It’s common knowledge that users spend most of their time on apps, and you may be asking yourself whether your company needs a mobile app as opposed to a web application. Before making a decision, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each option. Furthermore, ruling out one over the other may not be the correct decision either. As your audience grows, you should consider all the platforms they use to consume information: social media, mobile apps, websites, etc. All of these factors should contribute to your marketing and development strategy.
How often do you get on your phone to open an app? How often do you download a new app? A mobile application is built for your device’s platform. For example, iPhones use iOS while Samsungs use Android. Each platform requires different development languages, and each has its own process for accepting apps. That’s right – just because you build an app, doesn’t mean it’ll be accepted into the “App Store.”
One of the main appeals behind mobile apps is the fact that they’re so widely used. On the flip side, that means there’s a lot of competition for your business’s market and for your users’ attention. Still, having a mobile app keeps your brand at the forefront of your target audience’s mind and, literally, right at their fingertips. In addition, users are more likely to spend time exploring your app than they would a website (depending on the user experience, of course.) And just like a website, mobile applications make use of analytics and allow you to tailor recommendations, push notifications, and updates to your users.
From a development perspective, mobile applications must be built for each platform depending on where you want your app to be accessible. This can be costly and time-consuming. Mobile apps leverage various features and functionality that a web application may not be capable of. However, the more functionality a mobile app has, the more they cost. Finally, once you’ve planned, designed, developed, and tested the app, you have to submit it to the app stores. Of course, each platform has their own requirements that developers will keep in mind when building the app. Though, the process can be quite tedious. The development team will need to configure your app for release on each platform. The marketing team will need to fill out forms, take screenshots, write descriptions, and submit any other marketing materials for consideration. Then, the app store will review your app and request any changes based on their own regulations and policies.
A web application is exactly what you think it might be…a website. This type of website, however, is built to be user-friendly and responsive. A web application can be accessed from your users’ desktops or their mobile devices. If you think about it, that’s twice as much access as a mobile app. The only downside is that users have to take an extra step to get to your website if they’re using a mobile device. Instead of clicking on a branded icon on their home screen, they’ll have to type in the URL in their preferred mobile browser, just as they would on a desktop.
In order to build a web application, Sevaa Group starts with a discovery phase, where we discuss your goals, pain points, and the desired functionality you want your website to have. During this phase, we also decide what kind of content management system (CMS) will work for you. We often work with Drupal and WordPress, as those are among the most popular. Then we go through multiple design iterations until a final design (for desktop and mobile) is agreed upon, at which point we start building, adding functionality and features to your site. All of this is built for your CMS, not based on multiple platforms. When we build a website, we do multiple rounds of testing to ensure that the application is responsive. This means your site will maintain best practices for user experience whether your users are on a laptop, tablet, or mobile device. This process is much more efficient and less costly than creating a mobile application.
In addition, a CMS allows for multiple backend users to edit content. This is especially helpful if you have more than one team that’s in charge of producing specific content. Just like a mobile app, your web application will have the ability to serve updates and notifications to your users when there is new content. The biggest benefit of a web application is the ease of maintenance. With any development update for a mobile application, you have to make each change based on each platform. For a web application, we can develop new features or edit existing ones in a timely manner without jumping through app store hoops.
Which is Better?
It’s important to incorporate mobile and web use into your DevOps and marketing strategies. Your audience demands an optimal user experience, accessibility, and efficient load times. We can achieve all of the requirements whether you decide you want a mobile app, a web application, or both. And don’t think you’re limited to either or. Consider a progressive web app, which combines the best of both worlds. The benefit? It requires no WiFi and uses very little data and storage. Either direction requires an in-depth planning phase to nail down your goals and flesh out your vision. Talk to Sevaa Group about getting started with discovery.