At SocietyWorks we always design our websites as ‘mobile first’, meaning that they work well on any size of device, automatically resize to fit any screen dimension and facilitate a simple, touch-friendly workflow for completing forms.
But did you know that FixMyStreet Pro, our street, highway and environment fault reporting service, is also a progressive web app (PWA)?
Loosely speaking, this means that each of our clients’ FixMyStreet Pro sites has been designed with ‘app like’ qualities. They look and act like an app and they can be downloaded to a mobile’s home screen like an app.
According to some research we carried out earlier this year, only 22% of citizens want to use an app they have to download to make reports to their local authority, while 43% would simply prefer to use a website that works well on mobile devices.
However, we know that some of our public sector clients like to be able to offer citizens an app to download to access their services, in addition to a mobile-friendly website.
PWAs provide the ideal solution. Unlike a dedicated app, PWAs give citizens the ability to choose how they want to use the service – whether that’s like a website or like an app – with no obligation either way.
They also enable you to provide exactly the same experience to citizens whichever way they are using the service, with new features and functionality automatically available. Conversely, a dedicated app may require updates to be downloaded after the initial installation, and if auto-updates aren’t available, the app won’t work to its maximum potential.
To use FixMyStreet Pro as an app, simply load your cobrand site from your mobile’s browser, and from your settings select “Add to home screen”.
A shortcut to the PWA will then appear in the same way that an app does, except when you click it, a new browser tab will open instead of a dedicated app.
Here’s a step-by-step example of how it works for Buckinghamshire Council’s version of FixMyStreet Pro.
The PWA’s design makes it feel like you’re using a ‘normal’ app, with its mobile-friendly features, but you’re benefiting from using a web-based service that doesn’t require you to keep updating it.
As you can see, the favicon for the ‘app’ can be branded to use your own logo.
Please note: if no logo is supplied for the favicon, the FixMyStreet logo will be used by default.
Please speak to your account manager for more information about the PWA version of your FixMyStreet Pro instance.
Or if you’re not yet using FixMyStreet Pro but you’d like to know more, please get in touch.
Image: Lucas Hoang