A responsive web app refers to a website containing a user interface that accommodates various screen resolutions and sizes so that the content looks classy and discoverable on any given screen. Therefore, responsive web design is usually formed using the “mobile-first” designing principle. So the user experience is defined first on mobile and then scaled up to larger screens such as desktops, tablets, and smart TVs.
The businesses that have realized the significance of mobile app responsive design are increasing their services to a great extent. Therefore, if you are a business owner and want to get mobile user’s attention, you just have to know the difference between mobile apps and responsive websites. So you need to understand which option is better for your business. The responsive web design relates to a web application. On the other hand, the native apps are generally downloaded from the Google play store and the Apple app store. Every native application comes with a unique icon that users should tap to launch. Let’s start with identifying the difference between a native mobile app vs the responsive design of a web app.
What is a Responsive app?
Responsive websites render pixel-perfect layouts across different platforms. Moreover, the CSS style sheet file helps to make the website look classy and organized on the target device. So, whether you are accessing it from iPhone, PC, tablet, or Android, the responsive app design format to display content will be perfect. A responsive website is a web app whose user interface responds or adapts to the target device’s viewport.
A web application is a piece of software that is accessed through an internet browser. It runs on any platform as long as that supports an internet browser. This technology is being rigorously used to develop all sorts of software applications, ranging from static websites to dynamic web applications such as FinTech, SaaS, B2B, B2C, and E-commerce stores. A web application may or may not be mobile responsive. You can make any website a responsive web app by changing its CSS file. Or, if you want to get things done quickly, you can use the Bootstrap CSS file to effectively implement mobile responsiveness. A typical web application doesn’t support offline browsing.
The mobile apps are available on the Apple app store or Google play store. In mobile app development, a business solution is implemented to fill up a particular market gap. Such apps are intended to cover mobile users, which span more than 51% of the total internet traffic.
The native mobile app is a program that is compiled to run on a specific OS and downloaded from Google Play or the Apple app store. Native apps are the most general type of apps. These apps are built for particular platforms and are written in platform-dependent languages. For example, Kolton and Java are specifics for native android apps and Objective-C and Swift are in use for native iOS apps. When we have a look at responsive app design, we will come to know that companies are already investing in mobile app development. These apps have many advantages offered in comparison to the other application development types.
Responsive Website vs Mobile App:
To get better functionality, should you design a mobile app or responsive website? Well, it totally depends upon the target audience and how they usually access software to perform a particular task. Many small and new businesses end up selecting either of these two technologies, a lot has to do with the development budget as well. The mobile app vs responsive website analysis gives us an idea that both share many of the same purposes. Furthermore, they permit users to interact with brands through their mobile devices. A responsive web app costs less than the native application and offers portability without reinventing the wheel, which we have to do a lot while implementing native applications. Moreover, it’s the basic reason why many businesses go with the mobile responsive web app. On the other hand, more than 67% of consumers said they would be more likely to make a purchase from the web than from an app. So it all goes with the type of your business problem, end-users behavior and habits to access, ease in access, and fast page’s response.
Web Apps vs Mobile Apps:
Most users don’t know the difference between the mobile app and the web app. Well, both look the same, and for many users, it is difficult to decide the main difference. A typical web app cannot access certain device-level access on mobiles like a mobile app such as native push notifications, GPS, and gyroscope. Another advantage of the mobile app is they are readily available where consumers are searching: Google Play or the Apple app store. Mobile applications also favor offline navigation and usability. They can also sync offline data to remote servers whenever there is a stable internet connection.
How to Make Web Application Mobile Responsive?
While the business need for a web application varies, almost half of the visitors are likely to view the website on their mobile phones. Having a mobile-friendly website is not much of a difficult task. If mobile visitors don’t have a good experience on your website, you’ll drive away large traffic. So, to get large visitors’ attention, your web needs to be mobile-friendly.
Almost every modern website that is being developed today is mobile responsive. Furthermore, if you are looking for ways to make a responsive app design of an existing web application, you can also use Google Lighthouse. As it offers a mobile-friendly website compatibility testing tool. All you have to do is to put your site URL into its search box and you will instantly get an answer on whether or not your website is mobile responsive. Google Lighthouse provides complete analytics and a step-by-step guide on how to improve your site’s usability. It also throws detailed light on how to convert any given web application into a progressive web app. A PWA is a technology that inherits native experience into your web application. Shortly put, it opens easy access to the mobile users for your application usage. Ease in accessibility means more users will use your software application.
