Mobile apps are amazing. The majority of us uses them so often and rely on them so much that it’s hard to think how we lived without them. Unfortunately, a lot of companies want an app because, well, it’s the trendy thing to do and they think they need to follow suit. They spend time and money developing a glorified mobile site that no one uses. Don’t get caught in this trap.
We all know that mobile seems to be taking over the web – or at least is becoming the most important contender for expanding the way we think about websites.
We’ve written before about the importance of mobile optimizing your website. Not only is it becoming the new standard in web design, but also it’s simply good SEO. For plenty of businesses, a mobile app can be a fantastic way to engage with their audience, but for many others, it is overkill. So, how do you know which is right for you?
The first question you have to ask is: what will the app do?
Apps made like games and social platforms are essentially products of their own, but a company’s mobile app is usually an extension of their product or service, like banking apps, grocery store sale-finding apps, weather service apps, etc. The general idea is that the app does something different (or better) than a mobile-friendly website can.
So, the very first question has to be about what the application’s function will be. If you don’t have a clear function in mind, what’s the point? Will it make using your service or purchasing your products easier for customers? Does it streamline part of a process that your mobile website can’t? If you have an intended purpose for you app, that’s a huge step in the right direction.
The next big question is: what can the app do for the company?
Providing convenience and ease-of-use for your customers is a reason in itself, of course, but you should also consider what kind of benefits an app could mean for the company. Will it collect useful user data? Will it create an opportunity for partnering with other companies for mutual benefit? Will it lead to a notable increase in sales?
If you can identify some direct benefits for the company AND the customer, the need for a mobile app will become more and more apparent.
The point here is get away from the trendy idea that every company needs an app; that simply isn’t true. Instead, actually identify what your company would do with one and whether or not it’s going to be useful to your customers (and your bottom line). Don’t just follow the crowd – weigh the benefits and make an informed decision for YOUR business.
Now, assuming that you’ve come up with a purpose, identified the benefits for your customers and your company, and decided that you do in fact want to develop an app for your company …
Where the heck do you start?
Fortunately, that’s where we come in. Successfully developing an app begins with a detailed plan, and we can help you every step of the way. From planning to design and coding to launch, we’ll guide you through the whole process (and take care of the tough parts).
But before we do, take a good look at what you might want out of an app. Imagine your customers using it, visualize what it looks like and how it functions, explore how it could make their experience better, think about what it could mean for the company, and what kind of expenses you’d be facing.