If you’ve been following our analysis of mobile strategy design, then you know that we’re firm believers in analyzing the customer journey and designing with an eye for simplicity. The best strategy might not be “single-purpose” vs. “multi-purpose” but rather a hybrid mobile approach. Industry, functionality and a customer-centric design often set the stage for this approach. Trendsetters like Facebook and Square are unbundling, for better or worse, because they have defined a completely separate customer experience that can be streamlined in a separate app.

The Hybrid Mobile Approach

Following a hybrid mobile approach, Progressive Insurance maintains a multi–purpose app for filing claims, payments and other insurance related tasks. They have also developed a single–purpose app for Progressive’s Art Collections. Those are two very different customer journeys that warrant separate app experiences.

Defining the Mobile Experience

We recommended that any company considering how best to develop a mobile ecosystem should meticulously review its core user base — analyzing needs and behavior and mapping out key consumer journeys. Ultimately, customers need a simple and seamless app that can easily integrate with their routine. Experiences should be siloed as necessary while brand voice and design remains consistent. Single–purpose, multi–purpose and hybrid mobile approaches are all valid. Weighing the business objectives along with customer needs will determine which path is best for your brand.

The Responsive Curveball

During the evaluation period, we hope that you asked yourself if a mobile app is necessary for your customers. It is easy to get caught up in the mobile app frenzy, but given the time and investment that one must put into app development, you might find that building a responsive website is the best solution. Building responsive is mobile-first, tablet friendly and device neutral. Again, this relates back to what your customer journey is and evaluating the business case of a mobile ecosystem.