With UK customers now using smartphones more than desktops to access the internet1, and mobile app usage on the increase – by the end of 2015 there had been 3.9 million more mobile app downloads than in 20142 – it could be a good time to invest in a mobile app.
Having access to information, applications and customers at non-traditional business hours and locations is now a must for most modern-day workers. Mobile apps can provide your customers – and staff – with just that.
Whether it’s a mobile app to increase brand engagement, drive an increase in sales, or to improve customer service; judging by research from The App Institute3, consumers are hungry for what companies have to offer:
There’s no question that a strategically conceived mobile application can reap massive rewards when it comes to building relationships with your customers, but with 73% of users expecting a mobile app to be easier to use than a mobile website4, it’s important that it’s up to scratch – that’s where we can help you.
While you’ll create the concept behind the mobile app, we can provide a complete focus on the user-experience. As well as needing to look good, we know that the mobile app we create for you needs to be:
People don’t like complexity at the best of times, even less so on a small screen. We’ll help make sure your app makes a current process simpler, otherwise people won’t use it.
This is closely related with simplicity; if the app doesn’t have a great user experience and make it easier for the customer to do something, then no-one’s going to use it more than once.
In an age of real-time, if your new app doesn’t load within seconds, doesn’t like loading new pages and has a slow shopping cart, people will move on to the next one.
This is a question we’ll help you with. It’s important to us that you get the right business application for your needs, objectives and budget – we’d never build you a mobile app if we felt you could achieve the same app-style capability, for less money, on a mobile-friendly website.
That’s why, before we even start to think about the build, we talk to you about what you’re trying to achieve, and then work back to be absolutely sure that a mobile app is more suitable than say, a web app or desktop app.
Generally speaking, the benefits of a native mobile app (a mobile app that ‘lives’ on the mobile device and is accessed via the icons on the device’s home-screen) over a mobile-friendly website or web app are:
Native apps can be built to interact with all the features that the phone offers like accelerometer, the camera and GPS.
They aren’t limited by a browser and can be used offline.
Smartphone apps function quicker and more smoothly than mobile browsers or desktop computers.
When using a mobile app, visitors tend to spend 3-4 times longer online than they would using a mobile site5.
Your app will reside on the AppStore, Google Play and/or Windows Marketplace, so you’ll automatically be getting your app in front of people whose intent is to download an app.
There are, of course, downsides to using a mobile app, such as the user having to download it before they can use it and potentially more complicated maintenance issues, but we’ll talk these over with you.
Sometimes the question isn’t whether a mobile app is better than a web app, or vice versa, therefore we also offer the option of a hybrid app which contains a mixture of both mobile and web app functionality.
At DCSL, we strive for efficiency and value for money for our clients. It’s alien to us to build the same app multiple times to cater for the “big three” mobile platforms: Android, iOS and Windows.
We solve that by using a Microsoft development tool kit that allows us to “write once” in .NET and C# and deploy to the big three platforms. Our solution means that we can write apps that interact with the phone or tablet hardware – for example, the camera, flash, accelerometer and so on – thereby developing genuine native mobile applications created specifically for the targeted platform. The benefit for you is quick, cost-effective development.
Some companies prefer to solve the “write once” problem by using HTML5 applications within a browser frame. Whilst this is sometimes appropriate, we would only do this when the client agrees or prefers this approach.
Once we’ve talked through your requirements and suggested any functionality we think you’ll benefit from, we’ll create a prototype so you can see and ‘play’ with your new app as it takes shape. This allows all parties to flag any design or functionality that isn’t quite right, ensuring that the finished mobile app looks and functions exactly how you want it to.
Once we’ve delivered your mobile app, we:
Fully transfer the Intellectual Property (IP) Rights to you
Offer full training on your app, on site or at our offices in Farnborough and London. Our apps are intuitive, so you shouldn’t need it, but it’s there if you’d like it
Provide an optional ongoing support service, including an agreed service level agreement (SLA) and access to our in-house developers via our helpdesk
Offer optional hosting, we’ve heavily invested in a secure, scalable and lightning fast infrastructure with industry leaders, Rackspace – it’s a handy service if you’d rather not get involved with installing specialist server hardware
For more information on all the things that we offer as part of our service, take a look at our Working With Us page.
If you’d like to have a chat about whether a mobile app is right for your business, or if you’d like us to help with your next mobile app development, give our team a call on 020 3096 6199.
1 SmartInsights, 2014
2 Mobile Squared, UK (18-64 year olds). Q4 2014: 37,521,543 downloads; Q4 2015: 41,399,010 downloads