Developing and implementing custom mobile apps was often beyond the scope of many local government budgets before Progressive Web App (PWA) technology came along. The cost for native app development, hosting, maintenance, and feature upgrades is high, and takes considerable time, making it an unsustainable option. Progressive Web App technology can engage the community at both a fraction of the cost of native apps, and much more quickly. PWA's are shaking up the ways cities connect with their community, distribute information effectively, connect constituents to one another, and enhance community morale in an economically feasible way. Here’s how...
1. Real-time Communication
People use their cell phones now more than ever, making mobile apps a great option for municipalities to engage with their communities. The Town of Tecumseh in Ontario, Canada recently launched a Progressive Web App to align with their residents' communication channel preferences. The Town of Tecumseh and municipalities like it utilize municipal apps to update communities on the work their city is doing for them, as well as provide an interactive way to make service requests and find local event information.
Because mobile apps are now the preferred way of getting information for more people than ever, municipal apps are great internal communication tools for municipalities to increase engagement between themselves and their communities.
2. Cost Effective ROI
Justifying a line item in the annual budget for digital communication to properly sustain innovative technology is still a challenge for many municipalities. Whether the municipal app is built to streamline payment options for civilians or provide information for an upcoming local festival, an investment in PWA technology will always generate a better ROI than a custom mobile app. Custom mobile apps require heavy upfront costs to create the back-end architecture, determine a UX approach, create mobile UI that aligns with the brand, and prioritize and build the suite of features. Instead of hiring an app developer or contracting the work out, civic officials are capable of producing a local government app themselves. A user friendly and functional Progressive Web App is now within reach for cities of all sizes.
Mobile apps powered by PWA technology have the ability to keep users connected to the information contained in the app even while offline, due to the Service Worker technology. With a modest financial investment, cities such as Sparks, Nevada have created a mobile app for their city to provide citizens and tourists a platform to access local event information and search for restaurants, hotels, shopping, nightlife and parks among other things, which in turn promotes commercial opportunities.
3. Civic Engagement and Community Vitality
Enabling two-way communication between citizens and their local government leads to a flourishing community. Local government apps powered by Progressive Web App technology allow municipalities to provide a digital bridge that community members use to receive and share civic information. Using PWA technology equips anyone in a municipality who has browser access to use local government apps and their functions, which in turn boosts community morale through increased awareness and engagement.
If you or the community you’re in is looking to boost communication and morale throughout your municipality, at a fraction of the cost of building a completely custom native app, then adopting PWA technology for your city’s app is the perfect solution.