What if you hired a company for Digital Product Design, and the company said, “Actually, you don’t need an app for that?”
You’d probably want an explanation while—in the back of your mind—you’d be thinking about the mobile app development companies that you didn’t hire.
That makes sense, but so does the idea that your startup might not need an app. A web-based system could provide everything you need to engage with customers and start making money, and it costs up to 30 percent less than the cost of a mobile app.
For a budget-conscious company trying to extend its financial runway as far as possible, instead of Android and iOS Development, web development for startups could provide a significant advantage.
Mobile apps provide users with functionality similar to what you receive from a web-based app on a desktop computer. They are designed to be used on smartphones and other small touch devices.
They’re usually downloaded and installed from a marketplace. Google Play serves Android users, the Windows Store handles Windows devices, and iOS products can be found online at the Apple App Store.
Web apps are set up for computers, but that’s not all. Recent advances in technology have made them responsive enough that they can function almost the same as a mobile app on smartphones and tablets. In short, most websites are flexible and can adapt to different screen sizes.
There are two different kinds of apps:
- Native apps are built to work with a mobile device’s operating system. An iPhone will only work with iOS apps. Each Windows and Android device requires its specific OS.
- Hybrid apps are web applications. Hybrid apps function on multiple operating systems. You could build one that works on Android, iOS, and Windows.
You don’t have to be an efficiency expert to recognize that native apps require extra design and development in order for your business to serve users with different types of phones.
Extra work means extra money going out of your accounts payable and into someone else’s accounts receivable. A company that does web development for startups can save your business money and time.
Consider the phenomenon of “app fatigue.” Users have been inundated with applications that fill their screens without providing real value.
According to a report in Forbes, “If your brand’s app doesn’t do anything additive—that is, if it offers an experience that’s no different than what a user could experience via a mobile website—there’s a good chance you don’t actually need the app.”
The Forbes article includes a number of questions to consider when thinking about what customers might want:
- Do they interact with your brand frequently enough to warrant an app?
- Do they have enough memory to dedicate to your app?
- Are they willing to use that memory to download and maintain your app?
Apps can fail simply because the target audience has no history of using them. Across the globe, the average online order value is 55 percent higher from a desktop computer than from a mobile phone.
So maybe you don’t need an app for that, and what you really need is web development for startups.
Mobile Apps vs Web Apps
To be fair, there are reasons why your company could benefit from a mobile app. Though it ultimately depends on the quality of the device the app is downloaded on, mobile apps are known to provide quick performance. They’re also considered highly reliable.
In addition, native apps are able to access hardware and other features on your device:
- Address book
It might go without saying, but if your aim is to release a game, then skip web dev and go with a mobile app.
There’s also the question of access. Even if the internet isn’t available, your consumers can still use aspects of a mobile app.
But it’s not all roses and sunshine. As mentioned earlier, mobile apps can cost up to 30 percent more to produce than web development for startups.
If you’re not financially ready to take on mobile app development, then web dev is the way to go. It could be far more rewarding to focus your efforts and invest your resources in building a fantastic website and growing its traffic than to build a mobile app.
The team at app-promo.com looked into the effectiveness of mobile apps and found some discouraging numbers:
- 80% of companies don’t generate enough revenue with their apps to support a standalone business.
- 59% aren’t earning enough money to cover development costs.
- 63% have had an app downloaded 50,000 times or less.
- 68% reported total revenue was $5,000 or less.
- 52% had no budget for marketing their app and spent less than 5% of their time promoting their app.
In addition to costing more, it could take longer to bring a mobile app to market than by focusing on creating a quality website.
Building a minimum viable product, also known as an MVP, is the strategy of getting your product to market as quickly as possible. Web dev usually takes less time than mobile app development.
The mobile app development process has a higher capacity for twists and turns than web development for startups. Multiple issues could push back a product release while also increasing its cost.
Updates can also be an issue. With mobile apps, each user is responsible for downloading new versions when they’re available. For web dev, your IT team has the power to update the site, so the latest version is available for anyone who visits.
Digital Product Design for Startups
One of the benefits of mobile apps has been taken over by hybrid apps that are able to provide geolocation through the browser. In the past, location services required a native app.
Web dev technology has evolved dramatically in recent years, making sites faster and more adaptable. They also can use your device’s hardware more readily than in previous years.
Intuitio Labs is a digital product agency based in Atlanta. Our designers and developers are well-versed in Web, Android and iOS Development providing successful digital product design for startups.
There are real reasons that a company might need a mobile app, especially if it’s delivering specific types of products and/or services. If you have a new take that requires a mobile app, Intuitio Labs will be eager to work with you and deliver exactly what you need.
But Intuitio Labs prides itself on being startup friendly, so we understand the pressures founders and executives of fledgling companies face as they launch their ideas into the marketplace.
The constraints on new businesses are real. Intuitio Labs fully believes in the MVP approach. While our global, tech-savvy workforce could load you down with features and options, that is counter to our company’s ethics.
We focus on our client’s current needs. Millions of consumers might someday flock to your mobile app or website, but most companies have to walk before they can run.
At Intuitio Labs, we don’t build “tech for tech’s sake.” Our goal is to deliver the best digital experience for your company and its customers.
If you come to us to build your app, we can do it. But we also might look at your actual needs and say, “You don’t need an app for that.”
To learn more about digital product design for startups, visit www.intuitiolabs.com.