Your guide to what microapps are and why you should be using them.
By now, we all know there’s an app for that. We use apps at work and at home, for talking, banking, learning, and more. These apps are great. But because we are so reliant on them, we’ve found flaws in the system: our apps don’t always do what we want them to. They take a long time to make, and are expensive, and then they are limited to specific devices and operating systems. There can be gaps between mobile and desktop experiences, sharing can be difficult (or impossible) and apps don’t always play nicely together.
Microapps are interactive modules designed to perform like fully coded apps or websites without using code. Whether you’re creating a microapp or interacting with one, microapps simplify the process of creating, accessing, and using an application. Because microapps are built without code, designers can create them quickly and efficiently without losing control of their goals to a long development process.Then microapps can be shared via email or text, embedded online, and more, making it much easier to find your audience (and for your audience to find you) by skipping app stores. Since you don’t have to worry about spending several months and thousands of dollars working with developers, microapps don’t have the limitations of conventional mobile apps: anything you could have put online or on paper can be made interactive.
Because microapps update automatically, can be shared online, and don’t require any downloads, they’re much less permanent than apps and can be iterated accordingly. With microapps, our goal was to solve the difficulties posed by mobile and desktop apps and make a more fluid experience for projects that don’t need something so robust.
Short answer: pretty much anything. Long answer? Microapps are primarily used by organizations for distributing content to their audience. That’s fairly vague, but there’s a lot of diversity — some companies use microapps to provide interactive sales and marketing experiences for their customers, others share engaging and up-to-date training content, internal communications, podcasts, and more with their team. Other companies embed microapps in their websites or back-end systems like LMSs or CRMs to enrich their existing content. Microapps can even be used to host schedules and media for conferences and events or in place of limited use mobile apps. These ideas are only the beginning, though: anything you can build a microapp for, you can use a microapp for. It’s really that simple.
That’s okay, we made a microapp about it.