What are the benefits of developing a mobile app

Is it necessary for businesses to have mobile apps?

Top voted answer
Keith Rowley

Keith Rowley, Joint Owner and Customer Strategist at

Top 10% Web Development

This is a really good question. I have had many customers begin their journey by asking me 'what is an app'? and 'do I need an app'? or 'can I turn my website into an app'? 

My answer usually takes the form of: "Whether you are best off with an app or a mobile website depends on your business objectives and the maturity of your business and business model. If you need to offer mobile-friendly content to a wide range of people, then a mobile website is probably best for you - apps are platform specific and websites are not. This is also the case if your business is fairly young and there is significant probability of rapid change. Mobile websites are much easier to maintain and update than apps. However, if your business model is relatively mature,  if you need high and focused engagement, if you need  to drive focus on interaction to gain customer loyalty, a mobile app may suit you better. In any case, I would generally advise that most customers test-fly a mobile website first because this is a form of risk mitigation. 

This is an extremely condensed answer to a very complex subject. 

Hatty Bell

Hatty Bell, Community Manager at

Great insight and technical knowledge @Keith Rowley . It sounds like there's lots to consider with this subject. Is your business model young or relatively mature @user 46459? Was this answer helpful?

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Keith Rowley

Keith Rowley, Joint Owner and Customer Strategist at

Top 10% Web Development

Hi Hatty. Although my business model is young and developing, I was a, communications systems design engineer in my second career, so tech is second nature. I do find a lot of the jargon in tech confuses the public and that really irrritates me! I get a lot of questions about Apps, UI, UX and whatever the buzzword of the day might be, and yet these terms are just geek-speak for common sense.

My systems background is an immense enabler for me in my business model because it enables me to turn tech terms into something that  non-etcnical business owner can easily understand. So how is this relevant to the business model...

Every technical product, App or Website or whatever, should begin life as three types of specification:

1) What the product is supposed to do (that's a combination of user requirement and functional requirement; for instance e.g  "the blue button is placed 'here' on every page. When the blue button is clicked, a green window covering 40% of the screen pops up and offers you...etc."  and

2) The development specification which says 'HOW' the product will work - which technologies etc in detail. 

3) The test specification so that you can measure that the agreed customer specification has been met.

Most projects - and this is hugely true of websites and apps - begin with very, very vague capture of customer requirements and the tech spec simply does not exist because these things take time. Not having them though means that project creep and customer dissatisfaction is almost always inevitable. 

I know it's not immediately obvious, but which approach you take to satisfying yout customers' online needs  lies at the heart of the business model. Most are just 'sell - push - cooky cut - repeat.'  Others are 'sell - listen - do your best and hope for the best',  Very few are - 'sell - listen - evaluate - accept or reject.'

Finally, specifications written correctly can be used to design both app and website. So when I cannot execute a design myself, I hire someone who can and use the product specifications to control the design process. Of course, to do this you need to knpw your way around tech or the developers will run rings around you. I have seen this with project managers who really become project monitors - very sad creastures indeed. Do you know one? - They know nothing about the tech being developed so thay are completely disempowered and essentially useless. 

I may have gone off topic here! I'll leave the response to the on-screen 'push' efforts to your other correspondents. It's not something I like 'pushing'! 

Once again I've grossly over-simplified so I hope I'm not sewing too much confusion.
Keith




 

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Hatty Bell

Hatty Bell, Community Manager at

App's provide marketing opportunities by being able to direct your efforts directly to the home screen of your audience's phones (which most people have in the palm of their hands for most of the day), using initiatives like push notifications. What do you think @Jef Lippiatt @Keith Rowley @Calum Maxwell ?

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