Innovate to win
Your company is in technology, you have your slick website, you have your requisite company Facebook page, and your hot new 8 bit gaming system is flying off the shelves faster than you can make them. But in today’s technology market the savvy buyer won’t be happy using their joystick to control a block that shoots blocks at other other blocks for long. To stay on the bleeding edge management is on your case about churning out a new mobile app. But before you start bringing in high-dollar 20 somethings to start coding, take pause to consider a few things.
First, it may be true that you need a mobile app; smartphones are ubiquitous. In fact, a recent Forrester study shows that by 2016 there will be 1 billion smartphones in use. However, apps aren’t the solution for every company. Apps generally are successful when there is a need for the user to frequently come back and use it. For example, the Twitter app is successful because it provides fresh up-to-the-second content. But remember, just because your iPhone can hold umpteen apps, does not mean you want your screen clogged with things you don’t use. Mobile app real estate goes for a premium. Pew Research reports that only about 68% of people surveyed who have apps on their device actually use them. Further, of those who delete apps, 68% say they do so within the first two weeks that it has been downloaded. So unless your app sticks, users are going to drop it fast. For example, this month Phoenix Staff's mobile app Mobile Recruiter will launch. The app is the first ever introduction engine designed to keep opportunity seekers and companies coming back.
Next, innovation isn’t only about speed to market, it is about quality. The reason Apple is successful is because their products . . . work. Users react to the negative criticism they see in the app store. If your app isn’t tight, don’t release it. Releasing a poorly built mobile app could cause more damage than good. Also, consider your goals. Unless you are expecting high traffic to your mobile experience, you may want to forgo the app and revamp your website using HTML 5 with responsive design. Responsive design gives web users a smooth user experience on smartphones and tablets without the need for an app.