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Blog - Mobile

 

4 common pitfalls of mobile web design

Posted Wed, May 21, 2014 by Julie Short

Welcome to 2014 – the future we all dreamed of years ago. You might even be reading this post on your space-age smartphone or tablet. Just like you, your website's visitors might be doing a lot of their internet browsing on mobile devices. So - is your site truly mobile-friendly or is it actually costing you money and conversions due to poor design?

Here are a few problems we see come up again and again in our clients’ mobile design.

1. Ignoring mobile users

All of the other issues on this list pale in comparison to not catering to mobile users at all. This is especially true if you're using your website to sell products directly to consumers. Danyl Bosomworth of Smart Insights reported that 35% of all web traffic occurs on mobile devices; companies like Amazon have seen an 87% growth in mobile visitors since 2012. Further, buyers prefer to shop on a mobile app over a mobile site, therefore, not having an app through which consumers can purchase goods or services may be actively hurting your company.

2. Using a separate mobile site

For a while, all mobile web design relied upon separate sites. However, this created more hassles than problems solved. For users, mobile-only sites often meant outdated design and limited functionality. On your end, do you really want to update two websites every time something on your site changes? This is why the move to responsive design makes so much sense. Create one design – but create rules that will make it transform appropriately when someone views it on a mobile device. Building your layout on a fluid grid is the key to responsive web design.

3. Basing design on user agents

You're all ready to create a mobile-friendly, responsive website. You want to ensure that your website responds correctly based on the user's device. You might think you can easily do it by detecting iOS, Android or other mobile operating systems – but you'd be wrong. In 2014, the line between mobile operating systems is almost nonexistent. Just look at Windows 8. However, the method you would need to display properly according to a specific operating system -- user agent detection -- is incredibly inconsistent. There are dozens of user agents that Android devices alone might use. The better (and easier) method is to detect screen size and resize your layout accordingly.

4. Making your website difficult to use for mobile visitors

Even if you have a responsive website, you might not be doing enough to streamline the checkout and shopping process. This could be costing you real conversions. (And you know how much we like to talk about conversions !) The following are several examples of problematic website behavior and how you can fix them to increase mobile conversions.

  • Your address and phone number aren't links. Turn them into anchors to allow people to call you or load your business in their GPS app.
  • Your forms are too small. Increase form size on mobile resolutions. Make sure that you're using labels for text so users can select the text and not just the small box or radio circle.
  • Your website requires login to check out. Groan! Don’t make your almost-customers angry at the very end of a potential buy. Enable guest checkout and/or account creation as the shopper goes through a transaction.
  • Users have to click too many times to shop and checkout. Allow users to view more items per page rather than clicking through many pages. Allow users to add items to their shopping carts from the category page in addition to the product listing. Add a "Cart" button in multiple locations so that you’re making it easier for customers to convert.

Just as Kevin Costner learned, if you build it, they will come. Of course, your field of dreams may be your small business – so building it correctly is even more important!

If you need to consult the professionals on your mobile web design, contact the experts at Web Revelation. We’ll show you how to keep your site up-to-date – and your customers happy.

 

Posted in : Mobile Websites , Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile websites


What the Right Mobile App Development Partner Can Do For You

Posted Wed, September 25, 2013 by Julie Short

With thousands of companies across America considering mobile app development projects to help generate sales and boost the bottom line, more and more of them are wondering how to find the right app designer… or even what exactly a good app developer actually does.

That's understandable. It's a very new field, and one that's growing so quickly that it's hard to keep track of different concepts, labels, and best practices. With that in mind, we'll begin by explaining that, in a basic sense, an app developer is usually a person or team who takes your idea, programs it into the right formats and languages, and gives you a finished piece of software that can be used on iPhones, iPads, Androids, and other mobile devices.

As with something like web design, however, there are a lot of different types of companies that can help you with app development – and a lot of different levels of service and value. So, rather than simply defining an app developer, let's look at a few other things that the right app development partner can do for you:

Assess your idea, the market, and your competition. A lot of business owners and executives want to rush an app to market, but that's not a wise approach. Your development partner can do a bit of research and see whether your idea is likely to succeed, and what kind of competition you're up against.

Help turn your app concept into a viable product. Few app ideas are ready for development after an initial brainstorming session. Often, a little bit of thought about the features and layouts that will be used can produce important improvements – especially if a team of seasoned app developers can give some input.

