Responsive Design · Mobile App Design

Do you need to develop a mobile app when you have a responsive website?

Valeriia Timokhina Eastern Peak Software: Custom software development

October 20th, 2016

Recently I faced a problem like that by myself - as a user. I love going to the one cinema in the city center, a very nice place positioned as a vip hall, but there was one drawback: UX of their mobile website version was AWFUL. It didn't work at all or loaded very slowly and with many problems though they had a responsive website. That meant if you are out, walking somewhere, you just can't check their timing or book tickets online. There are other ways to do this, call for example, but I really prefer the internet. A month ago they've developed an app and it was such a relief for me. And for all of their regular visitors, I believe. The app has convenient online payment system and notifications. I love that cinema even more now:D
And I think many of us has faced the problem when poor mobile web UX spoiled the overall impression of a service provider. For example, if I need to order pizza when I'm out somewhere with my friends (and we have only our smartphones with us) I more willingly place an order to delivery service which has an app or a well-working website at least that will be struggling with someone's stumblingUI.
So, what do you make of that? Do you have an experience of developing a mobile app? Or responsive website is good enough for your service? Looking forward to know what do you think about this.
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Mickey Hovel

October 20th, 2016

Like most things in life, it depends :)
If your app is just kind of a wrapper for a website as you described, than a good web app, well designed and developed and which would be adapted to mobile view will be just fine and probably preferable when you'd like to get quickly a technological solution, low cost, and most platforms compatible (android, ios, windows phone, BlackBerry, desktops os, more) since it's working on the browser only (here you also need to consider different browsers such as chrome, Firefox, IE, more).
when it comes to terms of UX performance and heavy consuming application than a mobile app will probably be preferable.  

Anonymous

October 20th, 2016

A lot of "apps" these days are just mobile websites that have been "wrapped up" into an app. It's basically a little web browser application that is only good for browsing that one site.

With that said. I've seen some really horrible UX on native and on mobile web.

It really comes down to how good of a "front end" developer you have, and how much you test it's functionality across mobile devices.

Ivan Fortuna

October 21st, 2016

The issue in such apps/businesses is "greed". Everyone wants to save as much as possible. Based on this entrepreneurs go to Upwork, People per hour, and other services to order the cheapest solution for their business. They don't know about UX or OOP and think that freelancer and companies are the same.

When a software company says "we need 2-3 weeks to work on UX and Technical Specification" this sounds like a nonsense for them. = "why I should pay for something that is clear enough".

As for the difference between a mobile app or responsive website, I agree with Mickey Hovel. It depends. It depends on business aims.

There are a lot of specialists, that can analyze business aims, market, technical part, competitors and provide you with a solution for your business. The question is "Are you ready to pay for this?", if you don't, then don't say"Oh, this f*** developers". If you have a good developer even Responsive mobile design could be great and achieve all your aims.

Personally, I believe that there is nothing better than mobile app solution:
1) It is a great PR-step. Every user will think "wow. they have the mobile app - these guys are detailed orientated and think about such users as me"

2) It will open new markets: "Google Market", "App Store"

3) You can analyze and track your targeted audience and update your business based on users preferences. (but the same could be done and with website)

The main thing that everyone should take into account is: "Responsive website, mobile apps - all these are just tools for your business". If you take care of your business like of your child - don't buy "synthetic clothing" or not healthy food.

Pradeep Reddy Senior Technology Evangelist

October 21st, 2016

Yes Both are required. Mobile Website + Mobile app.Current trend is into Mobile websites than normal websites.There is lot of work to do.To support multiple devices like smart phones,Desktop,Tablets every one needs it.One cant ignore mobile app as you cant ignore the users of it.Not every opens website.Pradeep Reddy pk@huntertech.in skype: kamasani2010 www.huntertech.in

Valeriia Timokhina Eastern Peak Software: Custom software development

October 24th, 2016

Thanks a lot for your answers guys. Yes, I agree with you, Mickey, Ivan. I'd also like to share some useful information, it's my own insight on this topic which I decided to compose in the article: Do you need to develop a mobile app when you have a responsive website?

Hernán Mejías Director Ejecutivo / CEO en Encore Universal

November 7th, 2016

I think the real answer must be according to the business and functionalities you want customers to use. 

In the case of cinemas or movie theaters, I will say an app is needed. A good reason is that most of the time when users want to see the current movies information from a smartphone, is to purchase a ticket. Using a mobile browser, if they do not have internet connection (LTE, 4G, Wi-Fi), they will not be able to access the website, as well as they can loose connection along the way, so they may have lots of problems trying to do any action. 
In the case of an app, most of the information and functionalities may be available without internet connection in the cache of the app, and they may even purchase a ticket, and when they have internet connection again, the information will be send. From that point of view is more stable an app. Off-line functionalities are easier to use and save headaches to your customers on apps. 

However, I think that for most businesses a responsive website will be enough and cheaper :)