Blog #8: AdVenture Conference — Mobile App Development

This afternoon we learned all about Mobile App Development from Drew Mapplebeck at Innovo. Tons of information to absorb, and here’s the rundown.

Why should your company have a mobile app or mobile-friendly site? Two simple things – it drives revenue and reduces costs. Driving revenue – makes it easier for customers to do business with you, give you a competitive differentiator, increases your market size, and increases you order size. Reducing costs – streamlines procedures like order processing, makes keeping track of customer information and tech support easier, and giving your sales people a mobile device is less expensive than purchasing a PC.

PC sales are steadily declining. In a few years, everyone will have a mobile device and will not be using PCs.
There are three choices you have when developing a mobile app:

  1. Native app – specifically developed for one operating system (Apple or Android)
  2. Web app – using an internet connection, harder to use the phone’s camera or scanner capabilities (if those are things you are planning to integrate into your app)
  3. Hybrid app – developed for cross- platform functionality, viewable on multiple devices

Overall performance is better on native apps. They are also branded and allow you to have your icon on the customers home screen.

User experience is the most important piece. Developers spend 75% of their time developing on user experience alone. Just a few things to consider regarding user experience are: navigations, clicks, scrolling, zoom, pinch, swipes, shake, buttons, icons, keyboard, secret panels, device capabilities, and so much more.

When developing an app, you need to make it special. Focus on a tight, specific target audience, have niche content, a new way to present the information, and give it personality!

Make sure to have a place for customers to give feedback on the app. Your app development will and should be customer-driven.

Make sure to track the usage and adoption rate to see who is using it, what are they using it for, how many order are they placing, are they using push notifications?

Push notifications allow you to communicate directly to your customer, and to remind them about the app if they haven’t used it in a while.

Industry apps should be all about data – you need images, specs, links to manufacturers’ websites, etc.

Finally, many companies are wondering if they are getting ready to redesign the website, is it more beneficial to jump into creating a mobile app or mobile-friendly site rather than focus on the browser displayed website. Innovo says you can do both! Focus on redesigning your website and making it robust, then find a company to convert it to a mobile-friendly, pared down version of your site. This is an easy step to foraying into the mobile world.

Next up – Roundtable discussions!


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