Therefore, using such similar tools can help introduce mobile app responsive design into your web app. An improved score of your site will increase the website’s visibility in the search engine, ensuring more visitors and conversions.
Steps To Make A Website Mobile Friendly:
- Make a mobile responsive web app mockup by using Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
- Define a flow/navigation in your system.
- Put short yet relevant content.
- Important business information goes to the landing page
- Add CTA buttons to ease the navigation.
- Devise the site navigation to help users perform his/her business activities within few clicks.
- Ditch pop-ups and text blocking
- Pay attention to website speed
- Keep your responsive app design simple
- Make buttons larger and discoverable
- Use readable font sizes
- Don’t use flash
- Add the viewpoint Meta tag
- Turn off autocorrect
- Permit a way to switch to desktop view
- Perform website auditing regularly
- Conduct appropriate software testing techniques to refine the UI and responsive web app’s performance.
Web App Design Consideration:
Web responsive app design is focused on information formulation. Moreover, properly designing and architecting a web app will ensure users can easily negotiate your app. Therefore, they can find the information they want efficiently and quickly.
It is imperative to design a responsive app development navigation system that is inherent to use, permitting users to locate the content they want. Moreover, integrating a proper navigation hierarchy will guide users through your website, allowing them to fulfill their business goals. The breadcrumbs also help users to negotiate high-level pages. Breadcrumbs are used to guide an end-user about the hierarchy of a web application with respect to their navigation.
Therefore, when designing the navigation system, make sure to use line-heights, font sizes, and collapsible navigation menu to grab the user’s attention and to make an easy going navigation.
It is reported that almost 47% of users expect a web page to load in two seconds. Consumers are easily frustrated with usability issues such as small images, loading times, network availability and performance. An easy method to battle a laggy or slow web application is to keep things lightweight. By that we mean is to use VPS dedicated servers, code minificatiion and usage of CDNs. Moreover knowing mobile app vs responsive design will help you to incorporate and display only necessary features and information in your web app. Always focus on delivering what’s important. Use the analogy of “Don’t Repeat Yourself” both in UI presentation and code base.
Native App Design Consideration:
Native app design is referred to as interaction usability with respect to a target platform’s guidelines. To implement an optimum design, it is vital to have a complete understanding of consumers and their business needs. After pointing to the task, you can easily design the right user journey and user flow to guide the users through the app.
Use Familiar Gestures:
Conventionally, the Implementation of gestures into your app designing is an exceptional method to create shortcuts for key functions and navigations. Meanwhile, implementing platform specific gestures within your application will enhance the native user experience of it. Always make a better use of implementing gestures such as touch, hold, pinch and double tab.
You can introduce gestures based on monitoring users behavioral data collected from analytical tools such as Hotjar. In short, this is one of the key technique to bring value in your responsive web app UI.
Keep Interface and Content Elements to a Minimum:
While implementing a mobile responsive web app, you need to be very cautious as mobile smartphones offer very limited screen aspect ratio for usability. Stuffing interface with needless icons, images, and buttons can burden consumers with a lot of details. Therefore, you need to get rid of these similar things that are not necessary to the app’s core business logic. Develop two types of interfaces to make the best use of both mobile and desktop platforms such that,
- For Mobile, showcase the content that is necessary.
- For Desktop, go a bit detailed such that your user base doesn’t get bored while scrolling through your business USPs.
Minimize User Input:
Users want maximum results in minimum interactions. So try to eliminate the unnecessary registration forms and cut down the user input processes which need user input. Moreover in mobile app development, it’s a best practice to auto-save the data that deem to be repeated within different levels of interaction with an application. Example of such can be but not limited to storing credit card information for checkouts, auto-populating email addresses during sign in, etc. One more thing worth mentioning here is to make use of 3rd party APIs for auto fetching and retrieval of information rather than forcing users to input the same.
Pros and Cons of Responsive Design:
To understand the difference between native app vs responsive website, you need to have a complete knowledge about the advantages and disadvantages of a responsive design.
Pros of Responsive App Design:
Lowers Production Cost:
If you are creating a product from scratch, a responsive app design website will be cost-effective than sole mobile app development. Using responsive and lightweight frameworks such as foundation or bootstrap makes it simple and easy to create a web app that looks great and commendable on any screen size. Besides, with one source code, you can literally target both desktop and mobile app users.
