Mobile apps can bring many benefits to organizations across a whole range of industries.
With a mobile app, it’s possible to increase customer engagement, boost loyalty, and access valuable user data that you can use to improve your business decision-making and enhance your product and service offering.
Despite the advantages of running a mobile app, business owners may hesitate over whether or not to take the plunge, due to the work and expense involved.
Fortunately, new technologies slash through the hassle. Using an existing website as a foundation for a mobile app has opened up the options for many more businesses, as it saves time, streamlines the process, and reduces both the costs and the headache.
That said, there are still things you need to know in order to succeed in making a mobile app that customers use and appreciate.
If you’re wondering how to make a website into an app, here are five key issues that you should bear in mind to ensure a smooth transition and optimal user experience.
1. User Experience (UX) Adaptation
Your app needs to offer a streamlined and intuitive experience that’s specifically tailored for mobile users, so you can’t simply translate your entire desktop-optimized website into a small-screen version.
Prioritizing the specific features and content that your customers need helps prevent a bloated and overloaded app that’s difficult to navigate.
If your website has complex functionalities, simplify them for a better mobile experience.
Think about how users will navigate between different areas of your site when it’s in app form, and optimize the flow for them to reach vital activities, whether that’s making a payment, checking statements, or signing a contract.
You’ll also want to ensure that all your content is easily accessible and optimized for a smaller screen.
Bear in mind that user interaction patterns are different on web and mobile platforms, so the content and tools they need on your website might not be the same as the ones they want in an app.
2. Platform-Specific Features
A mobile app brings unique capabilities that aren’t available on a website, so leverage them to enhance functionality and engagement.
For example, integrate location-based services to provide personalized experiences, such as location-aware content, local recommendations, or directions, and use push notifications to send timely updates, reminders, and personalized messages.
You can utilize the device’s camera and media capabilities for functionalities like image uploading, QR code scanning, augmented reality, or video streaming, and find ways to incorporate device sensors such as an accelerometer and a gyroscope for interactive features that deliver an immersive user experience.
At the same time, it’s important to adapt your app’s design and features to the specific guidelines and standards of iOS and Android platforms, so as to maintain consistent UI elements and navigation patterns across operating systems.
Consider the different preferences of iOS and Android users, and adjust your features and functionalities accordingly.
3. Performance and Speed
Mobile users expect apps to be fast and responsive, so work to meet those expectations.
Look for ways to optimize app performance, such as minimizing loading times, reducing unnecessary animations, and decluttering heavy graphics that could slow down the app.
Optimizing code specifically for mobile platforms also improves overall responsiveness.
Integrating caching mechanisms is another vital tactic for optimizing app performance. Caching allows the app to store frequently-accessed data locally on the device, reducing the need for repeated server requests and consequently improving load times.
Additionally, consider incorporating offline capabilities. This enables users to access certain functionalities within the app even without an active internet connection.
This way, they can continue to use the app without interruptions, even in areas with poor connectivity or during temporary network disruptions.
4. Security And Compliance
Robust security and data privacy measures are non-negotiable to safeguard user data and maintain trust.
In many industries, you won’t be able to launch an app without complying with industry-specific regulations such as HIPAA and FINRA.
You also need to follow general data protection laws like GDPR and CCPA, otherwise your app might be blocked in some areas.
In this context, it’s vital to implement stringent security protocols. Encryption for data transmission and storage, multi-factor authentication or biometric authentication, and secure data storage methods are all basic steps to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data or functionalities.
Security is an ongoing challenge, so set up mechanisms to scan for emerging threats and vulnerabilities and update the app to patch security loopholes.
Make sure that the app is always aligned with the latest security standards and regulations by running regular security audits and assessments, ensuring a secure environment for user data within the mobile app.
5. Feedback and Iteration
Using an approach of constant iteration and constant development (CI/CD) helps ensure that your app meets user needs over the long term.
Continue to release updates and new features regularly, based on feedback and technological advancements, to keep the app relevant and responsive.
This involves gathering user feedback through analytics, reviews, and surveys to understand how users interact with the app, and using this data to continuously improve app performance, user interface, and features.
It’s also helpful to conduct extensive testing across various devices and operating systems, both to ensure compatibility and functionality, and to track how the app performs over time.
The Right Mobile App Approach Can Benefit Your Business
Turning your website into an app can be a smooth and easy method for developing a user-friendly mobile business app.
However, there’s no shortcut through key concerns like security, performance, and relevance.
By using the right methodologies together with vital considerations, your business can benefit from the advantages of a mobile app that customers truly enjoy using, and that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg to develop.