Mobile Websites vs. Apps II - Important User Considerations

In this article we examine two important user considerations when deciding to develop a mobile website and an app.

A recent survey by EPiServer highlights two important issues surrounding both mobile websites and app. These are ease of use and speed.

These two issues are already well known and documented through out the web. No one hates nothing more than a slow website and a hard to use website. Of course these days a slow website may not be the fault of the website and the business that owns it.
All ISPs have customers complaining about slow access compared to times past. However many websites insist in throwing boxes and windows up in your screen which just get in the way and are hard to switch off.

The issue with mobile and apps is similar. Users want a descent experience and a decent level of speed.

Ease of use

This is an important issue for both applications. The survey highlights that users are very unforgiving of any apps that are not up to scratch, not easy to use, and just horrible to look at. Users will even stop using any app that just won’t work properly, even if the app works on different devices.

There are plenty examples of that, such as the issue iPad mini and iPad where the same app for the iPad will not work on the iPad mini despite the app being designed to do so.   

As with apps, users of mobile websites can get frustrated for many reasons, just like with any desktop website, but they are found to be more forgiving because any issue with the website is likely to the resolved faster than with an app. But saying that, users don’t want a difficult website and want to move around fast and a easy of possible. With apps, if they are user unfriendly, the users will stop using it and not come back as they would any desktop website.  

Slow speed

This is also an important issue for both applications. The survey highlights that the main problems that users have with mobile websites and apps is slow speed. Users also don’t normally like to scroll down or even sideways when using a mobile website on a mobile phone device. Users will not sit a wait for something to load whether it be a mobile website, app or desktop website.

Internet connections are in some part responsible for the slow speeds experienced by users. Reasons include the network being busy or the web hosting being slow, both of which are beyond a businesses control. Slow speed can also be because of app and device compatibility issues.