What’s the difference and what should your organisation be spending money on?

Many organisations (both non-profit and for-profit) are jumping on the app bandwagon, but is it necessary? This isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, mobile apps are expensive to develop, and if you develop one that isn’t being used, that’s a huge amount of money down the drain.

So to decide whether or not an app is right for your organisation, ask yourself the following questions:
Is the purpose of your website to:
a. inform people or
b. to interact with them
Are most of your website visitors:
a. First time visitors or
b. returning people we have a relationship with
Do you want your information to:
a. Be distributed to the widest possible audience or
b. communicate regularly with a select group of people

If you predominantly answered ‘a’, you need a responsive (mobile-friendly) website.  If you mostly answered ‘b’, app development might be the best choice for you.

Apps are great as interactive communication tools, for example, if your organisation mobilises a large number of volunteers on a regular basis, an app can function as a sort of information pack for volunteers with smart phones. But there are pitfalls!
The wide variety of smart phones on the market always makes app development a bit risky. While it is highly likely your app will work on the latest versions of Android and iPhone, you might be less lucky with older models, Windows phones, and Blackberrys. Mobile websites aren’t bulletproof of course, but if you have a site that is responsive, it will adapt to varying screen sizes.
Want the proof? Open up your browser and copy in http://m.nzherald.co.nz
Now play around with the size of your browser, from full size to a tiny square, the page adapts so you can always reach the navigation and scroll through the stories!