A 2015 report by Morgan Stanley shows that there are 2X more web mobile browsers than app users, growing 1.2X in the last 3 years.
Mobile applications are a handful. They are focused and direct ways to brand your business. However, you limit a lot of information with a mobile application.
We'll give you an example
You cannot share quality content on your mobile app which offers e-commerce services and products to your customers. You cannot make new announcements or offer downloadable stuff because you sell with your app.
You can do all of this and much more with a responsive web application though.
Which is why, at BluEnt, while we do respect all ideas that we receive, we offer mediation between choosing from a responsive web app and a business mobile app.
In our experience, not all businesses need a mobile app and not all business do well with a mobile app.
We are not the only ones who believe in the power of web apps.
Take a look at some of these other statistics if you want to get convinced:
Adobe reports that an average US mobile user spends 86% of his time on smartphone apps. Brand apps comprise only a small 11% of this – rest being taken up by gaming, social media, news and other utility apps. Does your app have what is takes to make it to this 11%?
Another report by CMS indicates that mobile conversion rates are up by 64% than desktop rates. Thank God for responsive web apps, eh?
The below image speaks for itself:
Having a custom web application for business is a win-win for your business, customers and investors alike. You get better visibility and you can add features that serve your customers better, instead of inundating them with flashy content to buy.
And we all know, what happens when you create a value-added appeal for your audience:
Now That We Have You with Uncle Scrooge, Let's Talk Business
You will not get ahead with your business by just having a responsive web app. Your application must feature rich, context-rich and relevance rich to make you rich.
Our buddies at CMS tell us that 57% users do not prefer recommending a business having a poorly designed web application.
Better apps mean better business.
There, we said it.
Let's take you to building better web apps:
Features and Functionalities – How much of what matters?
When most application development companies land a project, they do just that. They build a web application. Period. They do not solve business problems or world hunger or create a New World Order. They simply add some features and create a web app. That's their job after all, isn't it?
Unfortunately, this is a dangerous way to work. Development companies are not solving the underlying pain points of the users by emphasizing only on functionality and features.
We follow an unconventional approach:
We take one step back before starting a project.
We spend time with users who will use your app. With surveys, feedbacks and beta testing, we make this happen
User testing is not the end part of the development cycle. It is a continuous spoke in the wheel.
Key to getting to know the user is through user testing. We make it a point to test whatever application milestone we have achieved at least once every month.You do not need a lot of testers for this. 3 to 4 users will suffice. Moreover, this gives the feeling of belonging to an exclusive group to your testers and chances are, they will remain loyal to your brand once you have a ready solution.
What is your aim to do with your custom web app?
Businesses do not work on assumptions. Just like your products and services try to create a better world, so should your marketing channels too. At the same time, do not try to be a jack of all trades and a master of none.
Your web app cannot solve every problem.
*Cue gasp* And there you thought you'd be superman with your application. If you divert from one good thing that your business offers, things can get out of hand.There are illustrious examples in front of us about businesses trying to put on too many hats together. They crumbled. Keep your scope limited and exclusive. Pick a problem area and provide unparalleled services and products for the problem. Users will recognize you as leaders.And as we cannot emphasize enough, a satisfied customer is the best publicity
Monitoring your vital performance indicator
Once you have a prototype ready or a first look of the web app, move to a key performance indicator monitoring phase. You can judge the success of your app based on these indicators. Decide what you want to keep as an indicator in the beginning of the project. Combine your performance indicators with user feedback to get a clear picture of your next plan of action.
Don't take user feedback to heart
Feedback is welcome for every new change introduced in your app. However, you cannot please everyone – rule of thumb. Your users will give you mixed feedback. This is inevitable.
Do not take all feedback to heart. Know that not everyone welcomes change, however, we get used to it. Remember how people retorted fiercely when WhatsApp changed its appearance? Or Facebook? But we all got used to it. If you have more positive feedback, then give your skeptical users time to adjust to changes
Asking the right questions at the right time
"It's kind of hard to ask a dead guy what he did wrong." – James Dashner
When building web applications, nothing is more frustrating than surprises. Collect all facts before building an app. Now, of course, we are not Zen masters but we'll let you in on our secret: Asking the right questions will get you the right answers.We'll give you an example of the right and wrong approaches.
