user experience

Best Practices Part 6: Media

Media concludes our best practices for reaching and engaging your audience. Whether they’re on a morning run or commute, you can easily connect your audience with your media anytime, anywhere. We really did save the best for last!


So why media? As both mobile app use and media consumption continues to rise, delivering media through your app enables you to meet your audience directly where they’re at:

With weekly recurring media content, utilizing the media tab provides an effective medium for expanding the reach of your content beyond the Sunday service. Not only can users instantly access your sermon collection, but they can download for offline listening wherever they are. Many churches have seen a strong increase in sermon downloads through their media tab alone!

The media tab is the most robust way to present your media on a mobile device. Built and designed for multiple devices and operating systems, the Subsplash Platform enables you to deliver a beautiful and intuitive cross-platform media experience. Easily customize the artwork and display of your media with multiple layout options, making the user experience more delightful and catered to your brand.

As our series comes to a close, these are a just a few ways we’ve seen churches use their apps to increase engagement and enhance their communication efforts. Your app should not only be a tool for presenting content, but also an effective way to directly remind, notify, and encourage users to engage. If you’d like to add any of these features, or would like to get started with your own Church App, we’d love to help!

The Results are in! Apps vs. Mobile Websites

We all know the importance and prevalence of mobile in today’s age. With half the people in the world now engaging with content on a mobile device, the question is no longer if people are engaging with mobile, but how are people are engaging with mobile? Well, we’re glad you asked.

According to Nielsen's latest report, over 89% of time spent on mobile devices is in apps. This means out of the 2 hours and 19 minutes people are spending on their mobile devices each day, 2 of those hours are spent engaging with apps.

Not only are people spending more time using apps, but they are spending more time in apps per session than mobile websites. Here’s what Adobe found:

  • Smartphone users spend almost 3 times as long in mobile app sessions as they do on mobile website sessions

  • Tablet users spend 4 times as long in mobile app sessions as they do on mobile website sessions

But moving beyond statistics, let’s get into the why. Why are people engaging longer and more frequently with apps? The good news, for both your content and your audience, is that apps provide a unique way of connecting with people through their attractive interface, instant accessibility, and convenience to people’s lifestyle.

Take the Facebook app for instance. People use the Facebook app over the mobile website because of its more frequent and accessible content. It allows people to engage with updates and notifications in a more efficient and enjoyable way that fits into their on-the-go daily lifestyle. On the other hand, accessing the mobile site requires you to open a browser, then type in the website address, then type in your login information, and then… are you asleep yet? Apps allow users to get the instant access they need with just the tap of a screen, giving you the opportunity to catch the attention of your audience in ways you never could before.

Congratulations! You’ve now caught your audiences attention, but what about keeping it? Because apps are natively built to function across specific mobile devices and operating systems, the overall experience is more enjoyable as it's tailored to that specific device’s interface design. This includes the navigation throughout the app, media presentation, the ability to access content offline, and integration with other built-in capabilities of a mobile device such as social sharing and syncing calendar events. To put it simply, when it comes to spending time on a mobile device, people will keep engaging with something that’s enjoyable, easy, and fits in with their overall lifestyle.

And let’s not forget about direct communication. Because an app is present on a device’s interface, organizations can use features such as push notifications to communicate messages directly to their audience’s devices. Whereas mobile websites require a user to intentionally conduct a one-way search in a browser to access content, apps allow you and your audience to engage in more two-way communication.

Having a mobile website and mobile app presence are both incredibly valuable, but when it comes to engaging with content, apps have the majority vote. While a mobile website has its value in giving an organization an upper hand in search-ability, apps deliver an interface that gives end-users a more enjoyable experience of media, text, navigation, and ultimately an organization's brand. This makes the small time investment of downloading an app worthwhile, as it produces more frequent and extended engagement from your audience.

In the end, it all comes down to how your audience currently interacts and expects to interact with content on a mobile device. We believe (as do the statistics), that apps give you the unique opportunity to create a deeper connection between your content and your audience. By creating an app for your organization, your content can receive the visibility and engagement it deserves.

Our Newest Layout: Gridview


Your artwork just became center-stage. We know you put a lot of effort into crafting beautiful images, and your Van Gogh's and Picasso's are going to love this. With our new Gridview layout option, media content can now be displayed in a way that showcases customized, beautiful artwork. We’re thrilled to see the Village Church, Mars Hill, and The Father’s House already adopting this layout with their captivating sermon series images. With a world that is becoming more and more image-centric, Gridview provides a great option to captivate users with an image based design. Happy customizing!

Ask your favorite App Specialist if you're eligible for our early release of Gridview!

Why Quality Matters

What Constitutes a "Good" App?


I consider myself to be a relatively social person. However, there are plenty of times that I find myself stuck in awkward small talk with strangers. Generic weather comment, generic sports team comment, what do you do? This question more often than not leads itself to a slightly more entertaining back and forth. When I reveal that I work for a company that “creates mobile apps” the response I usually receive is “I have a great idea for an app!”.  The entrepreneurial culture of the US today leads everyone to believe that the next big idea is just around the corner. It is this kind of thinking, combined with ingenuity, that has started some of the world’s most profitable businesses. However, this thinking does not always lend itself to the best ideas. There is such a thing as a bad  app. Whether that means it is completely useless, devoid of interesting content, or poorly made and maintained, they are certainly out there.

What is it that makes an app successful? What is it that makes an app effective? There are several factors that should be taken into consideration when rating an app. First and foremost, does it bring anything new to the table? Is there something that is unique and sets it apart from other apps? With over 600,000 apps in the Apple App Store alone, this is very critical. If you can get the same content somewhere else and it’s easier to navigate, or more visually appealing, the app will lose its competitive edge.

The user experience of the app is of utmost importance. Using applications should be a delightful experience and should require minimal effort. Giving your audience the opportunity to access your content in a beautiful and simple way on their mobile device is the ultimate goal. Often times, mobile-friendly websites just don’t cut it, and that’s where the app steps in.

Lastly, it is incredibly important to have fresh new content being added and updated on a regular basis. You must give your user a reason to keep coming back to the app. There are countless times that I have downloaded an app that seemed interesting, only to realize that I would never actually use it. No one wants to suffer the fate of a being downloaded and subsequently being deleted right away. Games and news are the most popular app categories - news apps are constantly being updated with new articles and content, and games are just plain fun.

Everyone is beginning to take notice of mobile - and it’s here to stay. With each product launch, it is evident that one of the most significant and growing markets is the smartphone industry. Although there are plenty of ideas out there, a really good one can fall through the cracks sometimes without proper execution.

Here at Subsplash, we want everyone to keep dreaming and exercising their creativity. Do you have a great idea for an app? We’d love to hear it.