By Brett Fritz & Jason Owens

Blog

There's an App for.... Oh Right, I Can't Say That

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I recently read that Apple was granted a trademark for their catchy saying, “There’s an App for that” (http://mashable.com/2010/10/11/apple-trademark/).   I'm a little worried about this because I find myself saying this panaceas tagline on a daily basis. What if an Apple Fanboy happens to be following me when I say "it"? Maybe I'm just being paranoid.

Anyways, Accrisoft has been asked a lot lately if we can make “Mobile Apps”.   I always reply,  “What do you mean by mobile app?”

Having a mobile app has become the new, cutting-edge thing.  When I think of a mobile app I think of what I just downloaded from Apple itunes – I think of games, music applications, and mobile Groupon. So many people want a mobile app, but they do not know what they want their app to do or represent. 

However, the vast majority of those that ask Accrisoft about mobile apps are actually looking for a mobile version of their website.  Once it's understood that they don't really want an "app," I can very easily show them the value of having a mobile website run off of Accrisoft Freedom, which is what they always had in mind.

Wow, suddenly this blog has become two-fold: To talk about apps vs. a mobile site (I'm sure you all know the difference), but more blog worthy, the importance of understanding a client's intentions and meaning.

Let's talk about the first fold quickly. When developing a mobile website using Accrisoft Freedom, there are many clear and distinct benefits.  The easiest benefits to pass over to a client are:

 1. Clients will have the ability to update their website content in one location (their Blue interface) and have the appropriate content updated in both website locations – main website and mobile website. 

2. Additionally, your clients can be ensured that they will have a uniform design and branding across both of their websites because all of the design files will be coming from one location.

On to understanding a client's intentions: Not all clients are created equally. Some know what they want but don't know how to say it; some don't know what they want, but know how to say something; some  are very tech-literate; and some are not. It doesn't matter what kind of client they be, what's important is that they have something to tell me and it's my own fault if I can't understand what they want.

I like to imagine the client and I have similar lives and dispositions, because we then have commonalities which makes for clear communication. Don't get me wrong, I sometimes have to go back-and-forth with the client several times a week before I know exactly what they want. Time and resources are always on the line here, and neither can be wasted.

Two things are for sure, understanding clients is critical but can also be difficult. If only there was an app... oops I almost did it again!

What kind of tips can you offer? Listening is good, but how do you really listen to a client?

And what are your thoughts on mobile sites?

If you have not seen it already, there is additional information about mobile websites found in the Accrisoft Ecosystem Wiki - http://ecosystem.accrisoft.com/wiki/features-guide-mobile-websites/.

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