Take smartphones for instance, the latest smartphone offers just as much productivity, as its larger tablet or laptop counterpart, plus a whole lot more portability, but does its relatively small screen size affect its usefulness? While a smartphone is still the go-to device for on-the-go connectivity, there are not many people who would reach for their smartphone if they were asked to create a dynamic presentation.
The consensus is if you need to check email or browse the web grab your smartphone, if you need to complete a task that is data entry intensive it is still best to use a device with a larger screen to ensure accuracy.
Non-profits often need to collect a lot of data. However, according to Renee Zau, Co-founder and CEO of DonationMatch volunteers are hesitant to use their personal laptop at events because there is always a risk of it being dropped or damaged. That same hesitance doesn’t apply to smartphones, which makes them perfect for capturing candid moments at events. Non-profits know that keeping their social media content fresh is important for their online presence and this is where smartphones really shine.
It doesn’t matter what size the screen is if all you are doing is uploading photos to Facebook or live Tweeting an event. Volunteers are more than happy to snap pictures and update social media and today’s photo apps even let users do simple edits. There is no more running back to the office to upload pictures, edit them and post.
In addition, organizations are turning volunteer’s smartphones into portable cash registers simply by installing a card reader and running an app like Square. Now instead of one payment processing station hooked up to a laptop, a non-profit can have several volunteers equipped with payment processing apps circulating throughout the event.
Of course, a tablet can also be outfitted with a card reader to become a payment processing station, but it is best suited for tasks that require a larger screen size. At events, a tablet is fast becoming the go to device to collect information from donors; where once volunteers approached with clipboards and pens, they now approach with a tablet.
The larger screen on a tablet makes it perfect for informal video presentations. If you are engaged in a conversation with a potential donor at an event, if your organization has a video of your good work in action, do you really want to present this to the donor on a 4” smartphone screen?
While tablets offer a larger screen size and just as much functionality as a laptop many organizations still haven’t upgraded to tablets. Many of them feel the same way about their laptops as Renee Zau does. She considers her laptop an essential device “simply because it can do everything a phone or tablet can do, and more.” Renee explains, “I often have multiple browser windows open so I can easily switch between tasks, and the need for a bigger screen to make sure data is accurately being entered into our database makes it more difficult to do on a smaller device.”
In order to get the most out of your application, you need to use a device with a screen size that is appropriate for your task.