Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC
Planning a Nomad-powered website and app is easy. We provide example outlines and best-practice guides for towns and cities, regional guides, and parks.
You need to decide 5 things when you plan your app:
It depends on the purpose of your mobile website and app. A general guide to a destination or region should include all the basics to help travelers explore an area. A theme-based app like Peaceful Places New York City only covers the top places for peaceful escapes in NYC.
You may hear people say that a mobile website or app is just for people when they're "on the street" trying to find something to do or see what's nearby. Our usage data shows otherwise - depending on your destination, well over 50% of your app or website usage may be outside your area. People are using mobile to explore and plan their trips. So don't ignore content like suggested itineraries and lodging.
Here's an example of some of the essential content we recommend for any destination guide:
If you are a destination marketing organization, you might already have business listings, offers and events in a database for your website. If so, you're in luck - we can import them directly into your app without extra work.
If you are a publisher or you have content in electronic publishing files like InDesign or QuarkXPress (not in a database), you can use the Nomad CMS to copy and paste content and format it for mobile publication. It's a bit more work, but it's still a simple process.
Audio and video content used for a website or tour can normally be re-used for your mobile solution with no or minimal re-formatting.
The content in your mobile website and native apps will usually not be organized exactly the same as it is on your main website or printed material. That doesn’t mean you can’t import it directly from your website, but it does mean that we should give some thought to the right organizational structure for mobile users.
Why should your mobile structure be different than your desktop website or guidebook?
We’ve done a lot of the work for you to establish best practices for structuring your content so that it’s intuitive and easy. The structure is also flexible, and we think you’ll find that our approach works well.
Two key organizational concepts in the Nomad platform are Guides and Categories.
Guides are similar to a book you create - they can be organized in any structure you like but are limited to 3 levels deep so that users don’t get lost digging in your app. Your app can have numerous Guides.
Guides are organized as follows:
|Guides in the Explore Louisiana Crossroads app||Sections in the Natchitoches Visitors Guide||Content Items in “Events and Festivals” Section|
Content Items can be placed in multiple guides and sections, so you can re-use them in several places.
All content from your business listings and points of interest have to go into a Content Item in a Guide somewhere in the mobile website or app. If we are importing your content automatically from your website, we will work with you to decide what the default structure should be for incorporating all of these points of interest.
If you are creating a regional guide, we suggest creating a Guide for each community in your region, and placing all of the businesses and points of interest for that community within that Guide.
Categories – Each Content Item described above can be assigned to one or more categories. If we are importing your listings automatically, we will map your website categories to the categories used in Nomad. You can have between 3-8 top level categories.
Travelers can then either find content by browsing through one of the Guides as described above, or by starting from the Category Index on your home screen or map.
For example, a traveler could find Copious Winery by tapping:
Or if Copious Winery has a restaurant, a traveler might also find it by tapping:
|Top level categories in the Explore Louisiana Crossroads app||Services categories||Content Items under "Shopping" category|
You will likely have some content that is unique to your mobile app, either because it is edited for this medium specifically or because it is intended for use during a trip (like a guided tour). This mobile-specific content can most easily be edited in the Nomad CMS rather than imported from your main website CMS.
This is an example of introductory text for the Arts & Culture category on the Santa Cruz County website. Each of their website sections has a short introduction before the listings.
These introductions have embedded hyperlinks to other web pages that need to be rethought for mobile. While mobile text can have hyperlinks, it is often easier to treat these as buttons at the end of the introductory text, to support tapping instead of mouse clicks.
A printed visitor guide often mentions several POIs in the midst of some overview text for a community. While this is great, you would also want to make sure to include related links to each of these POIs at the end of the overview.
If you are creating native apps for iOS or Android, you have a choice whether to offer them for free or for sale.
Some of our customers, like the Great Smoky Mountains Association, have decided to offer a basic visitor guide for free, which has all the same content that’s already available for free on their website. They also offer a paid version that includes content from several brochures and books that you would have to pay for in the bookstore, like “Day Hike Favorites.”
Destination marketing organizations usually give the entire app away for free to promote tourism to their area.
In either case, you can choose to offer paid add-on modules for your app. This has worked well for many of our customers.
That’s up to you, but we do know from Apple that few apps that cost more than $1.99 sell in large volumes, and $.99 is optimum. If you are interested in publishing a mobile edition of a book that normally retails for $9.99 in print, for example, you may want to consider breaking it into smaller chunks and selling these through in-app purchasing. Or you may find that the volume you sell in mobile justifies the discounted price.
You may also want to consider offering an app that is a “lite” version of a more in-depth book, so that the app serves as a companion to the book and can upsell the printed book.