Feature Update: Events!

We've been working hard on updating our events feature, and we are excited to announce that it's ready! 

The Events module in your app can now be driven by the Dashboard or integrated via an iCal compatible feed that could come from your CMS such as CCB, ACS, The City, Ecclesia, Site Organic, Fellowship 1, or many other events systems like Google Calendar.

We’ve updated a lot of elements of the Events module including:

  • Duplicating events
  • Refreshed aesthetics
  • New UI components including date and time pickers
  • More control over the time of your event, including better support for all-day events
  • If you’re managing Events in more than one time zone, we now offer the ability to specify the time zone for individual events
  • Ability to change the title for the link of an event’s webpage

Check out some of the major highlights of this refresh:

App Essentials Part 5: Empower Your Audience

Does your app empower your audience? 

In other words, does it add value? The most important thing to consider when creating your app is your audience—who they are, what they do, where they are being influenced–the list goes on. Your app has the potential to not only meet your audience where they're at, but also to empower them with the type of content, interactions, and functionalities the app allows for. The more value added, the more your audience will keep engaging.

Let’s start with the lifestyle factor. Your audience most likely has their smartphone with them at all times—on morning commutes, lunch breaks, during a run, or at home. Is your app able to meet them throughout these daily activities? This could mean having downloadable content for offline listening, or the ability to send event reminders via push notifications. Having functionalities that are complimentary to your audience's lifestyle makes it easier for them to engage with your content and organization.

Secondly, does your app allow for interaction? Having capabilities such as social sharing, connection to your social pages, website, contact info, and donation avenues, enables your audience to respond to your content directly from the app. This saves them time, and makes it easier for them to interact with your organization. 

Here at Subsplash, our heart is to help you engage your audience in the most effective way through mobile technology.  With our Platform-based app builder, you can easily upload and present your content in real-time. We want your content to have the best presentation on a mobile device, and would love to help you get started with your own customized mobile app.

App Essentials Part 4: Brand Identity

Does your app enhance your brand?

In addition to a quality and inviting user-experience, your app has the potential to attribute characteristics and a reputation to your brand identity—for better or for worse. Like we mentioned before, reliability, smooth navigation, and intuitive UX design all contribute to this. But, there are other customizable factors that make your app, your app. Whether it be platform-based or custom made, the visuals, content, and artwork in your app can steer your audience to connect with your brand in unique ways. 

Being in control of your brand, and your audience's perception of it is invaluable. One way to accomplish this it to work within an app platform or service that gives you real-time control of certain customizable features. This enables you to customize colors, artwork, and content to align with your brand identity. 

On a general note, even taking the step to create a quality app for your audience shows your brand’s dedication to meeting them where they spend their time. With individuals spending nearly 3 hours each day using their mobile devices, and 89% of that time in mobile apps, having your own branded app gives you a great opportunity to engage your audience anytime, anywhere.

Stay tuned for Part 5!

App Essentials Part 3: Delightful Design

Design plays a huge role in how we engage with digital content. Just like how we appreciate well-designed, attractive looking websites with fluid navigation, the same concept applies to the design of an app's experience. So what do we mean by delightful design?  Here are some things to consider when designing your app.

3. Is your app designed well? Is it inviting?

Does your app invite your audience to keep engaging? Does it appeal to their sense of sight and touch?  Key factors to consider include the layout, navigation, and visuals. Is the user-experience simple, smooth, and appealing to the eye? Is the navigation simple and easy to figure out? The interface and layout of your app can strongly influence its perceived value. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that once your app is opened, it has not only attractive artwork and imagery, but a simple layout where your audience can easily navigate and engage with content. 

Another key factor to be aware of is the unique design of different operating systems. If you want your app to run on multiple devices and OS's, it's important that your app's design functions well with each type. 

Overall, the goal of your app should be to provide your audience an enjoyable way to engage with your content and brand. This includes easy navigation within the app, appealing artwork and imagery, and consistent reliability. If you’re app has those three things, then it’s off to a great start in gripping and keeping your audience’s attention.

Stay tuned for Part 4!

App Essentials Part 2: Fresh Content

Next to reliability, lies the importance of keeping your app "fresh". When considering or evaluating your app, the next question you should be asking is: 

2. Is your app presenting fresh content? Is it easily maintainable?

Content is king nowadays. With the instant availability of fresh new content on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis, your audience has an expectation that whatever they download, click on, or search for will be fresh and instantly available. This content could include weekly media podcasts, sermons, news, calendar of events, bulletins, blog posts, etc. 

Whatever app platform you use, it’s important to make sure that uploading and delivering new content is a simple process and has a quick turn-around. Whether that be automatic media encoding, reliable storage and hosting, an easy-to-use content management system, or all of the above, managing your app should be simple— so that your content can be delivered to your audience efficiently and keep them coming back for more. On the contrary, if the pace of updating and changing the content of your app is a slow one, this not only uses up more of your time, but also prevents your audience from connecting with more of your content.  

Keep in mind that the management of your app is greatly affected by what development route you decide to go. With a platform-based app, you'll have a personal dashboard CMS that updates in real-time, giving you the control and efficiency to upload new content on your own time. If you decide to go the custom route or in-house development, it's important to make sure your developer or provider has dedicated time for updating your app at least on a weekly basis. Whichever route you decide to take, it's important to consider how it will affect updating your content.

 Stay tuned for Part 3!