How students use smartphones, and when an app is (not) appropriate
Gareth sent me this interesting infographic about how students use phones. A few interesting stats stood out for me:
- 29% of students say they use their phone for learning.
- 88% say they use it for surfing the web.
- 78% say they access an academic service using their phone.
Once you decide you want to reach users of mobile devices, the temptation may be to create a smartphone app. But often that is the wrong approach.
Here, Paul Boag outlines the four options you may take to reach mobile users. He concludes that when users are trying to access information, a responsive web design – rather than an app – is the way to go.
The Government Digital Service explains why they are focusing on the mobile web, not native mobile apps, to deliver digital services. The comments section also contains an interesting discussion:
Interesting that you don’t mention what seems to me the most obvious reason not to have gov.uk apps – I don’t spend most of my time interacting with the government. I’m not going to install your app and have it clutter up my phone, demand updates, etc, just to book my driving test (once or twice in a lifetime) or pay my VAT (once a year). This is exactly the kind of occasional use the Web is good for.