Native Apps are better than Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web Design is hailed as the single solution for the complexity of screen sizes in computers. To become a bridge that will enable websites to be rendered the same on all screens, big and small. However, there are areas where native mobile apps are better.

However, its resizing logic presumes that the features and flow of the desktop website will work well for the mobile experience without considering user context.

Travel businesses need to appreciate the different interactions on each device; mobile users can swipe the screen to reveal new content, whereas those using a monitor are restricted to clicking and scrolling.

These distinctly different journeys and users need to be properly considered if brands are to reap the reward of mobile marketing.

In addition, content delivery on responsive sites has the potential to deter users. For instance, if you are trying to deliver complex functionality built with CSS, JavaScript, Ajax, and other heavy Web development technologies, pages will be heavy and the experience will be dramatically slower on a smartphone or tablet.

In comparison, device-specific sites can be developed with HTML5 to add functionality and deliver adaptive user-experiences.

These benefits have been fully understood by our team at Usablenet, as the platform ensures that any content is kept readable and understandable across every device.

Time lost equals potential customers lost, as page load times have a direct impact on your ability to deliver users a positive experience.

Busy customers wishing to check room availability or seasonal offers, for example, may be put off by excessive page loading times.

A well-established principle when developing user experiences is the “two-minute rule”, which sets a maximum time of two minutes for the user to achieve their goal.

Beyond device-specific content display, the two other pieces to consider when designing your mobile strategy are use case and context, two realms in which responsive design does not contribute meaningfully.

Use case covers the driving reasons behind a user’s foray on to your mobile site – what the user is looking to do and how it can be accomplished on your site.

Take an airline website, for example. When a user visits an airline’s site from their smartphone, they typically want to be able to do a few very specific things like check their flight status, check-in for a flight, or access local information related to their destination.

The user expects a completely different experience from when they access the airline site from a computer, which more easily facilitates detailed flight searches.

Responsive design implicitly suggests that mobile is a subset of the traditional web, but it is clear that people use mobile for a very different end. User experience and context are the new benchmarks of a mature mobile strategy and should drive the decisions that brands make when designing mobile experience.

Source: Travolution

As described above, the weakness of responsive web design compared to native apps are:

  • Slow loading time. By using the same code as the desktop version, all the unnecessary items are brought along into the mobile version, thus affecting performance.
  • Lack of Focus. Again, because the same code is used as the desktop version, users are presented with a lot of unneeded features.

While it is true that specific features, as described, such as flight schedule and hotel reservations can benefit from native apps, Responsive Web Design can work together.

Native apps can be utilized for specific actions, such as hotel booking or flight booking, while the websites are still shown to the user, utilizing Responsive Web Design.

In this scenario, native apps are used for returning customers who no longer needs to know more information about the company and simply wants to interact.