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You’ve got a good service to sell and are looking for the best ways to connect and engage your potential customers. Reaching out to them through mobile devices becomes an obvious choice due to the ubiquity and easy accessibility of smartphones. Unfortunately, the mobile world is cluttered. Effectively reaching out to them thus means not just connecting with them, but also providing them with the best user experience possible.
A research study conducted by Oracle best validates this. The study found that nearly 55% of millennials say a poor mobile app experience would make them less likely to use a company’s products or services. One of the long-standing debates that has emerged in an attempt to provide mobile users with a great user experience is the one between the use of HTML5 apps and native mobile apps.
HTML5 / Hybrid or Native mobile app?
On the face of things, the HTML5 app or hybrid mobile app seems like easiest option for a company. What you have is one app, reaching out to consumers across different mobile platforms. This obviously means faster go-to-market times, lesser effort and lower costs. This may sound perfect to your business head who more often than not will give you a deadline of ‘yesterday’ to complete the task of making a mobile phone application. The downside that comes along with this however is a HUGE compromise on user experience.
HTML5 or hybrid apps may actually prove to be useful if you already have a website and are just looking for a presence in the app stores. While these apps are useful for small scale projects that need to be developed rapidly, most brands cannot afford to risk a compromise on user experience for the sake of speed of execution.
A native app on the other hand is great because it involves the customization of the app to suit a particular operating system. This approach helps in providing users with the best possible user experience in terms of adaptability, layout, navigation, structure, interactivity, branding and feedback. Even the most accomplished user experience designer will not be able to develop an app that caters to both iPhone and Android users, as they both have very different style guidelines that come with their own set of advantages. Continue reading →
“Your purpose is to make your audience see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt.” -Dale carnegie
Many organizations look to build brand awareness or usability of their service or product through mobile apps. Some of them succeed in doing this effectively by relying on the virality factor. Users want to willing share the app or it’s content over the internet, with their social networks and even offline with their friends and family. Thus building the brand of the organisation and attracting thousands of potential customers to the the original service or product. In very successful cases, where the apps are designed and developed in the right way, the brand building is so effective, that they cannot be achieved alternatively given sky-high marketing and advertising budgets.
Mobile applications have become the first point of entry for a lot of new and old consumer services and products. Many popular technology, operations and finance companies have their mobile apps in the app store and are constantly innovating and redefining the way in which their business operates. What does this mean to the end user? Well, the end users’ life becomes easier as these services become more accessible and economical due to innovative ways of doing business. Few of the top players are going all-in on their mobile apps, with ‘mobile first’ or even ‘mobile only’ strategy for introducing and shaping their consumer offerings.
It is important to remember that the consumers’ mobile device may have limited memory capability (due to various reasons) and data / WiFi plans are still precious. Mobile app updates unlike website updates are more intrusive, they cost data and memory to the user. On an average an application would be atleast 5 to 7 MB (probably even more) in size, when the user downloads it from the store. Also, unlike other files, the complete application needs to be downloaded again for every app upgrade. (In the future, Google and Apple may introduce incremental upgrades where only new app functionality can be downloaded as an upgrade)
Many interested users have easy access to WiFi and have auto-updates turned on, but majority of them don’t. With this in mind, it becomes important to answer how often should these businesses release an app update — should it be every week, fortnightly, monthly or more.