Case Study: Building a Mobile Application for TAPinto

Who TAPinto is: Our client since 2015, TAPinto is a network of franchised news sites, delivering up-to-the-minute, local news to over 100 communities. TAPinto serves over 5,500,000 unique users every month, and continues to grow its audience rapidly.

Reason for an App: Over 60% of TAP’s visitors come to the site on mobile devices. TAP saw a mobile app build as an opportunity to better serve their visitors – removing browser elements and producing a native look and feel, and delivering push notifications for important breaking news and great local deals.

TAP App Rendering

Execution: We wanted to build TAP an app that was more than a non-browser version of the mobile site. We love the mobile site, but like any site that relies on the functionality available in a browser, it has some unavoidable limitations.

A TAP site for a single community can feature dozens of recent, relevant articles across several News Sections (Arts & Entertainment, Government, Sports, etc). In executing the app build, we had to prioritize the ability for visitors to easily and intuitively find the articles they were interested in reading.

We came up with a Swipe function, so that when a visitor selects an article in the app, they can simply swipe through the rest of the articles within the same News Section, then return to the homepage to find articles in other sections.

The app launched earlier this year, and its dedicated audience continues to grow as we fix bugs and make improvements. Says TAPinto founder Mike Shapiro: “Just in the one week we’ve had the app, we’ve seen a lot of positive feedback from readers, and I expect the TAPinto app to grow in popularity in the months and years ahead.”

Download the TAPinto App here for iPhone, and here for Android.

Web user behaviors are not obvious.

For example, we associate mobile devices with mobility, but 75% of searches on mobile phones are performed while a user is at home. The parameters of responsive web design are always changing, because behaviors are constantly changing, too.

Eye contact

New devices arrive on the market every year, so we must adjust to new sizes and aspect ratios, and the user behaviors these devices will inevitably form. Ensuring your site looks and feels its best across popular screens is paramount to the success of your online business. Focusing on these three C’s can get you there:

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Every second counts.

Page load time is obviously an enormous part of any website’s user experience. A site developer that prioritizes slick functionality, animation, or large images also has to consider what these features are doing to the site’s speed.

You might be surprised to learn just how much of a difference even a couple seconds can make, particularly on our ubiquitous mobile devices. Visiting popular sites that perform well has greatly reduced the patience of the average mobile web user, down to about three seconds.

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We’ve launched a few sites this year that you might like.

Our clients come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s nothing we love more than bringing their particular vision to life on the web. Here are two sites we’ve relaunched this year, featuring modern design updates and custom functionality.

Summerfuel

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A good website cares about its visitors.

Visitors on your site should feel like friends in your home. Your users want to feel respected, comfortable and secure; in turn, you should be accommodating and trustworthy.

Quick load times, well-organized info, and great functionality in general is undeniably important to the strength of your online business. But these days, a sense of empathy and transparency feels equally as vital: Privacy policies that are easy to understand and don’t feel invasive; inquiries with a clear purpose and mutual benefits.

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Search Engines are complicated beasts.

Have you ever Googled your business without using your business name? Like, if your business is Jane Motorcycles, just searching for motorcycles. Try it out, and in Incognito mode, so your search history isn’t factored in. Is it easy for you to find yourself?

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E-Commerce is tricky.

You’ve set up shop online, and your loyal customers have begun interacting with your brand and your products in new and exciting ways. You’re communicative and personable, and your policies are reasonable.

You’re you, online.

So how to explain your lackluster stats? High bail rates, low conversions, and single item transactions are usually the product of a website struggling in one of three categories: Functionality, Design, and User Experience.

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Is your website optimized for mobile? (Hint: If you need to pinch and zoom, then no.)

More than ever, people are using their mobile devices to browse, shop, and socialize. Mobile users now expect a site to give them what they want: effortless navigation, unobtrusive design, and the ability to complete tasks with the same rate of success. This desire is changing what it means to be online.

The Net Theory team is at the cutting edge of mobile design. Here’s what we do to build the best possible sites for our clients:

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