If you have a smartphone (i.e. one that can access the web) you can browse through all websites that are available on your PC or Laptop. However, generally, these types of websites are not suitable for browsing on a phone as they have not been designed for a phone.
With a phone your screen is a lot smaller so and generally you behave differently. For example, I may spend hours browsing and reading on the web but with a mobile phone I generally will only read a small amount of information over short periods of time. So how the information is displayed and the amount of this information needs to be considered.
When designing a mobile website consider some of the following:
- You can only view one screen at a time so design your navigation to take this into account.
- There is not much room for text, so don’t use much!
- Use large buttons for key calls to action
- Think about your usage of fonts, make sure important stuff really stands out
There are a variety of app business models, some of which include free apps that are supported by ads, paid apps that are supported by download fees, premium apps that are supported by in- app commerce and free apps that are supported by brands interested in connecting with customers.
Here are several things to keep in mind when we are creating an app for your product or service:
- Make Sure Your App Solves a Problem - The most effective apps solve some sort of problem for the user. They facilitate a purchase (e.g., Wal-Mart, Lowe’s or Sam’s Club apps), provide content (e.g., The New York Times, CNN or USAToday apps), create brand preference (e.g., Coca-Cola, Band-Aid or Nike apps) or some combination of the Analyze which of these problems you’d like your app to solve and begin your design process based on that.
- Get Inside the Mind of Your User -The first step for any mobile app (or any mobile marketing campaign, for that matter) is to understand how your user will engage with the Will they be at home? Will they be in the office? Do they want information? Or do they simply want to engage with the brand?
- Design with the End in Mind - Is the purpose simply to create brand preference? Is the purpose to facilitate a financial transaction? Is it to reduce customer churn? Or all of the above?
- Don’t Underestimate the Budget - Sometimes, very simple design changes can make the difference between an app that takes a few dozen hours to create and an app that takes a few hundred hours to create.
- Analyze Your Competitors’ Apps - What apps have your competitors already created? Do you like what they’ve created? If so, what can you borrow from their experience? Also, don’t hesitate to examine apps that are outside of your industry segment. Consider
- HTML5 as an Alternative - HTML5 works across many phones and may be a simpler solution for many sites. The downside is that there is no app store for HTML apps and they have some limitations in functionality.
- Recognize that the App is only Part of the Picture - When brands sponsor NASCAR drivers, only half the budget is allocated to the sponsorship. The other half is used to let people know about the sponsorship
By keeping the above-mentioned guidelines top of mind, the app that is developed for your product or service will have a greater likelihood of success. And most importantly, consumers will enjoy engaging with your app and therefore your brand.
The functionality of an app doesn’t have to be confined to the user-brand experience. Many brands choose to run ads within a mobile app in order to build awareness and generate demand.
There are three primary ways ads can leverage within an app for the benefit of the brand:
- The first is when the owner of a mobile app decides to sell advertising inventory within the app. Major content publishers such as CNN.com or ESPN.com choose to use this model to offset the costs of providing content to their readers or to generate a healthy profit for their
- The second is when an app publisher chooses to run ads that promote upgrades to paid versions of their apps or that cross-promote similar apps within a free version of many apps including display ads within the apps that encourage users to upgrade to an ad-free or enhanced version of the app.
- The third is when an app publisher runs ads on behalf of other advertisers. Many of the major content providers including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and others run ads on behalf of other brands. In most cases, brands will work through mobile ad networks to facilitate in-app advertising.
Working with a specialist is often the most efficient and effective way to navigate the complexities of running and managing in-app ads and achieve success.