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Focus on mobile apps!


Martijn Y. de Deugd

Martijn Y. de Deugd

Founder, eigenaar

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Why you should focus on mobile apps? Because that’s ultimately what your customers wish for.

Depending on your branch and offer, more than half of your visitors and users could be using your web application on their smartphone or tablet, a percentage that keeps on growing. It’s your responsibility to deliver a comfortable user experience on those small screens.

This blog will teach you about various ways to satisfy your users with their mobile devices.

What does ‘responsive’ mean?

‘Responsive’ means that an app or website automatically adjusts to the size of the screen it’s displayed on. For example, elements that might be positioned alongside each other on a larger screen, will automatically be adjusted to be positioned under each other when the customer views the website from the small screen of a smartphone. This is largely more convenient than if the elements would still be positioned next to each other, because then they’d have to be decreased in size, which would never benefit readability.

However, there are more things about your website that need to be adjusted to a smaller screen. Your menu takes up a lot of space on a desktop monitor, space that’s unavailable on a smartphone. Responsiveness often results in a hamburger menu: 3 thick, short horizontal stripes placed one above the other. The menu only drops down when you select these.

Incidentally, it is the programmer who decides what exactly happens on which format screen.

A well-built app or website is always responsive. And an experienced programmer knows how to put it together in the exact way that creates the optimal user experience.

What’s the difference between a website and a web app?

A website could be static: merely a nice folder on the internet with texts and pictures to read or to look at, but without additional functionality. A web app, in full a website application, is a website as well, but more. It is interactive. There’s ‘something to do’. It has added functions. For example, on TopRooster.nl (one of our projects) users can edit their schedule.
Both a website and a web app should be responsive.

Via the App Store and the Play Store

A good responsive web app may suffice. You’ll direct your users to your website, and you’re done. If you’ve built in the responsiveness well, may be this works sufficiently on both large desktop screens and small smartphone screens. But it could be better, and your customers will ask for that!

You can also ensure that your application can be found in Apple’s App Store and Android’s Play Store. And that can be done in two ways:

  • With a wrapper

You can wrap your web app in a shell. In this shell, your web app will be referenced to in a smart way. You won’t actually build an app, but you’ll pack a reference to your website. The user installs the ‘packed reference’ in the same way they install any other app, however – without them noticing – they’ll be using the web app. There are tools that offer extra possibilities, such as camera usage, but the main thing is the launch of the web app via the wrapper.

  • As native app

Building a native app entails focusing the programmed solution entirely on the possibilities of the tablet or smartphone, the devices that are controlled via the app stores.

A native app is by far the best solution. You’ll be able to build the best programs, as you can determine how the app should behave on a mobile device. This results in an optimal user experience. It’s often in the small things, but many of them, which added up together provide a much better user experience. Additionally, a native app offers more options such as camera usage, push notifications and location services.

Most importantly and what now

In the end, it’s all about one thing: your users will ask for ‘the app’. A good app will grow to be more important to meet your customers halfway: to keep your customers satisfied. We can help you with that.

A huge time saver

The app version that you build for Apple devices and with that the App Store, is a different project than the version you build for Android’s Play Store. However, do not take it up as two separate projects, because we can tell you how to combine the two in the best way: how the .NET-code you create can be 95% the same for both ‘worlds’.

How we prevent duplication and save time, and other technical aspects, will be discussed in a separate blog; click here to visit this page directly.