That time when your phone buzzes indicating you’ve got a new email or a new WhatsApp message or saying that there are new episodes available for your favorite show on Netflix – everyone using a mobile phone knows about push notifications, we generally call them app notifications or notifications. These are these instant popup messages that apps use to send microcontent to their users.
Interestingly, mobile phone users’ tend to pay attention to notifications as they just pop up even when the app is not running or even if the user may not be using the app actively. On the other hand, many users do get frustrated by regular notifications if they are very useful to them and may uninstall or stop using the app altogether.
If you have an app in the store, you probably already know a lot about these notifications. You probably might have triggered a dozen of them already using one of the modern tools like Google Firebase or OneSignal. Well, push notifications are more powerful than email, since there’s almost no friction for the users to check these notifications, a click on the notification banner would lead them to launch your app or a relevant screen in your app if you did a good job building the app right. However, the important thing to understand about notifications is when should you trigger them for your app so that they help the user and create more engagement with your app, rather than actually hurting the users.
You’ve got a good service to sell and are looking for the best ways to connect and engage your potential customers. Reaching out to them through mobile devices becomes an obvious choice due to the ubiquity and easy accessibility of smartphones. Unfortunately, the mobile world is cluttered. Effectively reaching out to them thus means not just connecting with them, but also providing them with the best user experience possible.
A research study conducted by Oracle best validates this. The study found that nearly 55% of millennials say a poor mobile app experience would make them less likely to use a company’s products or services. One of the long-standing debates that has emerged in an attempt to provide mobile users with a great user experience is the one between the use of HTML5 apps and native mobile apps.
HTML5 / Hybrid or Native mobile app?
On the face of things, the HTML5 app or hybrid mobile app seems like easiest option for a company. What you have is one app, reaching out to consumers across different mobile platforms. This obviously means faster go-to-market times, lesser effort and lower costs. This may sound perfect to your business head who more often than not will give you a deadline of ‘yesterday’ to complete the task of making a mobile phone application. The downside that comes along with this however is a HUGE compromise on user experience.
HTML5 or hybrid apps may actually prove to be useful if you already have a website and are just looking for a presence in the app stores. While these apps are useful for small scale projects that need to be developed rapidly, most brands cannot afford to risk a compromise on user experience for the sake of speed of execution.
A native app on the other hand is great because it involves the customization of the app to suit a particular operating system. This approach helps in providing users with the best possible user experience in terms of adaptability, layout, navigation, structure, interactivity, branding and feedback. Even the most accomplished user experience designer will not be able to develop an app that caters to both iPhone and Android users, as they both have very different style guidelines that come with their own set of advantages.