Handle the technical details of app development (and especially troubleshooting). In the same way, there's a big difference between "coding" an app and having it ready for sale. You want your app tested extensively, within different types of mobile devices, to make sure it's going to work correctly for customers.

Get your app to market and help you build initial sales. Apps hardly ever generate their own sales momentum, at least not when they are first released. That's why it's important to have a strong, efficient marketing plan in place to let customers know about your product and start generating orders and downloads.

Although a lot of companies offer "app development" as one of their services, very few really give you the level of value that you're probably looking for. Remember that, and then choose your app development partner wisely.

Want to learn more about mobile apps and how they fit into your business? Call or email WebRevelation today to arrange for a free consultation.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile app


5 Ingredients to a Great Mobile App Development Project

Posted Wed, September 18, 2013 by Julie Short

These days, almost everyone thinks they have a great idea for an app. But, once they get to the market, many apps fail to make an impression, either because there is too much competition, the design and development are lacking, or the concept ends up being unworkable as an actual piece of software.

So, how can you tell if your mobile app will be a success? There aren't any surefire answers, but here are five ingredients for a successful app development project:

1. A unique concept. There are a lot of really great app development ideas that fail simply because others have thought of them in the past. If your app is similar to others that are on the market, it needs to do something different, or better, in order to stand out.

2. A strong list of features. Does your app development project truly represent big value for someone who would buy or download it? By examining your list of features – that is, what it is your app will actually do – you can decide whether or not it's actually needed in the market, and whether customers will actually come looking for it.

3. Streamlined design with an emphasis on usability. No one wants to spend a lot of time learning to use an app, and if it doesn't shine from a usability standpoint, it's only a matter of time before a competitor releases a product that's easier to navigate. The same goes for design, where your app should have a pleasing look and interface.

4. Extensive testing and compatibility research. Apps that crash frequently, or don't work consistently across different mobile operating platforms, will struggle to achieve even modest sales. Because you don't want your app to get a reputation as being unstable, extensive testing is a necessity before you release it.

5. A comprehensive marketing and promotion plan. It's very rare for an app to simply show up for sale online and start to generate attention and reviews all on its own. Just as websites don't automatically appear in Google's rankings, an app promotion and marketing plan is important to generate momentum and find those all-important initial buyers.

Does your mobile app idea meet all of these criteria? Whether it does or not, now might be the perfect time to speak with the WebRevelation team – we can help you get more from your concept or turn it into something that's profitable for years to come.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile app


3 Ways Companies Make Money With Mobile App Development

Posted Wed, September 11, 2013 by Julie Short

Mobile app development is a big business, and one that's getting bigger all the time. With millions of iPhones, Androids, and iPads flying off the shelves each month, Americans are becoming more and more connected through mobile web devices – and looking to new apps to help them make their lives and careers more convenient at the same time.

But, while businesses across the country are looking to cash in on app development, many will struggle to even break even on mobile software packages. There are a lot of reasons for this, including competition and a lack of understanding about app development, but one of the most important is that companies don't always know the best ways to profit from apps in the first place.

To help keep you from making the same mistakes, here are three ways that businesses profit from app development:

1. By becoming an app store bestseller, or steady sales over time. By now, you've undoubtedly read about an app that has made its founder or creator millions of dollars (and might have even purchased a few of your own). While these kinds of apps are obviously incredibly profitable, they also require that you have an original idea, along with more than a bit of luck. It's certainly possible to come up with a popular app, but know that you face lots of competition and will have to have a concept that's well above average.

2. By lowering costs with customer convenience. Another way to profit from apps is by giving your customers convenience they couldn't find elsewhere. In other words, by giving them an app that lets them place orders, for example, or update account information online, you don't just make life easier for them, you lower your own customer service costs at the same time. Looking for that mix of convenience and savings can be a great way to use inexpensive app development to boost your bottom line.

3. By using apps to introduce buyers to different products. Sometimes, the best way to make money from an app isn't to sell it at all, but to give it away and use it to promote other products and services to those who download it. Of course, you don't want to go overboard with the advertising or your app might get bad reviews. But, put together a handy tool that leads customers to other parts of your company, and you might have a win-win marketing solution.

