App Development

Are you looking to develop a service that needs to work even if the device is offline? At an event exhibition for example, or deep in the woodland? Apps are a great solution where connectivity isn't reliable, because we can build them in a way where they receive content updates when possible and otherwise show pages from a cache of previously downloaded data. We can also store new information and wait for a connection before uploading to servers, making them a great tool for collecting things like customer opinions or delegate contact details. If you want a system that needs to work offline, a mobile app development might be the best approach.

Have you had an idea for something that needs to track things like a device's GPS location, or which way a person is facing? Mobile phones have all sorts of useful sensors that we can tap into for this, but accessing them through a web browser, even a mobile web browser, isn't always reliable, or even possible. If you want to tap in to the hardware capabilities of mobile or tablet devices, developing a mobile app is the way to do it.

Do you want to do something visually complex, like a 3D game design, augmented reality, live translation, or a camera filter? You'll definitely want an app here. Websites and web based services can do complex tasks too, but generally the hard work is done by a server, and displaying the results in real-time, for example overlaying a camera feed, requires that it's done on-device instead. If you want to do anything visually impressive or computationally difficult, and you don't want to have to involve servers and hosting costs, a mobile app could be the answer.

There are many more reasons to go for mobile app design, and as a full service digital agency, we can help you to figure out whether an app is right for you, or if your idea is better built as a website or web based service. We're not just an app designer, and we're not just going to build your app and leave you to it. Full service means we'll work with you from the very beginning, advising where we can, designing and developing whatever you need us to. We'll help put your app in the various app stores, or if it needs servers we can build and manage your hosting solution for you too. We offer web design and development services if your app needs a website, or should be one, and we even provide email hosting and email marketing services.

Matchwood mobile app design screenshot 1
Matchwood mobile app design screenshot 2
Messenger mobile app design screenshot 1
Messenger mobile app design screenshot 2

Responsive Websites

Everybody has a mobile phone and/or tablet these days, and browsing the web or online shopping from a mobile or tablet device is an increasing trend. If you already have a website and you're running something like Google Analytics to monitor traffic and visitor behaviour, you'll already know that a sizeable percentage of your visitors are using their mobile phone. It's just something to do while on public transport or waiting for a friend. It's always a good idea to keep an eye on how many of your visitors are using mobile, and how optimised your website is for them. There's no point having a fancy website that displays a simpler, stripped down view on mobile if 99% of your visitors are then seeing this simpler mobile version and only a few get the fancier layout! Better, at this point, to design for mobile first and scale up to a desktop layout for the few people who end up there.

We receive a lot of enquiries from people who have seen this trend on their website and decided that they should have an app, but more often than not, it's actually more logical to work on optimising your website. If you're receiving a lot of mobile traffic but people aren't buying your product or service, it's probably that you're doing well on Google search or social media but your website is difficult to navigate on mobile, or your content is difficult to understand while distracted by the busy environment people tend to be in while on their phone. If you'd like to explore this further and look at how your website can be better optimised, we do web development too! One thing is certain though - your visitors don't want to have to download an app just to access your content, that's just not a good investment for you.

These days, websites can respond dynamically to the size of the screen they're being displayed on, scaling up or down and collapsing columns appropriately. This is responsive design and most websites built since about 2012 work this way, but older websites, and earlier responsive websites, either don't scale like this or just don't do it optimally. If it's been a while since your website was designed, it could probably benefit from being retrofit with responsive design, or being redesigned completely with a more modern approach in mind.

In a nutshell, if you already have a website or web based product that people are already landing on from mobile devices, you're already doing something right. Look at ways to improve what you have and convert those visits into leads rather than building an app. We can help with that too. App development though, can be a brilliant way to gain exposure, and in some cases apps are the perfect answer when you want to create something that makes use of mobile technologies such as GPS, video recording, push notifications, and so on.