Provide Cross-Platform Accessibility:
The mobile responsive web app uses CSS and HTML to show pages, and these can be easily accessed from any device’s browser. So responsive app design works equally on different devices and platforms. You also don’t need to install anything on your device as the target software application is already available on the cloud, ready to be served via URL. With responsive app development, you can literally kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
Reduces Marketing Time:
Looking at the difference between a mobile app vs responsive website will clearly convey that a responsive website lowers the marketing time. The product teams don’t need to go through approvals of the Google Play or app store. The development time is reduced to almost 50% as there’s only one code base to edit and modify. Thus, if you want to change the website design, you can simply update the code, and changes will be automatically visible to your users. Now you know why almost every MVP application is built in web technology.
The Content is Shareable:
The best thing to consider about responsive web app is it makes simple for users to link and share content. All you have to do is to copy and paste the URL to make a specific page shareable to the other users.
Content is indexed by Google:
Your website content gets ranked in search results, empowering relevant customers to discover your product.
Cons of Responsive Design:
Requires an Internet Connection:
The responsive website cannot work offline. Moreover, users will need constant connectivity to use the website. So for this, you need to optimize the content for mobile so that your web application works fine even in limited internet connectivity. On the other hand, animated effects and high-resolution images should be adjusted for mobile devices. The important thing to know about this problem while doing mobile app vs responsive website comparison is that users will have to witness longer page loading time whenever there’s an issue with the internet.
Limited Native Devices Supporting Features:
Responsive websites offer limited support of mobile device’s native features like push notifications, biometrics and gyroscope, etc. Furthermore, you can implement a native look into your web application but for the same, you’ll be relying on an additional wrapper code that will further reduce the application performance.
The Pros of the Mobile App:
Mobile app development takes more time to develop and is expensive as well. But when you have a look at native mobile app vs responsive design, you will know about several advantages in this area.
The native mobile applications feature greater functionality than mobile responsive web app as they have a direct line of communication with a platform’s hardware. They also support offline navigation and can access device’s filesystem and resources more efficiently than web applications.
Mobile apps are being created top to bottom with efficiency. Apps generally have fast loading times as compared to web pages. The mobile app responsive design is not cluttered with unnecessary elements unlike what a website has to offer.
Nothing beats a native app for marketing and brand awareness. With application shortcuts, mobile applications put you in the center of each user’s phone. Customers like an easy access and mobile app development using native coding technique puts accessibility and app’s reliability to the next level.
Cons of the Mobile App:
Depending upon your team members, mobile app development is a daunting task. Creating an application needs different types of skills. When done poorly, brand awareness can go all negative. If users see a low-quality app, it makes a poor impression on them. To overcome this, most businesses have to pay some good amount of dollars for application development. Furthermore,
- Native mobile applications cost X times the number of platforms that they have to support.
- One need a separate team of mobile app development to implement anything mobile oriented.
- The development time also increases 50-60% more as comparing with solely web app development.
Deciding between Native Mobile App vs Responsive Design Website:
Ideally, you should have both native apps as well as responsive design. Consumers may want to access a website on the device even when there is a native app installed on their phone. That’s why many social platforms such as Instagram offer two versions of their products: native app and responsive web app. It is the best way to give users multiple options to access the content. At the same time, web applications don’t always replicate all the characteristics and features of its counterpart native application. Some of the app features are not implementable to the website, either due to product decisions or technical reasons. For example, Instagram users can upload and view photos when they use a mobile app. On the other hand, they can only view photos when they open Instagram through a website.
When it comes to choosing between native mobile app vs responsive design, it’s worth remembering that both have their benefits. What matters the most is fulfilling the consumer’s needs. Carefully specify your business needs and find the right ways to achieve the goals using native apps, responsive app design, or a combination of both. Meanwhile, if you have a good budget then go for both mobile app development and responsive web app. If you have a low budget, then opt for implementing Mobile responsive web app.
Get help by contacting us at Status200:
Today, every business wants an application to perform its functions and operations online. So if you want an effective mobile responsive web app, contact us at Status200 to get the best web development services. We also offer exclusive mobile app development services built through advanced technology. If you are looking for the best way to develop a responsive app design, Status200 is the name to remember. We have developers who not only make top-notch apps but also give consultations to employers according to business needs. Our services are available 24/7, and we will provide you high quality and cost-effective digital solutions.