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What’s right for your mobile user experience: app or site?

October 14, 2015 | By Research Team—DCN

Often, organizations are faced with a decision to focus development resources on the mobile web or app experiences. Unfortunately, the answer is both—or at least that the answer isn’t as much an either or as a question of user experiences and expectations. Millward Brown explored the question of when people use apps and when they opt for the mobile web and has published the results in The New Mobile Mantra. The study takes a nuanced approach in an effort to get at the consumer psychology and rationale behind the varying use cases. The study, conducted over the course of the first three quarters of 2015, is based on both an examination of click-stream data and consumer survey data (n=2,011 US smartphone owners over 18).

Millward Brown found that while apps command the most user time, “61 percent of smartphone users access their browsers at least once a day, spending an average of 31 minutes in total.”

Other key findings include:

  • Over half of smartphone users have 40-70 apps installed; though many use 4 to 6 apps per day.
  • The main reason consumers delete apps is because they rarely use it &72%) however the sthis is followed by a need to free up memory (51%) and the perception that the app was da battery drain (44%).
  • When it comes to consuming media, smartphone users don’t tend to have a strong preference between apps and browsers except for Sports and Business.
  • Half of those surveyed say that mobile news apps are easier to navigate than mobile websites.
  • An almost equal number prefer the mobile web (48%) because they can browse news on different sites without downloading apps for each.
  • Consumers cite superior search functionality as an upside of the mobile web (36%).
  • Consumers cite notifications (44%) and customization (35%) as app strengths.

Milward Brown concludes that apps should be the focus when seeking to deliver convenience, specialized content, and customization based on saved user information. Browser experiences should be emphasized for research experiences.


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