Don't have time to watch the video? Here's a recap of the discussion:
Advantages of Mobile Websites (either responsive design or a dedicated mobile site)
- Reaches the widest audience in the most mobile-friendly way because it uses the browser on your phone and is not device specific.
- Immediacy – mobile sites don’t require you to download anything to gain access.
- Upgrading responsibility falls onto you; no action is required by the user.
- Findability – Content on mobile sites can be found by search engines.
- Shareability – You can easily like, tweet or share content from mobile sites with others.
Advantages of Mobile Apps
- User experience testing conducted by Jakob Nielsen shows that apps are more usable and rank higher than mobile websites.
- Great for heavy use or highly personalized purposes, as apps can store useful data about its users.
- No connection required – think the Kindle. Items on apps can be downloaded for access later, whether or not you’re connected to the internet.
- Mobile Apps leverage the processing power of the phone/tablet, which is only increasing.
So What Do You Use, Mobile Site or App?
- Let’s define what we’re talking about. If it’s a professional services website, you should definitely start by building a mobile site first. This will enable your internal and external audiences (reach) to access your content quickly.
- Do you need an app for your website? Although many firms thought they were ahead of the curve by having an app, it was a misguided strategy. Clients shouldn’t need to download an app to access your content. However, if they truly needed access to this content without an internet connection, it might make sense.
- Other areas where apps can have an impact in the internet strategy of law firms and professional services is in recruiting (think gaming), thought leadership (for access offline) and events (registration and event information).
At the end of the day, resist the urge to develop an app for the sake of developing an app. Instead, identify what would compel you to create an app:
1) Heavy content
2) Complex processing
3) Personalization and/or a very engaged targeted audience that would be willing to download.