Mobile apps are all the rage in the digital marketing world. At this moment, you are most likely rolling your eyes at such an obvious statement. But there’s a good reason apps have only increased in popularity. They help businesses make direct connections with their audience. There are mobile apps that help you do everything. You can manage your social media presence, book a hotel room, or even place an order at a restaurant. But how much do you actually know about mobile apps? Have you been pondering creating an app for your business? Is that the right call?
What Do We Know About Mobile Users?
Smartphones and tablets are seemingly everywhere. Since 2011, smartphone ownership has risen 35%. Now, 77% of the American population uses a smartphone. When it comes to apps, the numbers are intense. The average smartphone user has 80 apps downloaded on their phone and accesses at least 40 of them a month.
It is not too much of a stretch to say that Americans are tightly connected to their smartphones, as users spend about 3.5 hours a day on them. So, it looks like you have a ready-made audience for your mobile app idea. But hold on. There are a few questions you need to ask before you begin building your mobile app.
4 Critical Questions to Ask Before Building Your First Mobile App
At Atlantic BT, we’ve had the good fortune of working with clients in a wide variety of fields, helping solve both marketing and IT challenges. Lately, many of our conversations with clients have been focused on the creation of mobile apps. We’ve noticed several recurring questions needed to define the scope of the project. To help you develop the best app possible, and do it quickly and efficiently, we’ve gathered these insights for you.
1. Should You Build a Mobile App or a Mobile Friendly/Responsive Web Site?
Sometimes, you don’t need a mobile app. Instead, a mobile friendly version of your site (or a responsive website) will do just fine. Mobile friendly and responsive sites are great options if you simply want to optimize the display of your existing web content on mobile devices. By contrast, mobile apps work best for specific, targeted actions you want your audience to take (i.e. make a reservation at a local restaurant). Mobile apps also take advantage of functions on your phone, such as the GPS, camera, microphone, and more. Knowing what you want your users to accomplish is an important question to answer before you jump into building a mobile app.
2. Android, iOS, or Both?
For mobile apps, there are two leading platforms: iOS (Apple) and Android. In today’s mobile environment, you need to develop apps for both platforms. Only developing for iOS is a sure-fire way to tick off your Android audience. Then, you’ll be stuck saying over and over again “Yes, we are currently working on an Android version and hope to release it soon.”
3. What Will Your Users Do With the App?
The most successful mobile apps are focused on helping users solve a specific problem. Your app should be no different. Ask yourself what kinds of problems you want to solve for your users. Then build your app to solve that problem. Applications that attempt to do too many things are often not as well received as highly focused apps. A good user experience (UX) process will help you identify the core needs of your mobile app and ensure that those needs are addressed during the building process.
4. How Will You Update Content in Your Mobile App?
Mobile app development isn’t a one-time activity. You will need to keep your content up-to-date and make improvements in the app as the platforms grow and change. Build apps on open content management systems using technical frameworks that can adapt over time. Anything less puts you at risk for a dead app as conditions change.
Get Started with Mobile App Development
There are many factors to consider when creating a mobile app. At Atlantic BT, we’ve helped companies create innovative and engaging mobile apps that benefited both them and their customers. Our team of consultants, UX strategists, mobile developers and marketers will work with you to help you build the mobile app of your dreams.