Just in case you haven’t noticed, the competition in the mobile app marketplace is getting fierce. A Nielsen report shows that the time people are spending with mobile apps is up by 63%, over the last two years. However, the study also shows that most people with smartphones only use 26 or 27 apps per month. Therefore, people are spending more time with the same number of apps. This means that the apps capable of making it into the top two dozen will see a huge increase in engagement. As you design a mobile app for your church or ministry, the key question to ask is in terms of which features to include, in order for the app to enter this elite group.
Be relevant, by including features that your audience is likely to use nearly every day. Think about the apps you use every day. Which of these apps make it into that elite group of the top two dozen? Certainly, social media apps are something that people often check at least daily. People are also using their apps for shopping and ordering food. In addition, users enjoy online coupons and loyalty programs. Features such as these have proven to bring people back to apps.
When designing an app for your church or ministry, you have to start by considering the ways people interact with your church or ministry every day. How can you make those interactions possible with your app? Here are some ideas:
Social Media features help people interact with each other and with your organization.
- Prayer requests are a great way for people to share their needs with one another within a community.
- Classified ads also help people interact within their community.
- If you are a musician, you can use social media features to respond to questions or requests from your fans.
- Conference directors can post updates, changes to schedules, as well as dates/times of any special events.
Features related to convenience help people get things done.
- Allow people to check-in to child care centers with their mobile apps. This way, families can register at a service prior to arriving, and drop their children off at the center with a minimum of hassle.
- Event registration can be used for churches, ministries, conferences, and other non-profit organizations.
- Ministry sign-ups allow people to register to be involved in ministries. These ministries could be small groups, service events and more.
- Shopping features allow your users to purchase your products. If you ministry or church is selling goods, this feature allows users easy access to your online store. Musicians can also use these features to facilitate music purchase and downloads.
Information features help people access key information about your ministry.
- People want information about services and events.
- You should also include features that provide directions to important venues of your organization. This could be your church buildings, ministry headquarters, conference centers or concert locations.
- Contact information for your organization and its staff is also helpful.
- People love to access music and videos with their smartphones. Your app should have options for streaming music from your church or ministry, watching sermons or teachings, as well as any other entertainment content you produce.
- You could also have a news feature, which keeps your audience up to date with important news stories that affect your church or ministry.
The key to designing a relevant and engaging app is to have features that your users need to use almost daily or weekly. If the app makes it easy to interact with your church or ministry, then your audience will use it.