We would like to tell you about the distinction that currently exists between a responsive design of a site and a custom mobile application.
As you know the number of cellphone users is drastically growing and scientific research concludes that by 2020, 70% of world population (approximately 6,1 billion people) will use cellphones to access the Internet. It means that you should strongly consider how to engage this customer in spite of the area of your business and no matter what your company does.
You can involve mobile users with the following solutions:
- Create a beautiful mobile version of your site
- Build a customized mobile application
- Make the responsive design of the site.
Let’s now consider which solutions are best for your business.
- A Site’s Mobile version
The mobile site is an independent full-fledged project with a tailored design, a specific development process, and requires content optimization and site usability elaboration. Yes, it means a plenty of work to do, the same you have done for your website before. Mobile site promotion will also take some time and budget (different sources name different terms, but 3-6 months is the minimum).
- Everybody knows that it is much more convenient to view the portfolio of a company or the products that they offer in the mobile version of their website. Moreover, you can just choose what you want to buy, place it in the basket and order it with one click. So, it is a good way to shorten your buyer’s journey.
- It’s important to note that the mobile version is lightweight, so it loads faster than the full web version of the site.
- It is no great surprise that search engines use mobile search for phones, so the mobile version of the site will be ranked higher, and therefore you will get more conversions from a site that enlarges the number of potential buyers.
How to understand if you need a mobile version of the site?
To come to the decision you just need to install an analytics counter on your site, i.e. Google Analytics. If it is already installed then you can start analyzing your site’s traffic. If the part that provides details regarding mobile traffic is higher that 15%, we can safely assume that you definitely need a mobile version!
- A custom mobile application
A mobile application has to be developed for a definite mobile platform (iOS, Android, and Windows Phone). In order to start using the application, users need to go to the app store (Google Play or App Store), find the app among others and install it on their device. Similar to the mobile version of the site, you should get the customers know about your mobile application, and spend resources to promote it.
- With a mobile app, there are additional efficient channels to increase sales and more ways to interact with users. A mobile application can send push notifications, which a full web version of a site is unable to do. Users can know about your news and updates without visiting your site, they will get all information via their phones. Your brand, product or company can be closer to the customer.
- Quality interface — buttons, text fields, links are convenient for touching with a finger. The mobile app interface turns the logic of app navigation responsive and supported by each operating system. You can provide your client with an engaging, satisfying experience through the well-designed mobile app.
- Working offline. In addition, the crucial advantage is an offline mode. Your users can be in touch with you even in the case of Internet connection outage. This can play a key role in the prosperity of your business. You can keep connected to your customer every moment, he needs you.
How to make a decision about a mobile application?
If you need to build a long-term, high-quality and productive relationship with your customers, if the effect on your users thoughts and feelings is an inseparable part of your business, if the level of comfort that you provide to your customer is a significant part of your corporate culture, then a mobile application would be the only reasonable solution.
- A responsive design of the site
Adaptive (Responsive) Web Design is the design of web pages, ensuring the correct display of the site on different devices connected to the Internet and dynamically adjusting it to the definite dimensions of the browser tab. It means that your site will look the same attractive and provide the usual services to your customers, no matter what device they used to visit it.
- The adaptive (responsive) design is even more effective than mobile applications. Studies reveal that mobile apps are widely accepted only in the US, and in other countries, most users are accustomed to finding information via browsers on their Mobile phones, as is done with laptops.
- There is no need to download the application. In the case of a mobile application, you must either synchronize the site with the application (it requires additional resources) or do two times the amount of work, filling the site and the application with content. Adaptive design means there is one URL site, one design, and one management system. Additionally, the content of the site is managed in one location, the full web version of the site. No promotion expenses included.
- The development of mobile applications is normally more expensive, and sometimes investments are unjustified. However, you can outsource the development for an app development house that can meet your expectations and it helps you to reduce costs.
How to find out if you need a responsive design?
If it is essential for you to be in the top line of search engines, then an adaptive site is necessary to ensure the growth of your business. It will help you boost the incoming traffic of your site. A mobile application exists in a disconnected system and cannot be indexed by search engines. Logically this makes us use alternative methods to attract users.
So, to sum it up, if your budget is limited or your site is not a platform for sales or a social network, and it contains barely brief information about the company, then you can create a beautifully designed website that is responsive to mobile devices.
In spite of that, if your company sells products and services via the Internet, is a news media site or a social platform, you should invest in native applications for Android and iOS. The main reason for that is that mobile applications deliver the entertaining experience and deeper involvement to users. In accordance with the latest research, customers who use these of websites spend more time in apps than on the mobile versions of the sites.
Get the ideas of an app or a site design on Behance, it can help you to design your mobile application with the latest technologies and trends.