Gravit-e Blog

November 20, 2015

How To Decide Between Building A Responsive Website, Web App or Mobile App

Responsive vs mobile

In an ideal universe with no budget constraints, every company would have both a responsive website and a native mobile application. However, in reality, businesses, particularly start-ups and small businesses, have to decide whether to build a responsive website or a mobile application. Additionally, many businesses have jumped the gun on building mobile applications to stay competitive, and only to find it wasn’t really necessary -- a mobile optimized website was all they needed.

Here are some guidelines to help you determine whether you need a responsive website, native mobile application, or both:


Know the difference

  • Responsive Websites are designed to work on any platform/browser. This is done by building a custom CSS stylesheet that enables the website to look great on any device. The website will be consistent across smartphones, tablets and computers.
  • Web Applications are often confused with mobile applications because they look and feel like mobile apps, but they are accessed via your browser. They even store data in the browser’s cache for offline access.
  • Mobile Applications are downloaded to an individual’s smartphone or tablet from places such as the Apple App Store or Google Play store. They are typically designed for a specific and narrow purpose and are usually helpful and interactive.


What is your goal for your users? Responsive websites and mobile apps both allow users to interact with your business through their mobile phones. Deciding which is best for your business depends on your goals. For example, 67 per cent of mobile users said they’re more likely to make a purchase from a website than from an app; this makes a responsive website a better choice for many e-commerce sites.


Mobile Applications vs. Web Applications

It’s often easier to decipher whether you should build an app or a responsive website than it is to choose between a web-based application and mobile application. Most consumers cannot tell the difference between a mobile and web app. Behind the scenes, however, mobile apps can access things on your phone that a web application simply can’t, such as the camera, microphone and GPS. Mobile applications can also send push notifications -- and this makes a huge difference for some businesses.


Can you afford to develop a native mobile application?

App development is costly. This is because apps are not device agnostic. Each smartphone has its own platform, varying from iOS to Android, resulting in an app having to be developed separately for each platform.

With that being said, developing a responsive website isn’t necessarily cheap -- it is simply less expensive than the typical native application.


What is your timeline?

In addition to being more costly, apps also take longer to develop. It can also take some time for the application to be approved for the  Apple App Store.  If you are building both, it make sense to roll out the responsive website first. If you have a project deadline -- make sure that the mobile app can be built in time.


Where is your traffic coming from?

Use analytics to determine how many users try to access your website on mobile devices, and which browser and operating system they are using. If search engine visibility is crucial for your business, you should have a responsive website regardless of whether or not you develop a mobile application. A mobile app lives in a closed environment and is not indexed by search engines.


Does a responsive website, mobile application, or web application seem like the right fit for your business? What helped you decide which was best for your business? Please share your insights in the comment section below.

November 13, 2015

Future-Proofing Your Business Technology




Don't Be Left Behind


Whether you are investing in software for your business or building software for your customers, it is crucial to think a few moves ahead. The term “future-proof” refers to actions you can take to ensure your technology evolves along with your business’s needs, customers’ demands, and industry trends.  By future-proofing your technology, you can ensure it will not become obsolete in the near future.

Here are some tips on how to keep your business software current:


  1. Be Scalable: The solutions that suit your business now may not necessarily be desirable down the road. This is particularly true for start-ups that have not yet gone through rapid expansion. Anticipate growth and ensure any technology you choose to use or build can accommodate your needs both now and in the future.


  1. Stay Flexible: Ensure any technology you build or are using for your business can be changed or extended. If you are building custom software, ensure that you own the source code and remain in control of your software. Have your data regularly backed up, so that you are prepared to migrate another application if need be in the future.


  1. Expandable Hosting: Along the same lines as staying flexible, any hosting you have should also be able to adapt to changes in demand. Servers should not become overloaded as the number of users increases. By having safe, reliable hosting that is able to accommodate and expand with your growth, you are protecting your business from problems such as downtime or lags.


  1. Anticipate Changes In Your Customer’s Needs: Even if your technology meets your customers’ needs today, those needs may change over time. By ensuring that your technology is flexible, you can anticipate and better accommodate their evolving needs.. It is important to prevent customer loss to other companies that may be one step ahead of you. Paying attention to your customers’ demands can improve retention.


  1. Stay In Tune With The Market: No matter how old or new your business is, it is important to be immersed in your industry. Pay attention to what other entrepreneurs are doing, follow your competitors, and stay active on social media. Be present and attend events in order to keep your company up to speed on the latest technologies and trends.


  1. Create A Culture Of Innovation: Your fellow employees may be the best source of ideas and insights when it comes to any technology your business uses or supplies. Be sure to foster a work environment that encourages employees to innovate, experiment and share.


  1. Think Outside The Box: Your technology may be doing exactly what you intended it to do, but could it do more? While you may be accomplishing all of the goals you originally outlined, there could be other things technology could be doing for your business and/or customers.

Listening, connecting and experimenting are crucial actions to future-proofing your company. By always staying one step ahead, you can gain an edge on your competition, have more satisfied users and protect your business from future technological roadblocks.

November 06, 2015

How To Introduce New Technology To The Workplace


Selecting or developing the right technology for your business is just the first step towards making your business more efficient. You still have to get your employees to use it. New technology can be an unwelcome change to some, particularly if the previous technology has been used for ages and they are comfortable with it despite its issues. Overcoming resistance to change from potential users is a crucial factor in getting the desired outcome from your new technology. In order for any software to have its desired impact, it has to be readily adopted and used properly.


Here are some tips on how to smoothly introduce new technology to the workplace:

1. Involve Your Team: One of the best ways to ensure that any technology you choose or develop will be well received by your employees is to involve them in the decision-making process. Interview stakeholders and get their input. When the software is presented later on, be sure to highlight how it has incorporated the opinions of other employees. This will create a broader sense of ownership and facilitate a smooth introduction. Additionally, the better your understanding of how business processes are currently being done, the better any software you develop will be.

2. Prioritize User Experience: Your new software can perform all kinds of amazing functions, but if it isn’t obvious how it works or the function is buried deep within the user interface, no one will understand or use it. Making sure your software is user friendly needs to be paramount, especially when the end-users aren’t developers.

3. Communicate the Benefits: Ensure that everyone understands the intent behind implementing any new technology and how it will benefit them. This will impact the way they interact with it and help you reach your desired goal.

4. Accommodate Different Learning Styles: If the technology you are introducing requires some training and there may be a learning curve for some users, it can be helpful to provide different ways for them to learn. Tailor your training sessions to include kinaesthetic, visual and auditory learning techniques and be available for one-on-one training for those who would like more assistance.

5. Make it Fun: The more interesting your training sessions are, the more readily your staff will participate and retain the information. Make sure sessions aren’t too long, use some humour and consider gamification.

6. Find Your Cheerleader: There are bound to be a few users who have been more than happy to embrace new workplace technology. Find these team members and determine what it is about the software that they are satisfied with. Let them help those who are struggling with certain features and allow them to be the cheerleaders of your new technology.

7. Evaluation: After the technology has been implemented, it is important to conduct a performance evaluation. There may be a few bugs with the new software or functions that are not being utilized or understood by some users. Performing a thorough evaluation helps you ensure the technology is being used as intended and that your employees are adopting it. Furthermore, assessing its positive impact can further validate your decision to implement it.

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