What kind of hosting environment should I use?
How will the site users be authenticated?
How will we back up the data?
Will there be any legacy data?
Will the management approve the app?
How will a certain someone respond with my app?
Will the app conform to the branding guidelines by the marketing department?
Can we manage this content internally True, questions that are based on internal office mechanisms will get the project approved quickly but will not be consumer-centric. Try developing the approach for asking the right questions.
Designing Basics 101 for creating better web apps
Using tooltips effectively
It is important to maintain the integrity of your design when you present your web application to users. you can achieve this with tooltips. They guide users through the system without interrupting their browsing experience. With tooltips, you can create a more immersive experience than you can with text introduction.
Using modals wisely
Modals are modern overused pop-up ads. We recommend implementing modals on your web app but in moderation. Keep it simple and easy to dismiss. Not doing so can make your users run faster than they would be seeing Freddy Kruger.
Oh Scroll, my Scroll
Most developers fear that users will not scroll down on their web app. They believe that any content below the fold will not be seen. The resulting design, in this case, is crammed with too much content, infographic and sometimes media. Clearly, your app's visuals will pay the price.A scrollable, flowing design is smooth. Make the transition towards to detail below the fold and introduce the content above the fold.
Simple and sweet.
Why should I remember details?
Create apps which are capable of storing data. Your users should not remember the details, your app should. To put it simply, do not rely on user memory. Do not make them re-enter the information. Design an app that does it for them.
Embrace the trends
It is important that your web application is open-minded. You can make use of technology trends to give users a seamless browsing experience.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The biggest tech companies, Google, Facebook and Microsoft have been releasing their AI technology for public use. Most large applications are already making use of AI. Wikipedia identifies damaged and inaccurate articles with AI and Google's search engine uses AI.AI driven site creation is highly anticipated in 2017. For example, Molly, the AI web designer on The Grid, will question you about branding, layout, content and colors. She will then design an aesthetic website for you based on pre-programmed algorithms. You can get the website updated as many times as you want. This will get you the desired results and contribute to the machines learning.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Google and Mozilla have already begun work on APIs for transitioning VR to the web. With standardization, more and more applications will be seen being developed using Virtual Reality tech. it is believed that 2017 will see VR being used from newsroom web applications to real estate requirements.
Rails 5 was released in June 2016. Development gurus are pinning on its popularity in 2017. The new release has some interesting additions such as Turbolinks which allows developers to create applications resembling single pages directly from Rails stack, merging of rails_api gem to its codebase and ActionCable which is a new way for using web sockets in Rails when developing real-time custom web applications.
Yarn Package Manager
Package Managers such as Bower and NPM are popular tools for front-end development communities. They help in easy development, installation, updating, configuration and uninstalling of code modules within applications. a new package manager, Yarn has been developed by Facebook in collaboration with Tilde, Google and Exponent. It is expected to grow in 2017. Yarn aims to provide better consistency, security and performance than NPM. Apart from these, there are several other technical strides that are highly anticipated to be popular in 2017 such as Static website generators, Internet of Things (IoT), Angular 2 and evolutions in Web Designing principles.
All web applications are unique in their own ways. They present unique challenges while being developed. As the development progresses, you learn from mistakes and identify key issues. Whether you asked the wrong questions, or did not focus on user's needs or bought the wrong OJ, these lessons provide invaluable developmental feedback. This is also an opportunity to learn from other team members. Instead of toiling away individually in an organization, try working as collaborative assets.
So that the management does not fire you. Just kidding. Parallel learning will pave way for better and bigger opportunities.
At BluEnt, we have around 60 cool developers who are skilled in customized web application development. We cater to businesses of all kinds – small, medium or enterprise. We also offer consultation and mobile application development. Just drop by or give us a ring to know more about us.
Maximum Value. Achieved.