Choosing your app type

HTML 5 vs Hybrid vs Native

As a professional designer, it is important for you to know the three different types of apps that are available. Different clients will have different needs and budgets so knowing the pros and cons of the three types of apps will help you inform your client of their options.

Singh,N. (2015). Why Cordova mobile application for business applications. LinkedIn. Retrieved 24 February 2017, from


Firstly, we have HTML 5 which is a web app that is delivered through an internet browser.


  •      It is quick to make content available and accessible through a mobile device
  •      Once it is made once, it is usable on every device


  •      The user experience and performance is poor when compared to other options
  •      You are competing with the app age

The Oracle did a study on user experience with HTML 5 and hybrid apps. 50% of people who experienced a poor app experience said it would deter them from using certain companies, products or services. So this is something important to consider when choosing your type of app.

Next we have Native apps which run directly on a mobile device. These are by far the best choice of the three.


  •      UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) run well and are appealing
  •      It has a faster load time when compared with web apps
  •      It has a stronger performance in both online and offline modes
  •      It improves your company image if you have a well-designed native app
  •      Has much better security than HTML 5 or hybrid apps


  •      They are more time consuming because you have to design and have them developed for each mobile platform
  •      It is very expensive

Finally, there’s the hybrid. As the name suggests, it is a mixture of both HTML 5 and native apps. For example, it may have a downloadable app with some features in the app, but it serves more-so as a glorified portal to the company website. Most of the apps features open in a web browser.


  •      It can give you the “space” on a phone that can help link the missing areas between native apps and websites
  •      HTML 5 or hybrid (wrapped) apps can be easy to make if you have web making skills


  •      Has little to no bandwidth
  •      Is not customised to different mobile functions
  •      Need the internet to be used
  •      They look like an app but is essentially running off a website

Here is the most popular Apple app categories for December 2016

Statista,. (2016). Apple: most popular app store categories 2016. Statista. Retrieved 24 February 2017, from

Today’s Quick Tips:

  • Remember, apps are accessed and used with touch, therefore, DO NOT use a roll over function to access a drop down menu.
  • App users don’t stay in apps long so ensure your layout is easy to navigate through and has an hierarchy order if possible.
  • Buttons on the sides of a screen are harder to hit. Accommodate for larger finger widths by not making small buttons or putting them too close together
  • Wireframing is essential in the design process



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