What’s this responsive design thing? I don’t want responsive design. I want an app. I need an app!!

Let’s back up a little.

I work in Wave Digital, a sister company of SitePoint. We build all things mobile, usually for large business and government.

These days, every company wants an app. Strike that, every company NEEDS an app.

I have no idea how these decisions are made. Perhaps the head honchos compare their company’s apps with each other after 18 holes of golf. Maybe your Johnny / Joanie Client feels left out. They need an app.

Maybe a nice marketing agency has done some customer profiling for Johnny / Joanie Client’s company. Some of their customers have iPhones. They need an app.

Maybe they jumped on their competitor’s website and saw they had just released an app. They need an app.

These mandates trickle down from the board and find their way into your inbox on a Monday morning. These emails are not dissimilar to the Lagos Lottery Winner emails. “Congratulations. Your company has been selected to bid to take part in building our app. Please complete sections 1 to 1000 and submit by lunchtime”.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many use and business cases when building an app is the correct way to go. But an app for the sake of an app is not in itself a reason.

Not when the features of the app they’re looking at include:

  1. Universally accessible from any device
  2. Future-proofed solution
  3. Easy to manage and update
  4. Doesn’t make use of any native device features

You point out that building a Responsive Design solution will take care of all these requirements. They need an app.

You demonstrate that building an app will cost more. They need an app.

Your many years of industry expertise, your commitment to best practice, all the reasons they came to you … no, they need an app.

So, there we are. Your client wants an app – sorry, needs an app – and you know they need a responsive website.

What do you do?

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