Mobile Apps 101: How the Right Approach Can Improve User Experience, Boost Operational Efficiency and Strengthen Customer Relationships



Creating a seamless user experience is the cornerstone of modern product design. This approach, known as effortless experience, aims to simplify interactions by aligning product functionalities with user expectations. It involves streamlining navigation, minimizing clicks and adopting user-friendly terminology.

While enhancing the customer experience remains paramount for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, modern business-to-business (B2B) customers increasingly demand a better experience in their interactions with other companies. According to McKinsey & Company, an improved customer experience can reduce churn rates by up to 15% and increase win rates by up to 40% for B2B companies.

Mobile applications to the rescue

The introduction of mobile applications (apps) was a crucial step toward creating effortless experiences. Mobile apps have become essential tools for engaging customers digitally, but their significance extends beyond marketing and sales. Now that mobile apps are a pivotal mode of communication and engagement between businesses, their customers and even their employees, it is essential they deliver a seamless, effortless user experience.

This holds true in all contexts – whether it is B2C, B2B or B2E (Business-to-Employee) — and apps that seamlessly integrate with backend systems and prioritize user-friendly interfaces are highly sought-after solutions. Mobile apps assist in automating internal business processes, enabling swift access to information and data for employees. ServiceNow research indicates that employees with mobile access experienced a 23% increase in information accessibility and a 25% boost in productivity.

To ensure their apps are delivering an optimal user experience and delivering on their potential to improve customer engagement and streamline operations, businesses must choose the right technical solution to fit their specific use case. This starts by understanding the types of mobile apps available, their individual advantages and drawbacks and the specific considerations that should inform their decision making.

What are the different types of mobile apps?

The two most prominent mobile operating system platforms are Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, which dominate the mobile apps market with a combined 99% market share. iOS is a proprietary mobile operating system for Apple devices, while Google and other original equipment manufacturers (OEM) use the Android OS to build mobile devices.

Mobile apps can be divided into three types based on the technology used to build them.

Native Apps
  • Built specifically for a single mobile operating system
  • Offer superior performance and leverage device capabilities directly
  • Developed using languages like Java, Objective-C, Kotlin or Swift


Hybrid Apps
  • Combine native device capabilities with non-native technologies
  • Cost-efficient and easy to maintain with a single codebase
  • Developed using platforms like React Native, Flutter and Xamarin Forms


Responsive Web Apps and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
  • Adapt to different screen sizes and platforms with a single codebase
  • Accessible across devices via mobile browsers
  • PWAs are beneficial and offer native app-like experiences with features like offline usage and push notifications. They’re particularly valuable if your business already has a fully operational web application. They serve as a bridge to support a mobile interface.


Choosing the Right App Type

Choosing the right mobile app depends on how it will be used and what purpose it will serve. Important factors to consider for selecting the right mobile app type include:

End-use applications

The end-use of an application is the first important factor to consider when deciding on the app type. Apps that need to be performant, with excellent UX for specific OS, should be built as native apps. Similarly, to provide an effortless experience by taking device-specific UX into account, native apps offer the best value. For example, WhatsApp has a different user interface on Android and iOS.


Native apps provide direct integrations with third-party drivers of external or IoT devices.  Hybrid apps can integrate with third-party devices as well. However, this depends on whether they will require an additional self-made or externally-sourced library. If the mobile solution requires integration with third-party applications, then native apps would be more suitable.


If device-specific user experience or native capabilities are not part of the product’s unique selling points, native apps can incur additional costs to build because they need to be built for and work on separate Android and iOS applications.


Native apps require extensive efforts to manage and maintain the code base for both Android and iOS platforms. App maintenance on an ongoing basis requires human and financial resources, which should be considered when selecting app types.

Mobile apps comparison: native vs hybrid vs PWA


Success Factors for Mobile Apps

Successful mobile apps address user needs with an intuitive interface, simple design and easy navigation. Additional success factors include efficacy in solving specific user problems, prioritizing user-centric design, maintaining app focus and simplicity and optimizing app performance.

Performance is perhaps the most important contributing factor in the success of mobile apps. App performance indicates how well a mobile app works on mobile devices in different contexts. Mobile app performance hinges on multiple factors such as device, operating system, server, network, internet connectivity and speed. High performance is paramount to user experience; 29% of smartphone users will abandon a slow or cumbersome app in favor of a faster alternative. To ensure high mobile app uptime, scalable IT infrastructure and robust security, businesses must foster strong collaboration between business functions and IT departments.

Transforming User Experience with Material’s Mobile App Development Services

Enterprise mobile solutions for businesses have broad scopes and diverse use cases, from automating internal business processes to creating a personalized customer experience. Mobile solutions help enterprises leverage the increasing use of smartphones and mobile devices to maximize business reach and enhance organizational productivity and efficiency.

Material’s mobile application development services enable businesses to implement mobile solutions across their business value chain.  Our consultative approach, application development experience, and Android and iOS platform capabilities can help you create mobile apps that meet your business objectives and provide an effortless experience to your end-users.