Two months ago, we launched a native mobile app for Bassmaster for iOS and Android. The project is aimed to improve exposure to a wide range of emerging devices and increase the client’s brand recognition among their existing and new audiences.
Why Go Mobile?
A decade ago, most visitors accessed digital content through a desktop computer, which, today, seems quite inconvenient. Yet, at the time, it was the only available option, as no device was both portable AND web accessible. Therefore, it was imperative that the web content being delivered to your audience properly functioned in the few browsers that were prevalent (remember the good days of Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer...6?).
Flash forward to around seven years ago, when companies like Apple and Google started creating smartphones, which allowed you to access content on the web using smaller and more portable devices. While these devices offered new convenience, smartphone users began to notice that web layouts were intended for larger displays, like the desktop, and interacted differently on their smaller devices. Instead of navigating through websites with familiar and responsive input devices like the keyboard and mouse, users had to use their fingers, which decreased functionality.
Several solutions were implemented, including incorporating responsive layouts for new or existing sites, creating separate mobile versions, and even creating minimal variants of sites that contained less information than the original desktop version. All solutions had both benefits and drawbacks. Overall, it was still a cumbersome process to access sites through a mobile device’s web browser.
So What Was Bassmaster's Solution ?
We decided to go the extra mile and create a native app for two popular platforms (Android and iOS) to enable users to access content from their favorite site easily and quickly. In comparison to conventional desktops and laptops, a native app provides the following benefits:
On websites, logos are shown at the top (sometimes as favicons) so users can easily distinguish between sites and assure that they are accessing genuine content from trusted providers. However, an app provides direct access to content and recognizable branding.
Branding is more effective if users install your app on their mobile devices. This means that your app icon and company logo will be viewed multiple times daily, every time users browse through their phone. It beats hoping that users remember your URL or bookmark your site in their browser, both extra steps from the phone’s main screen.
Increased Stability in Design
Implementing responsive design is an excellent solution to maintain your site’s content within a single code base. The drawbacks, however, are that all the assets for both the desktop and mobile variant must be loaded onto the browser on each page load. For a smaller device with less firepower than a desktop computer, it makes the whole process a bit cumbersome considering we’re loading resources for both (or all) form factors, even though most of it won’t be used.
Considering the drawbacks, a separate mobile layout is a more ideal solution than a mobile variant. With separate layouts, each interface can be catered to the device it will be used on, whether desktop or mobile.
Enhanced Content Delivery for a Growing User Base
More and more people are turning to mobile devices to access their content. Phones and tablets are lightweight, easy to activate, and can be used anywhere. Desktop computers are large, bulky, and require a comfortable computer chair for proper use (for me, at least).
If you need to figure out what’s going on in the world, would you prefer to pull out a device from your pocket or run to the nearest desktop computer? The answer should be obvious. It is imperative to capitalize on the mobile trend to ensure that you get the exposure you need. Relying on users to recall your URL will result in your organization’s extinction.
Two months after Bassmaster released their mobile app, over 18,000 users have installed it on their devices. It has received positive reception due to its stability, its content, and, most importantly, its simplicity. The new app provides a new channel for both increased audience exposure and monetization. It allows the user to access content quickly from an intuitive interface no matter where they are.
Will this trend continue?
Trends come and go depending on their convenience for the user. With the emergence of more intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces, the mobile market has enabled users to access a plethora of data on the fly. In order to stay relevant, sites providing web content must prepare to adapt alongside these trends. Check out how we improved Bassmaster's fishing tournament tracking with BASSTrakk Maps!