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5 Jun

Why You Need a PWA: Avoid the Two Biggest Friction Points to Mobile User Engagement

Folio1 Startup News

Mobile devices and manual input don't mix. Ever since a large portion of Internet traffic started coming from smartphones and small tablets, there has been a rapid decline in people's willingness to type in URLs to visit their favorite sites. The keyboards are just too small for easy accuracy, and even smart adjustments like '.com' keys and more intuitive auto-completes don't make it much better. Poor keyboard UI has always been one of the barriers to returning traffic.

Progressive Web Apps are quickly becoming the preferred solution, and you can read more about what they are here. Here's why other solutions aren't good enough.

What were some of the most successful alternatives to manually typing in URLs?

A great deal of how online design has progressed ever since universal smartphone adoption has been focused on solving this problem. Bit.ly links were shorter, even if you still had to type them in. Embedded links started becoming a necessity in every type of content. QR codes made it easier for a wide audience to reach a specific site, especially when the site's actor couldn't email or text everyone a link. These solutions helped, but it still meant users had to complete quite a few steps to get to their destination. In an age where attention is fleeting and distractions are everywhere, that's a costly problem.

Another solution was native apps.

Native apps for built for smoother web interaction but created a new friction point.

Company apps solved several of the problems for groups that needed their audiences to come back regularly. Instead of typing in a URL, users could just click the app. Instead of having to log in (with even more typing and reliance on memory), installed apps remembered who users were and what they were in the middle of during their last visit. But it created a new friction point: users had to download apps.

Sometimes, this barrier is just an inconvenience, but even that is enough to discourage mobile visitors. Other times, downloading the app was an impossibility because of connection issues and limited bandwidth. 

That's why companies have started building PWAs, or Progressive Web Apps, that take all convenience of apps and removed the barrier to entry. 

Contact our team to learn more about building your own site's PWA and what features matter most.

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