We all know this scenario: You’re gathered around with some colleagues or close friends and suddenly one of you professes their idea: “Let’s create an app!” Ceremonies of caffeine-induced excitement and inspiration fill the office. The brainstorming begins, and soon the whiteboard is rich with hours of work.
A few days later: the reality of it all crushes any ingenuity and the once joyous office returns to a monotonous atmosphere and the business-as-usual story. Mobile applications are costly and have a narrow success rate due to massive amounts of competition. However this doesn’t mean you can’t make your ideas come to life in various other ways. A responsive design of a current or redesigned website could be a simpler and more cost-effective way to achieve your goals.
Every case is different, however more often than not a mobile application is unnecessary to simply maintain a foothold in the mobile world. The debate between responsive design and mobile applications is ongoing, but the real question is this: What function are you serving to the user by putting an app into the clouded and competitive marketplace?
At this years Digital Atlanta Conference, Mobile Manager of Intercontinental Hotel Group, Lisa West explained the reasoning behind their choice to build an application, “It serves a purpose to access our rewards program on-the-go. Ultimately, It’s perfect for our target customer: the traveler.” There’s the kicker: an incentive for the user must be present. Why else would we use up the precious space on our smartphones? The single area that is challenging the status quo, surrounds the idea of Mcommerce or “mobile commerce”. If you are selling products online, providing an application could be your map to the heart and mind of a shopaholic.
Unless an imminent need for the customer exists, a responsive design is more than enough to satisfy a modern and current internet presence.