user experience. Responsive web design is just one part of a complete mobile strategy. The other piece to the mobile puzzle is the experience of a native mobile app. As of early 2014, over 86% of our time spent on mobile devices was spent in native apps. Only 14% of time was spent in mobile web browsers. With this being said, how do you know whether a responsive website or native mobile app is better for your brand?
Responsive web design is an approach designed to create sites that provide an optimal viewing experience. This means the responsive website design is easy to read, navigate, with overall good user experience. A great benefit with a responsive web approach is it requires less time. It is also the most affordable for your business compared to creating a mobile app. However, when choosing responsive web, you also have to keep in mind that it has a couple drawbacks. For example, sometimes there’s a lack of natural navigation, and the website requires an internet connection to function.
In contrast, “native” mobile apps are generally more expensive due to extensive development time to create a unique design and code for each operating system (iOS, Android etc). However, the results in terms of quality, speed, and opportunity are usually much better compared to the responsive website approach. For example, native apps don’t always require an internet connection to use your product. Once the app has been downloaded, it’s stored directly on the device, so the user will always be able to access it. Another positive aspect of a mobile app is people are more likely to use a mobile app. Research shows that most people actually would prefer using an app rather than going to the actual site. By design, the navigation is simplified and the app is always right at your fingertips.
It’s a difficult decision to choose between responsive design or mobile app. In the end, it depends on the goals of your business and how much you want to invest with time and money. A responsive website can help provide an optimized experience to new and old visitors, while the native mobile app will provide a mobile centric experience for your already existing customers. If your company can afford it, it’s highly recommended that you create both a responsive site and a native mobile app. Or initiate your business with the responsive website with the strategy to move to native app once business model is established. Doing this will help your business work towards gaining attention from your entire mobile audience.
Mobile apps and responsive websites are one of our specialties. Take a look at some of our favorites.
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