Ever heard the phrase “there’s an app for that”?
(There’s a ‘Guess that Phrase’ app too).
This phrase – coined by Apple’s ingenious advertising agency, and used as a smart a$$ response to a problem – is true. With mobile phones becoming ubiquitous, it’s no surprise that they are the most preferred way we consume content today.
While a lot of eLearning websites are doing great for themselves, having a strong mobile presence may not be a matter of choice anymore.
Let me just back that statement up with a couple of Stats and Facts.
So, yes. Establishing a mobile presence is imperative.
Especially if you want to get ahead of your competition and offer a stellar learning experience to your course takers. But we all know it’s not a low hanging fruit. There’s a ton of factors that come into play and a lot of concerns you probably have as a business owner.
So, I’m going to go ahead and try to address a few of them for you.
Do I need an app? Won’t a mobile-friendly Website do?
Your “mobile-friendly” website could be a responsive or an adaptive one. A Responsive Website is designed to fit its content into any screen. Whether it’s a 17-inch Laptop or a 3-inch Mobile Phone, the content can self-adapt to the size of your user’s screen. Adaptive Websites, on the other hand, are built bearing in mind a few and specific screen sizes.
While these mobile-friendly sites save you a great deal of time, effort and money, they may not be suitable for your eLearning Business. That’s because it’s about the purpose they serve. A responsive site works just fine if you have a website that your prospects are meant to just ‘read and go’. But when it comes to eLearning, your audience is meant to access your content on a regular basis. You want to keep them engaged and help them learn and retain your content.
Since the eLearning Business genuinely warrants the need for a student-centric layout, the answer is, Yes. You need a Mobile app. You need to go from mobile-friendly to mobile-first.
Why would someone download the App when they can access the same content from my Website?
A Mobile App is convenient.
It’s as simple as that. Your students don’t need to remember a website name, type it in, search for it, or log in every single time they visit. An app opens your e-learning portal in one step. It saves your users a great deal of time and effort, and who doesn’t like handiness?!
According to surveys conducted by Akamai and Gomez.com, 40% users abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. I mean, if page load speeds can have such a great deal of impact on bounce rates, image how much good the sheer, ‘user-friendliness’ of your App can do for you!
And that’s not it! A Mobile App allows you to create a personalized experience for your students, customize your course structure and offer micro-learning content. Is it really that hard to imagine why anyone would pick a Mobile App over its Website?!
Is it the right time for me?
Honestly speaking, now’s as good a time as any. Mobile apps are one of the hottest mobile learning trends driving the market today and a lot of businesses are readily pumping money into app development. If you don’t have a good Mobile App or haven’t considered building one yet, chances are, your competition is already a few paces ahead of you.
The world has gone Mobile and you can’t afford to stay behind. But it only makes sense if you take the right approach towards this. You need to figure out, what does and doesn’t work for you. Understand how your website is currently performing, what kind of traffic you’re dealing with and chart-out your key performance indicators.
Once you know exactly where your LearnDash Website stands, you’ll be able to pin down the purpose of your Mobile App and understand what you expect from it. You may want your App to help you reel in more users, boost course completion rates, get ahead of your competition or you probably want to explore an untapped business opportunity. Depending on whatever it is you’re looking for, you can pick an option that suits you best. Which brings us to the next question…..
What are my options?
Before we deep-dive into what’s best for your LearnDash Website, you should probably get acquainted with the different Types Of Mobile Applications. Each of the 3 types of Apps – Web Apps, Native Apps, and Hybrid Apps – come with their own set of pros and cons.
Strictly speaking about LearnDash, you can pick from these 3 possible options. You could choose:
An App Builder Platform- An app builder is an online mobile development tool that lets you bypass the generic mobile app development process. You can get your app up and running within a short period of time and with minimal or no coding knowledge. The downside here is that you can’t really expect much from it. It’s going to be a pretty ordinary app with generic design elements. It’s not necessarily geared towards student-engagement, you can barely customize it and there’s probably a hundred other apps out there that’ll look like yours.
A Custom Solution– You can have your app built to suit your specific business requirements. A well-designed custom app can offer an unbeatable user-experience and get you the kind of results you’re looking for. But then again, like all custom software, an app like this comes with a hefty price tag. It’ll easily be a couple of months before your app sees the light of day, and that is if you hire the right and experienced technical partner.
A Midway Option– A hybrid app that covers the best of both worlds. Both of the above options are on the extreme ends of the spectrum. So, we’ve come up with something in-between – A one-of-kind Mobile app for LearnDash, that completely redefines traditional layouts with it’s clean, unique and modern design.
You don’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty with the ideation, wireframing, interface designing and user-experience analysis. Each element of this app is thoughtfully crafted to help you offer an unparalleled learning experience to your users. And to top it all, it’s extremely customization friendly! Whether it’s customizing your logo and splash screen or adding a custom functionality that is specific to your business, this app can deliver.
The best part is, your app will be ready a lot quicker than a traditional custom application and is cost effective too! If you think this App’s the one for you, you can get to know it better.
Will I be able to afford it?
Costs for developing a custom mobile application may range anywhere between $10,000 and $200,000. Also, you can’t overlook the recurring post development expenses – for maintenance and updates.
Good mobile apps are expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t afford one. You may not have thousands of dollars to shell out on an app just yet, and that’s perfectly alright. You have quite a few options to choose from. And besides, you don’t have to begin with an extravagant tailor-made application with an expectation to hit it big right from Day 1.
A more sensible approach would be to look for a scalable solution. A solution that helps you effectively explore the mobile market, let’s you figure out what works for you and then allows you to scale accordingly if need be.
It’s difficult to slap a price on online development tools, but most of them may cost you about $500 to $2000 to start with, and there’s an added monthly or yearly charge for maintenance. Some of them charge on a ‘per-user’ basis. However, such apps aren’t always future-ready.
And by future-ready I mean, your app may require certain changes due to new features introduced in the Mobile OS, you may have to accommodate more and more users as your business grows or you might want to get your UI/UX improved as per the latest trends. We strongly recommend thorough research before you pick a solution just because it seems more ‘pocket-friendly’.
What about support for my App?
No matter what kind of an app you choose to work with, you’re bound to invest in support. Support usually includes – maintaining control over the app’s day-to-day functions, operational level support, security patches, improvement in the application interfaces or upgrades to support upcoming OS and device releases.
Generally, a technical partner that builds the app for you, supports it as well. They usually charge a recurring fee. If your initial development cost is about $40,000, you can easily expect the maintenance costs to range anywhere between $6000 and $10,000. Another option you have is to hire an agency that specializes in Mobile Application Maintenance and Support.
Having your LearnDash App developed is a significant milestone and a decision that can be game-changing for you. Your Mobile App can significantly boost student engagement and allow your users to learn on the go. With the increasing adoption of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy, a lot of businesses and corporate training companies are investing in mobile technology.
The best way to make your investment worth it would be to figure out the purpose of your app, the functionality you want to see in it, and then pick the best option that fits your budget. As I’ve mentioned earlier, there are a lot of cost-effective options out there for you to pick from, and they can perform just fine.
I hope this article helps you make an informed decision about going mobile. And if you’re still unsure about it, you could always get in touch!