Simple, Sexy, Streamlined.
Simple, sexy, streamlined.
Three words that should be able to describe any and all of the more than 1.6 million mobile apps in use today.
Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Too many companies are attempting to build apps that are “purely web-based in order to simplify their lives”. The problem with this is that these apps serve as “a launcher for a mobile website”, rather than being a native app. When customers see this, they will quickly realize that your app is not what they thought it was, and move on to the next, better, option.
On the other hand, as proven by the absymal retention rate of many apps today, creating an app simply for the sake of having one is not the way to go either. According to Apptentive, 90% of people who download an app are gone within 6 months. 90 percent. So where are these apps going wrong?
The trick lies in finding the balance point.
Mobile versions of websites, unless very well designed, can be confusing, frustrating, and time consuming to navigate. As Harris Neifield says, people have “fat fingers“. And smart phones have small screens. Which means that people “click more often by accident on smartphones than on desktops”. So if a company doesn’t have an app or a the very least a good mobile version of their website, they can lose a lot of potential customers simply due to inconvenience. As Robi Ganguly says, “Consumers aren’t concerned with the complexity of your development process; they’re purely focused on their own experience.”
Take a look at the two versions of the Dominos mobile site below:
If you were visiting the Dominos website via your mobile device, which version would you prefer to see? My guess is that I’m not alone in saying that the mobile website is obviously easier to navigate. Even, dare I say, “simple, sexy and streamlined”?
If building a mobile website or an app from the ground up sounds too difficult, or you have no idea where to start, the good news is that there are people out there now who can do it for you. A local Bellingham company recently founded in 2010, called Womp Mobile, is doing just that. Basically you give them your website’s url, and then over the course of 10 days they completely re-format it to make it suitable for mobile use. This involves getting rid of such things as “hover navigation, where desktop users hold a mouse over a menu button to view more options. Clicking buttons and trying to interact with hover navigation menus is almost impossible on a mobile phone.”
Below are a few examples of websites they’ve re-vamped:
So far, they’re seeing great success. According to this article from the Western Front, “one client’s bounce rate dropped from 98 percent to 40 percent with the implementation of Womp Mobile’s system”.
These changes aren’t necessarily simple or quick, but to survive in today’s marketing world, they are extremely important. As of last year, there were 1.2 billion users of mobile apps worldwide, and that number is expected to almost quadruple to 4.4 billiion users by 2017. Not to mention that mobile web traffic is projected to increase by 2600 percent over the next 4 years. With stats as crazy as these, ignoring them could mean corporate suicide.