To App or Not to App?

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To App or Not to App?

Before the dawn of iPhones and “smartphones” the web was simply an affair for the good ole’ desktop computer. Laptops were the new craze, anything beyond that point was for show and tell (don’t tell me you didn’t love those damn flip phone motorolas). It was a time where if you needed any information, that sweet sound of dial up would introduce you to the web. For us geeks, it was like starting up a jet plane. You’d flip the switch while you checked your parameters and wait for that bad boy to start up. From there, you had instant access to the world, where your limitations were only based on what you could type into a search engine.

Fast forward to today, and we all have our faced buried into our “smart devices”. In today’s fast paced world, I’ve heard so many clients say “the web is dead, let’s focus on applications”. Without taking any importance away from smart device applications, it pains me to hear that “the web is dead”. No my dear friends, the web is actually stronger than ever, it’s just wearing a different mask.

With the advent of new web standards and technologies, the web is no longer your boring old background, text, images and hyperlinks. No, we have responsive websites that integrate with applications. We have interactive stories published over the web and change the way we absorb content (video demonstration below). We even have web apps that power some really serious stuff. Don’t believe me? Think of a little website you may have heard of, it’s called “netflix“.

 

 

The web has turned into a whole new ballgame. It’s no longer the same playing field. Web technologies are also very widely used throughout many of your favorite applications that you download on your smart device, but not many people are very familiar with the idea of hybrid applications. That’s a story on it’s own. But, just for your information’s sake the “HealthTap” app, “Journl” app and many other great featured apps were built purely with web technologies and packaged through the phone gap service.

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Now, back to our discussion. A lot of clients tell me that they’re more focused on getting their smart device applications out than their own websites. I’ve also had some clients that don’t even have a website but want to pursue the route of smart device applications. Now, don’t get me wrong. The importance of a smart device application in today’s world is vital, if your application can add value to the users who use it. Too many times I’ve seen clients who just want to be on the App Store with no real plan. It’s easy for us to say yeah, sure, give us your money and we’ll do it. But, that wouldn’t be right.

A website is an extension of your brand. Instead of investing so much into an application, it’s in my opinion more important to actually get your website modernized and responsive. The truth is, most probably if you’re an average business owner, an application is more of a luxury rather than a necessity. Of course, it depends on the business model and your offerings. However, if I’m going to completely replicate my website and package it as an application. I personally believe a client will be setting themselves up for failure.

 

The truth is, most probably if you’re an average business owner, an application is more of a luxury rather than a necessity.

 

The web is where people will find you. Whether it’s through a search engine, a direct link, or through social media. The possibilities of being found on the web are endless. However, in the app store. It’s not so easy to stumble onto your application from a user’s perspective, unless they’re searching for it. Then, you also have to realize that if you build an application, you’ll need a website to market it. Most applications create a landing page for people to find out more about the application and link directly to the app store to download it. The point is, it’s a lot harder to get found on the app store than it is to be found online.

So why do we constantly ignore the importance of websites? I think it’s mainly because people know that people are turning mobile. Some people don’t even use a laptop anymore unless it’s at work. The iPad has taken over so much that laptops are not as common as we once thought they were to be. People, always have their smartphones with them. It’s the easiest place to reach them. Though, we always tend to forget that they’re not necessarily always using applications. A lot of the usage on phones come from chrome mobile and safari mobile.

Our best advice to customers who want to jump into the mobile application world is to first assess their web presence. Chances are, you need to start from there before you move into the application domain. Unless, you have a unique service you can offer through an application that you do not offer through your websites. So, before you decide on whether or not your organization needs an application, please think of the following:

  1. Is our website up to modern web standards and technologies?
  2. Is our social media up to par?
  3. Will our application have value to give to our users?
  4. Will our app differ from our website or be a carbon copy of content and features?
  5. Do we have a team that can market/advertise our app?

If you’re able to answer yes to all of the above questions, then you’ll be ready to enter the domain of applications. If not, we recommend you go back and take a look at your web presence (that includes social media, email etc… anything web related really). If you’re still convinced on being on the app store but cannot answer yes to the above questions then we recommend you contact a digital consultant or a specialized agency in application development. They can help you build a concept that will add value to your users and help you transition into the world of applications. They can also help you fortify and improve your web presence (most app dev/design agencies do web as well as social media) and create a digital strategy.

Now for the shameless plug: contact us now for your free consultation through our contact page and we’ll help you move forward in this rapidly evolving digital world.

By | 2016-12-14T21:21:07+00:00 April 21st, 2015|Applications, Consulting, Digital, Web|0 Comments

About the Author:

With several years of experience in both digital consulting and financial consulting, Ahmad has positioned himself in the market with a unique outlook on creative digital solutions. Although he's a consultant by educational standard, he's a lifelong graphic designer by nature. He has designed/developed the Al Oloom Magazine application (Arabic version of Scientific American) and the Wilson & Bass (logo and branding). His expertise is in UI/UX design and research but his true passion is in transforming information into knowledge through conducting corporate lectures, speaking at workshops, and writing articles.

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