Read our latest news articles from the NXT Digital Solutions team.
by Scott Agass Design Director
Posted on May 23, 2013
Mobile website users are getting increasingly frustrated with their online browsing experience of being “trafficked” to native applications. This has been tagged within the industry as a “Doorslam!” Some readers may recall (and can still be found across the web) splash screens. This is where a website includes an introduction screen (usually Flash related) and a skip intro button to move users directly to the main website. Most digital evangelists would agree that these pages were completely unnecessary, annoying and have harmful effects on website SEO, hence being scrapped in modern web conventions.
However, they seems to have been a resurgence within the mobile web arena, when relating to a company’s mobile website and its native application. An example can be seen with sites such as LinkedIN or Tumblr. Upon arriving at these mobile sites, users are blocked by buttons and are usually moved to access the native app and are forced into taking extra steps to get to the web version. By accessing the site through a web browser, these users have already expressed the desire to use the web version and many are frustrated by native apps being pushed on them.
We try to advise clients that focussing all your attention on a native application isn’t always the best route. We are still heavily involved in responsive web design (check out our recent example with Publicitas) and mobile website development. What we don’t want is more and more Doorslams happening which could have a detrimental effect on overall traffic especially if an application is removed. Some sites provide the option to open a native app even when the app has already been installed on a mobile device, making things more frustrating.
Site developers should recognise the web as a global distribution channel and harness the opportunities that it provides. Forcing people to install an app when they visit a website is a waste of time that may cause visitors to cease their interaction. When users visit a site, they have made a conscious decision and developers should respect this, making the user experience as simple and convenient as possible regardless of what devices visitors are using.
Let’s hope that this practise fizzles out before it becomes too widespread and frustrating when browsing on a mobile device. We would love a web that offers excellent desktop, tablet, mobile and application based browsing depending upon your requirement.