Tamarack Camps faced the question - App or mobile website? - just last year. Gabe Neistein, Development Associate at Tamarack Camps, explained that they first considered creating an app when they created their new website "to stay ahead of the curve" for their families.
However, they decided - with help from their web development vendor - that a mobile website would give them more bang for their buck. "With a mobile website," Neistein explained, "we wouldn't need to create two different platforms for iPhone and Android users, our users wouldn't have to constantly download updates, and we would be able to apply the same look and feel from our new website to the mobile site."
Key to Success - Rethinking Content for Mobile
"We learned that our mobile site should not be a re-creation of our desktop website," Neistein said. "Instead, we should only consider functionality that our users would be using on the go." Tamarack Camps focused on parent emails to camper during the summer; easy viewing of photos throughout the summer; and some other features to attract various audiences: campers, staff, and alumni. For example, they will share packing lists; offer the ability to donate on a simplified form; join their email list; and register for alumni events via the site.
Key to Success - Accessing Mobile Functionality
Tamarack Camps' mobile site also takes advantage of mobile functionality. For example, it allows users to pull up directions to their various camps by accessing their mobile device's mapping program. Users can also call the camp offices directly with one-click if on their phone.