do you really need an app?

It’s a question we get asked a lot — can you build me an app? The answer is yes. Of course we can. But here’s the question…do you need an app? Many clients are puzzled when we ask this, but the reason we ask is because the majority of the time the answer is surprisingly no.

First we’ll ask if your content needs to be accessible offline, or is it reasonable to assume that those using your app will be connected. If your app requires registering and logging in, phoning home (i.e., reporting data or information back to you or another system), or pulling data from another online source, then you’ll need internet connection. One major benefit of an app versus a website is the ability for it to be used offline. If that’s not something you want or need to take advantage of, a responsive website may be a better option and one that allows you to reach a wider audience.

After that, we’ll ask what devices and operating systems you want to support. iOS? Android? Windows? And just phones, or do you want to support tablets, too? As you can imagine the development and ongoing maintenance costs only go up as you increase the number of devices and platforms you plan to support. However, a responsive website can be developed once and accessed by nearly any device, often for a fraction of the cost.

We’d also want to learn more about your target audience. What information do you want to communicate? Is it different from what you’d communicate on your website? Do you want to take advantage of functionality only available on a phone (e.g., using the camera)? Or is your objective more focused on brand exposure and having an app that allows you to “keep up with the Joneses.”

Ultimately, we have the tools to do it all. Taking the time to ask these questions ensures that we do it right.