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The Future Goes App

No pun intended. The future is, indeed, going the direction of mobile apps as 85% of smartphone users say they prefer mobile apps over mobile web sites, according to a recent Compuware report. However, only 28% say they actually had a better experience using mobile apps as against websites. While the difference between preference as against actual experience may be vast, Compuware is quick to shrug off the discrepancy.

“The big news is that the vast majority of users prefer mobile apps over mobile Web sites,” said Stephen Pierzchala, technology strategist at Compuware APM Center of Excellence. “Specifically, when consumers were asked about the benefits of using a mobile app versus a mobile Web site, the majority said they preferred mobile apps primarily because apps are more convenient, faster and easier to browse.”

The salient points

The key factor for mobile users is how apps help them save time and make their activities as convenient as possible.

- 55% of respondents cite convenience as their most important concern
- 48% value speed of application launch
- 40% appreciate ease in browsing experience, and
- 28% say apps offer a better user experience generally over mobile websites.

Over a quarter of those surveyed say mobile apps make specific activities such as banking (27%) and shopping (26%) a lot easier.

Misgivings

While mobile apps enjoy the preference of many, 56% of the respondents experienced a problem with apps. Out of those respondents:

- 62% report a crash, freeze or error
- 47% experience slow launch times, and
- 40% encountered apps that simply would not launch.

Now these are significant numbers, as these suggest that actual user experience can overturn preference and users will quickly abandon an app that fails to deliver the expected performance. App developers must make sure their apps perform as promised.

Consider these:

- 79% would retry a failing mobile app only once or twice
- 48% will abandon a failed app
- 34% will switch to a competitor app
- 31% will tell others about their poor experience, and
- 31% will red flag the company that produced the app

A quarter for the 3,500 surveyed say they will thumb down the app and the company.

The take out from the survey


Web and app developers must be conscious of these figures as they design and develop fast reliable and user-friendly apps. The impact of a failed app can bring massive detrimental effect to one’s brand through word of mouth.

Apps performance can make or break a company’s reputation. As many still prefer mobile apps over mobile web sites - a direction of the future of technology that is unlikely to change for a while - it is incumbent upon web developers to produce applications that will satisfy both consumer needs and wants.
Andrey Kudievskiy

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