research design laboratory

Location, Location, Location

Archinodes recently began work on an exciting location based mobile app and website project for a client. The initial research and discovery phase of the project has got us thinking about the relationship between a mobile application and an associated website. Nowadays there are several examples of location based application all but abandoning an associated webspace and keeping all features on the mobile application itself. is one of the most visible example of a popular mobile app with location based features seemingly abandoning an online version of its service. And while this is in many ways keeping with general trends around mobile development, such tendencies seem to overlook the potential of developing unique feature sets that share content but use them in ways that make best use of each platform. In the case of, the absence of web interface has resulted in the growth of third party sites attempting to provide users services the app maker has deemed seemingly unnecessary. Perhaps this is strategic on’s part to allow these third party sites to guide this development allowing them to then choose one as an investment target (see tweetie), but it seems like a missed opportunity to have done something neat. 
This is all to say that while a mobile application may contain a feature-set that demands it to be closely tied to a mobile device, abandoning an associated web-based component risks missing opportunities to encourage a diversity of participation. From a development perspective, an online companion to an app provides an opportunity to reenforce the overall spirit of a project while embarking on a challenge of flexible creative development.