App or mobile website, think about it, no really, think about it
During one of our team meetings a colleague raised the idea of developing an app to promote some of the new product offerings we have in development. Another colleague countered and felt that the mobile website should be our focus. After some lively discussion, we realized, and a key recommendation for anyone in the same situation as us, was that research was required on both options prior to finalizing any decision.
The one critical piece that we had in place was a clear objective. We wanted to tap in to a growing mobile user market and expand our web presence to promote our existing services, and our new product offerings. After research and debate, our decision was to, as an initial step, move forward with the design and development of a mobile website.
Mobile sites are fast to set up
There were several reasons that lead us to the decision to develop a mobile website. The first was that the mobile site could be done fairly quickly. In doing our due diligence and researching both the App and mobile options, we quickly came to the conclusion that designing for iPhone and/or Android devices, submitting our App to an App store, and waiting for someone to download our App would require a much longer timeline than that of developing a mobile site.
Mobiles sites are compatible with most users
The second reason we opted for a mobile website was because of the compatibility. It doesn’t matter what mobile device a user has, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, the mobile website offers compatibility, and our potential customer is not hindered by their mobile device choice. It’s important to keep in mind your objective. Ours was to tap into a growing mobile device market to promote our services and products, and we weren’t too concerned what device the user was using to view our offerings.
Mobile sites offer flexibility for updates
The third was the flexibility of updating a mobile website. We knew we would be adding additional products, and continually refining the website. The ability to update often, and easily, and not have to push updates to App users for them to have to then download was a very attractive element.
Mobile sites are cheaper
The fourth was cost. Again, in researching our options, the costs associated with designing and developing an App for multiple platforms was significantly greater than that associated with developing a mobile site.
It may sound like the decision to go with a mobile website was pretty simple, but it wasn’t. The number one recommendation is to make sure you’re clear with your objective. Then do some research. Talk to some designers and some users of the two options. Talk to people in your industry. Find out costs, development timelines, and updates and maintenance costs and requirements. All of these elements will help you make the decision that is right for your organization, and help ensure you will achieve your objective.
Do you need an App or a mobile website? Feel free to leave a comment below or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, you could always write your own blog post on the subject and share it with us… We’d love to read it!