offline (inside an event hall for instance) are just a few reasons as to why apps are essential.
People tend to download apps for numerous reasons, whether it’s a lifestyle choice, a good source of information or to just be one tap away from your company’s content. One of the key reasons in imagining how your users will interact with your app - is to determine whether you want this application to deliver a highly graphical and robust user experience whilst focusing on device functionality such as the camera and GPS.
A whole host of industries have jumped onto the app wagon to help promote their brand. With over 60% of the UK population owning a mobile device, and the average number of apps launched a day being 7.9; highlights just how powerful the mobile world can be. Therefore being aware of who your customers are and what devices they are using to reach you are integral factors that need to be considered.
So what about responsive websites?
If you have ever used your smartphone to go onto a website (of course you have) but only to find yourself pinching and prodding the screen to zoom and move the website around to click just one link, then that was not a responsive website. That wasn’t even close.
A responsive website gracefully adjusts content to fit on any screen on any device. But it’s not just about the screen size – device capability, screen resolution and input support should also be considered. Adopting a responsive web design is not about creating a mobile ready site, it’s about ensuring functionality fits the context and scenarios that are ideal for mobile, whether its making phone numbers dial-able or even accessing directions with ease through geo-location, all whilst providing a consistent and enjoyable experience.
Point blank – if people have no idea how to navigate around your website, then they won’t.
Most people assume a responsive website is a shortcut and consider this a less expensive option – this is not necessarily correct. Mobile websites (these web addresses are usually preceded by m.) typically suppress a website’s desktop content. This provides limitation to your business – websites should serve the same content and experience regardless of the users device…shouldn’t they?
If the aim of your business is to grow traffic, increase dwell times and optimise your search engine presence, responsive web design is vital. Every business needs a website, thus performance should be a priority - benefitting all users. The real beauty of responsive web is that the technology is invisible to users. Thus ensuring all of your content remains centre stage.
This doesn’t mean creating an app in order to clone your website content on another channel. Predicting a user’s intent is a difficult/near impossible task to undertake. Therefore considering all the doors your visitors are coming from is crucial. Although no user is the same, their first interaction with you should be an enjoyable experience, or you face the risk of never seeing them again.
The reason for a responsive website is to ensure you don’t deter prospects at the first hurdle when they attempt to reach out to you. Whilst apps provide unlimited engagement benefits and possibilities that a website could only dream of. All of which boils down to using the right tool for the right job.