One thing you'll notice about each of these ideas is that they all represent a different mobile app development, pricing, and distribution strategy. So, just as you need to know how you can make money with an app, it's also important to envision what that chain of profitability will look like before you begin if you're going to maximize your chances for success.

Have questions about app design and development? Get in touch with WebRevelation today and let us find the answers you need.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile apps


Will Your Mobile App Development Project be Profitable?

Posted Wed, September 4, 2013 by Julie Short

Whether they express it directly or not, this is a question that is on the minds of a lot of business owners and executives when they come into our office to discuss mobile app development. Will they make money from the project, or will it be an expensive waste of time?

Obviously, there isn’t any single answer to that question – too much depends on your idea, the execution, and what kind of impression you make in the market. Plus, there is the harsh reality that developing a mobile app is the business equivalent to writing a novel or screenplay: Some go on to make big money, many generate solid sales, and more than a few are never noticed by potential customers.

So, how can you produce a big hit and avoid sinking money into a losing project? The first thing to do is realistically evaluate your app development idea. Here are three important questions to ask yourself from the outset:

1. How many other similar apps are already available on the market? There are really two important components to the answer. On the one hand, dozens of other existing apps might mean that it’s hard to gain attention and market share for your concept, especially if other apps are already entrenched as bestsellers.

On the other hand, though, having no other apps in your market isn't always a good thing, either. It could indicate that there just aren't enough potential buyers for the app you want to develop.

2. Does it do something different or better than other available apps? This is probably the biggest point that most would-be app developers overlook. In their rush to get a "great idea" out to the public, they don't stop to think about whether they have something that's truly new and interesting.

Unless your app offers something that other existing products don't, buyers are likely to stick with the ones they know and trust and ignore yours altogether.

3. Does it have value to your business beyond the sales it generates? Often, the key to a successful app launch is in figuring out exactly how you'll profit from it. In other words, some apps make money without ever being sold, because they bring customers back to your mobile website, encourage online sales, or reduce your customer service burden.

Before you invest money into app development, figure out how it can be distributed, and whether profits can be made in ways that don't involve selling it directly to customers.

Need answers to your questions about mobile app development? Contact WebRevelation today and let our team walk you through everything you need to know.

Posted in : Mobile Apps | 
Tags : mobile app


What Every Business Owner or Executive Should Know About Mobile Web Development

Posted Mon, June 24, 2013 by Julie Short

For a lot of business leaders, mobile web development is a little bit like the weather – they understand it well enough to see the trends, but couldn't really tell you what the real driving forces or long-term implications are.

That's understandable, especially given that things on the web are changing all the time and business owners, executives, and managers have lots of other challenges to worry about. Still, there are a few basic things you should understand about the process of launching, coding, and profiting from the mobile version of your business site:

There is probably less work and expense involved than you think. Because most mobile business websites can largely be modeled after an existing web presence, the process usually isn't as long, involved, or expensive as clients tend to expect it will be. In many cases, it's just a matter of taking what you already have and adapting it for smaller screens and different browsers.

There isn't any single way to develop a mobile website. For some companies, a dedicated mobile web presence is the answer; for others, a responsive re-design of an existing site makes more sense. And even within these broad solutions, there are different kinds of layouts, features, and even content strategies that make sense. The point is that you probably need a mobile-friendly site, and can get guidance on how to build it from an experienced creative team.

Mobile web development can increase your marketing reach dramatically. There are a lot of reasons for this, beginning with the tens of millions of people who are switching to iPhones, Kindles, and other web-ready mobile devices every year. This is even more true overseas, where a lot of people are ditching traditional computers altogether. In fact, mobile web usage is expected to make up the majority of worldwide Internet traffic by the middle of 2014. That means there are a lot of potential customers out there waiting to view your mobile-ready site.

And finally, mobile web development can be very cost-effective. When you combine low development expenses with big marketing opportunities, good things tend to happen. Every business is different, of course, and you can make any guarantees in our industry. But, if you're looking for a solid way to beef up your bottom line, you could do a lot worse than a mobile website.

You don't have to understand the technical details of mobile web development, or learn any HTML, to see that it can be a great thing for your business. Why not talk to a member of our team today and see how we can build the perfect mobile website for you?

Posted in : Mobile Websites | 
Tags : mobile website , business


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