The world is going mobile more and more each day. We are about to forget those good old times when every company and business were eager to have a website. Mobile applications have changed the online industry. They shape our lifestyle and determine new business trends for both well-established companies and startups.
But what should you do after numerous efforts, sleepless nights and creative exhaustion to build your own website? Is it a good idea to forget about your dearest resource for good? Luckily, there is a way to convert your website into a mobile app in spite of the platform. You now have a great chance to jump into the mobile market with an award-winning product that is a continuation of your project launched many years ago. The success of the procedure will rely on three fundamental issues that include:
- Business goals and target audience;
- UX design implementation;
- Type of mobile platform
We will have a closer look at all three features defining the key objectives and tasks you may need to handle.
Determine your key business goals
The first and foremost thing you need to understand is why you actually need an app. How are you going to use it? What is your future application for? We have plenty of successful website conversions into mobile apps. They include Airbnb, the Guardian, Google Docs and many other award-winning projects that still take leading positions in their fields.
Their key to success is a clear understanding of business goals and objectives. Whether you are planning a messenger, online kiosk, customer service or a mobile application of any other type, you need to deliver 100% efficient interaction with your customers. Once you are able to deliver amazing user’s experience, you will succeed. On the other hand, if user’s experience is very poor, you will never be able to attract as many customers as possible, as hey will simply go away considering a tough competition in the market that results in plenty of other offers. The ability to deliver cross-channel experience to your users is the key to success. How can you do it?
The first way is to keep all your website beneficiary features capsulated in the mobile version. The second way is to implement all functions for the app from scratch. We have numerous examples of applications that deliver a better functionality if compared with its website analog. There is nothing wrong if your app differs from your website slightly or has nothing in common with it. A seamless user experience is the only thing that matters. You can even develop a brand new application from scratch leaving the logo and the brand name. However, you will need to follow some particular rules established by chosen platform. Whether you convert your website into an iOS or Android app or build a new application for scratch, your product is supposed to meet special requirements and standards. For the reason, the development process calls for essential platform knowledge in addition to development experience combined with business expertise and precision.
Experts recommend building an app from scratch. You may have the best website ever with tons of useful content and high usability. Nevertheless, building a native application will let you deliver a brand-new product to the market with a selection of modified and up-to-date features. Converting hard-code HTML5, Joomla or WordPress websites can be more expensive if compared with building up a brand new app from scratch. Moreover, the development process will let you modify your features as well as add some new functions to meet expectations of your target audience. You will have a clear vision of how your product will look lie, while stereotyping and MVP version will show the product’s potential among the customers. Implemented by the majority of development teams, the Agile methodology lets you track the entire development process from the very start and concept of your future app to QA testing and subscribing it to the app store. It means that you can keep in touch with every team member ranging from designers and programmers to testers and promoters and make any necessary changes before the paunch.
Efficient UX design implementation
Once you are done with the first stage of the development process, you need to implement the UX design to enable a better user experience. This is where both programmer and designer teams are supposed to work together in order to enable design compatibility with technology and features.
Many startups make a common mistake when considering website’s UX the same as UX for a mobile app. Those are two different issues. You need to deliver an application that is intuitive and simple for your users. At the same time, it should fit the platform you target. Making a good first impression is a key to success. It will make your users have a closer look at your corporate values. We have stressed out several essential UX design features for you. They will bring your product to success.
- Screen size consistency– the first obstacle you will face when converting your website into an app is its accommodation on a smaller screen. You should note that a few website features would accommodate up to 10 mobile device screens. In some cases, it is better to focus on essential features and forget about less important ones;
- Easy and fast navigation– some websites offer complicated interactions. This is what actually would never work with mobile apps. The slightest sign of complexity will scare your users away once and for all. The best bet is to design every page separately defining the most efficient interactions and navigation means;
- Immediate gratification– this is what your every user expects. Every time you press a button, you want to have the result or award. You should never offer useless actions that will not bring your user to some goals. This is actually the only way to increase the level of engagement and keep your users app running.
Adding new features or modifying existing ones should never come along with an increased complexity of your app. Make sure all functions work properly and pages download quickly.
Choose the right platform for the APP
Although mobile web can be a good solution in some cases, they will never have the same list of advantages. Those advantages will let you take your business to a new level. None of the web or mobile web solutions can boast the connectivity of a device’s services with hardware components. Native apps come with an extended list of features that may range from geofencing and GPS navigation to orientation, positioning and more.
There are plenty of other reasons to convert your website into a mobile app. The key reason is the fact that a mobile device has turned into an inevitable part of our daily lives. A website will hardly cope with huge volume of data caching and some extra capabilities available offline. Yes, you’ve heard it right. Some mobile applications provide access to them even without the Internet connection. Of course, you will hardly benefit from a full set of its functions and features. On the other hand, one would hardly argue about the importance of data caching for any mobile app in spite of its type or platform. If you will enable feasibility and other essential technical aspects at a high enough level, your product will be of great success.
You should think over all key functions delivered by your app. Whether you are planning to implement online payment tools, GPS navigation, device tracking and more, they should never counteract with the level of user engagement. At the same time, you need to think over some extra tools like push notifications, alerts, gamification and other issues that can be developed natively along with your application.
You can benefit from some tools that will turn the development process into a less time-consuming task. Well-established and experienced development teams use code reviews, QA testing of every unit, library updates and Continuous Integration to make the development process both efficient and fast.