Your Mobile App Sucks

Siri doesn't think you need that app.

In my never-ending search for knowledge, I was exploring an old bastion of wisdom yesterday when I came across a curious post, paraphrased for your reading enjoyment.

If you build your website correctly, mobile apps are simple to create…and should be free to every organization.

While this post was specific to a mobile developer, I have heard a similar sentiment before.

First, let’s get over the free hurdle.  If you are getting a free mobile website or app, you are getting what you (did not) pay for.

And yes, it is true, you can create a pretty nice looking mobile website or application with a plugin, a hack and a whole lot of ‘don’t give a damn’ about the end product.

But why?

If your destination’s mobile strategy is taking the exact same content that is currently on your website and shrinking it, how is that a strategy?

And tell me, how does that help the consumer who, following standard DMO travel funnel logic, has already visited your site multiple times (sure they did) to plan their trip?

They have already seen your site, what good is a smaller version?

Taking the phone book and jamming it into a mobile app does not make the phone book more useful, it just makes it smaller.

Throw out the phone book.  Start over.  Put your consumer first.

What do they really need from your mobile app?  Are you building inspiration or technology?

Guess what, they don’t need more listings.

Already have them.

Google, Yelp, Urbanspoon, Foursquare, Fodor’s, Frommer’s, TripAdvisor…should I go on?

Sure, you can replicate your site and put a ton of promotional effort behind an app no one really wants, but to be successful, your mobile app needs to give the consumer something useful.

If not, well, maybe we don’t need an app for that.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.