As per Google and Apple, there are some 1.4 billion active Android and 1 billion active iOS users worldwide respectively. With such pace, it stands to reason that mobile apps are outpacing websites and web apps. As per another study it has come to light that 86% of users opt for custom mobile apps rather than browsers. And there is good reason to support this because native (Windows, Android and iPhone) mobile app development takes full advantage of the built-in features like camera, swipe gesture, GPS, Bluetooth etc. offering smooth, fast and reliable user experience. Due to advent of Xamarin, the need for coding over different platform has also reduced in the app development process.
This age is all about lightning speed and quick response. As per some studies, even a delay of 2 seconds can sidetrack the user. Even the big guys such as Facebook and LinkedIn learnt this lesson the hard way and adopted native app for performance. But simply having a mobile app is not the end of story; you need to invest logically in it.
We’ve assembled a list of things to consider while moving from web to native apps.
Ponder over Your Prevailing Web Experience
The most vital step is to study what works and what doesn’t with respect to a users’ web experience. You can then use this insight to bring together ideas for a better app experience. Try to offer features outside the web app or try to optimize the already present features and functionality, in a better manner. For instance, look at Facebook, it started with website, web app and finally transformed to a full-fledged native app. They did not add different functionality in their native app, instead they optimized the existing features. This made sure that the brand’s identity stayed intact providing users a familiar experience.
Classify Your App Audience
Though you are already aware of the people who visit your website, you need to ask yourself, will the same people use your app too? Or you need to focus on a different set of audience? The more you study your website, the better your understanding of the group of potential audience will be. You can take advantage of Google analytics to gather information about what users are doing on your website. This will let you add the missing features on your app.
Contemplate the usage of Apps
The users who would be using your app are different and every user will have different reasons, expectations and urgency. You need to address such issues with logical understanding; such as, will your users access your app when present in crowd? Does your app offer the kind of experience which would allow a user to use it effortlessly? Ensure the experience your app delivers is not just amazing but it fits the criteria of users as well. If you are not sure about how to execute certain feature of the app, you can always check similar apps in the app store for inspiration.
Outline the objectives of your App
So, you have done the research for your app and defined who your users are going to be. The next step should be defining the purpose of your app. You should be able to answer how your app will be valuable to your business because app development is time consuming and involves cost outlay. If you’re able to create an app which leads to optimum user experience while ensuring their objectives are fulfilled, you have done well. Having said that, if you’re able to create an app which managed to surpass their needs and delivers excitement and delight, you have done exceedingly well. The key is to create an app which goes beyond your business objectives to deliver an unmatched user experience.
Augment Your App Functionality
This is the stage where you need to decide what features you want to include in your app. There are certain companies which have multiple apps because they can’t cram all the features of website into one app. Each apps should focus on its core functionality improving the overall user experience. Mobile platforms also offer potential for better user engagement which websites can’t, such as, push notifications, gratification features, and location-based actions, all developed natively. Understand how and why users will interact with these functionalities before adding them.
The transition from a website to a mobile application development doesn’t necessarily mean replicating the entire website. Take your time to assess how your audience use your website and how an app can add value and make their transition memorable.