The Comprehensive Guide to Escalating Your Native App to the Web

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Posted: March 29, 2018

Here’s everything you would like to know for taking your native mobile app to the web platform.

Most of the businesses today are looking to build apps that facilitate them to do business through the online and digital mode. In the last few years we have seen a lot of online startups coming up and disrupting the traditional business space with their technologically led ideas and advanced service models. These businesses have grown to build a parallel industry that utilizes the next-gen ways to communicate services and facilitate events through their valuable native apps. Now, as they grow further to serve customers with better possibilities and offerings, they are looking ever more to expand across the digital platforms and the web landscape. This need is increasingly giving rise to the practice of escalating native apps to their web counterparts and explore and acquire better reach for a bigger userbase and farther reach.

Some good examples of native apps that escalated to web platforms

Telegram: Termed as secure-messaging app, Telegram was first launch to work with mobile platforms and then slowly started off with web app. The app allowed its users to access features that were exclusive to the web platform as they were designed as experimental features that should work with the web audiences and it went on to stir the market demand greatly.

WhatsApp: WhatsApp is known to disrupt the messaging domain and became an alternative to telephone carriers’ short message services, quickly and steadily acquiring the huge userbase to the app to become the no. 1 app in the chat and communication segment. It too came out with its web platform soon to take it to the users who would like to have the web counterpart of it too.

Uber: Even the on-demand cab service provider Uber, came up with its web version targeting those users who were not able to use its app due to lack of native app supporting device or not having enough access to data services. This way Uber even covered the non-mobile phone users and expanded its service leaving no possibility untouched.

Related Article: Want to Develop a Car Rental App? Know the Costs and Other Details

How web apps differ from native apps

The native apps and web apps do not necessarily align and work in the same manner. There are several functional and communication factors that mark the difference between the two. These are navigation flow, visual component, screen size, visibility options, communication perspective and possible user tendencies that strike the difference majorly.

Any web app comes with more number of screens and content. They have a broader purview of engagement and have larger navigation schemes compared to the native mobile apps. In the native apps the content is more in a compressed form and depend largely on swipe pagination and progress bars to appear to users. In the web applications you would find more scope to display resource attributes and therefore you would see a more expansive content overlay and the communication is presented into different co-existing sections and communication layouts.

A native mobile app, however, is more compact and minimalistic in its appearance. It is designed to serve the needs of on-the-go user who can interact with easily graspable and referable content resources. Mobile app needs to be more intuitive and no-brainer in its approach and should be easy to interact with as it is meant to serve a quick user.

Designing for Web Apps vs. Designing for Native Apps

Though there were no much differences in the way web and mobile apps are designed until a few years ago but now the scenario has changed completely. Now, you would see completely different perspectives employed by the mobile apps and the web apps to communicate and serve their users.

When you talk about designing native apps, it is more about going easy, compressed and fluid with the communication choices and design elements. As app users expect immediate reactions to their actions (new screen, modal pop-up, pickers, etc.). This involves sorting out different app components and propositions into different organized modules and tabs while making them complement each other’s presence and offer user with a well-defined and assorted bracket of communication to interact with easily and effectively.

This generally starts with a splash screen making its way to login and consequently to the first communication screen. This is then followed by detailed and discreet screens attached through hamburger menu or CTAs/event buttons to let you connect with the service. Also, there are certain platform-specifics for both native app development and web app development. Like Apple offers San Francisco for iOS and Google provides Roboto for Android as suggested fonts. Apart from this it has possibility to have mobile-exclusive features like push notifications, gesture-based features, status messages, and in-app purchase options.

Compared to mobile apps, web app has more luxury of space and it uses it to address its strategic interest going beyond the native app possibilities. It makes the users respond to a web counterpart differently attaining optimum results and acquiring best value from the platform – which they don’t get to do otherwise, using mobile app for the same service.

With this, most of the businesses generally focus on optimum visual merchandising results and aim at having most important content, business pitch or key CTAs placed above the fold. A web app generally includes extra features and communication resources and a broad menu with detailed offerings.

While building a web app, developers focus on taking an inclusive look at different communication factors offering a broader navigation scheme. The large display size also allows them to place larger visual elements on the screens. A web app also includes more in terms of promotional events to keep you hooked with the primary pitch of the business. One big difference that impacts in designing a web and a native mobile app is that web platforms allow you click-based interaction which has a broader scope of communication against the mobile apps that have option to tap. And providers use the fact to their benefit by cashing on clickable events through their web counterparts.

Related Article: Native, Hybrid or Web App – What is Ideal for Your Business

How to go about transiting user experience from native app to web

The query still remains, what value can you exactly derive by escalating your native app to a web app for your business. This requires to be explained through an example. Take for instance, you run an education and training institute and have digitized your operations through a native app. This app allows your students to take tests, look for scores and results, scan their IDs for authentication, while allowing the mentors to take a look at students’ overall performance and track records. Now, you can take it to an extended level through a web app by allowing those students to use a bigger and more collaborative computer screen to study, refer to learning resources and take interactive sessions back home. This would allow you to extend your offerings to all those practicing areas that are not best served by a mobile app.

Now, once you have your idea already in place, you should be putting it across on the board. While doing this you need to be consistent with your design patterns, visual language, process hierarchy, order of resources and presentation theme. While you do this, you should make sure that the communication properties are aligned well between the two platforms and the underlying purpose is served well in inclusivity with the solution you propose through both the apps. It can be best achieved by making both web and native mobile app complementing each other for feature offerings, utility resources and service value.

Concluding notes

It’s not an easy practice to escalate your native app to a web version. You need to look into various aspects and factors of the way you put across resources and components. This should be fuller in its communication references and well-complementing to the whole idea of service and at the same time remain effective and rewarding to your choice of expanding to the web counterpart. Here, if you address to the requirement of product theme, communication flow, navigation structure, collaborative value, performance traits, processing events, and service utility in an inclusivity of a complete web product well complementing the existing native app supplies – you are going to take it to the right direction.

If you would like to know more about these technologies, as a leading Indian app development company, Konstant Infosolutions can be of help. Reach us out at