Web Design: Art or Science?
Kiss My App — Apps for Everyone!
A character in a popular film from 2000 said, “It’s supposed to be a challenge, that’s why they call it a shortcut. If it was easy it would just be the way.” – Road Trip
While that may be true of roads and paths, it is absolutely untrue when it comes to business and consumer interactions. In no way should a shortcut ever create a challenge for either the consumer or the business, quite the opposite actually. Emerging technologies have led to many new and effective methods of simplifying the amount of human interaction it requires for a business to connect with its clients or vice versa. Specifically, I’m talking about mobile and desktop apps.
Mobile applications are without a doubt the fastest growing way to bridge the gap between audiences and the resources and data they require.
THINGS TO KNOW:
The number of mobile devices being used to access information across the Internet is increasing rapidly. From 2012 – 2013 the overall mobile application usage increased by 115%, according to Flurry Analytics, more than doubling the amount of mobile devices being used to access information on the internet. On December 31st, 2013, Flurry Analytics recorded 4.7 Billion app sessions in a single day, totaling 1.126 Trillion sessions for the whole year. Sure, a lot of those sessions were Candy Crush and other games, but accessing data and products through apps is growing constantly.
According to the Pew Internet Project, as of January 2014:
- 91% of American adults have a cell phone
- 55% of American adults have a smartphone
- 32% of American adults own an e-reader
- 42% of American adults own a tablet computer
Find more information here: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
1: The Costs.
As with any business decision the expense is always a huge consideration. The cost of having a mobile application developed may be much cheaper than you think. With the number of available tools for Application Developers (like Ironistic!) continually growing, much of the complexities involved have been eliminated, making the development process quicker, more effective and a whole lot less expensive.
2: Is your company mindful of your client’s limited time?
In today’s fast paced society consumers are, without a doubt, more likely to patronize your company if you offer quick, simple, yet effective access to your resources, content, products, or services. Some people will perpetually go to Google. Others will almost always go to your website. But a growing number of people prefer to turn to apps as their primary resource.
Let’s face it, we need what we need, and we need it now. People simply don’t have or won’t take the time to sift through an ocean of information to find that one thing they are looking for, and they should not have to. It is not the responsibility of the client to enhance their experience with the company but the company’s responsibility to accommodate the needs of their clients. A mobile application is a proven effect way to eliminate the un-needed obstacles between the client and the information they require.
3: If your company already has a website, chances are you are already half way there.
Another thing to consider is the content, data, or functionality that you can deliver through your app. In many cases, companies already have much of the needed data already stored in a website database. Web Services can be created to access existing data for use inside of your application. This is a great way for companies to deliver already existing content to clients without first recreating it. Many websites are built on top of Content Management Systems that can be used to manage the application content on an ongoing basis.
A great example of this is the app we created for the 2014 Washington Auto Show.
Two of the main considerations of this project going in was how to avoid manual duplicate content entry and how to deliver updates to the application in real-time. We needed to provide the client with the ability to modify the contents of both the application and the website simultaneously, thus avoiding any inconsistencies in the information provided to the end user. By creating Web Services to access the website data using core functionality of the Content Management System, we were able to effectively manage content synchronization between them. This also made it possible to access all existing data and deliver it to the application with absolutely no extra work involved.
4: How far will you go to create a pleasant and effective experience for your clients?
There is something to be said about companies who carry the “That’s Good Enough“ attitude when concerning client interactions. It is absolutely imperative that companies stay mindful of their methods, strategies, and approach for client relations. With the average person working more than 40 hours a week to make ends meet, people don’t have a lot of extra time, and companies must stay proactive in accommodating the needs of their clients. Otherwise, the relationship will ultimately break. Mobile applications directly connect you to your clients with little interference to the more important things in life.
WHAT TO DO:
1: If you’re thinking “my company has no use for a mobile application”, then think again. Even providing basic content about your company, services and products can be a useful tool for some of your target audiences.
2: Target some of your client’s common interactions with your company and consider the ways you could simplify the amount of time and effort the client is expending on these interactions. Just simplifying access to core company resources or contact information is a great place to get started when considering having an app developed.
3: Stop thinking about it and started doing it. With so many competitors out there already kicking out apps, why should your company not Kick App too?
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