What to Consider Before Creating a Web Application
From functionality to navigation and coding, a lot goes into creating a visually appealing and functional web application development. But it doesn’t end there, either. Both web developers and designers must work together to create web applications that engage customers and help them complete a specific task. A web application is an interactive computer program that is built with web technologies like HTML or JS which stores and manipulates data and is used either by a single user or a team to perform specific tasks over the Internet.
Here is a small guide on what to consider before building your web application. Are you ready to read on? Let’s do this!
Focus on user tasks
When you are planning to build a web application, do exactly that. Build an application by focusing on user tasks. Your job is to add certain features and build a specific web application that caters to the requirements of a user group. The fundamental step in every web application development is requirement analysis. This is where you define user expectations for a new app to be built. It is very significant to know the customer’s anticipated goals and requirements; this is going to contribute a lot to the success of your development process.
Clarify what you want your app to achieve
Before starting with building a web application, have a look at the underlying problem that has led to the thought of developing an application. Understand your audience and know what your customers are interested in. Web applications allow a new kind of user experience that results in real engagement and eCommerce opportunities. Spend time to view things from the perspective of users who will actually use your application. Observe how the users complete the tasks you are trying to simplify. All these will help in creating a more effective solution than just following the directives.
Ask the right questions
When it comes to web application development, nothing is worse than surprises that come at the late hour. Ask the right questions early on to ensure that you have all the facts before actually starting out.
Ask the following questions for a hassle-free development process:
What would be the hosting environment?
When developing complex web apps, knowing the hosting environment is critical. If you don’t know the environment, it becomes impossible to replicate it on your server. This increases the risk of incompatibilities.
User authentication processes
Most web apps require users to authorize themselves. Some companies have a central user authentication system; you need to figure out what type of user authentication your app will use. Realizing late in the game how user authentication has to take place is not the right way to go for it.
How will data be backed up?
Often web apps hold valuable data, most of which are confidential. That is why it is important to have a solid back-up plan. While it is potentially complicated, the absence of a clear data back-up plan can lead to a serious problem later in the development phase.
Designing your database
The most critical element of a web application is how it will store your data. The optimized database design will give a great performance. Never design the whole database in one go. Instead, divide into different parts and design separately.
Keep the following in mind while designing databases:
- Clearly define the normalization and index concepts.
- Decide the tables needed for each module.
- Build tables and map relationships between the tables.
Make user testing an integral part of the development
User testing is all about understanding the users, their behavior, and requirements. Test the web application at least once every month through the entire development process. This doesn’t take much of your time or comes with a hefty cost. Each session needs as less as three or four users, and this allows the team to build web applications that naturally stand ahead of the competition.
Identify key performance indicators
Once the simpler version web application is launched, monitor and analyze your data to gain insight into what is working and what’s not. This helps you to identify your KPI and judge the success of the application. The KPIs differ between projects; combine it with different aspects like user feedback to get a clear picture of where to head to next.
Learn from mistakes
Every web application comes with unique challenges. You must master to learn from your mistakes and understand the key issues. Be it focusing on user needs or asking the right questions, these learnings pay off going forward.
Tips to develop high-performing web applications
Most businesses work under strict constraints, limited time and budget. It becomes challenging to find the right approach when it comes to web application development. So, here are some tips to develop a web application that performs well.
Integrate before building from scratch
Do you need to have a particular feature in your web application? Mostly, it might be already been built. Instead of building a feature from scratch, look for an existing solution that integrates with your current application. This will help you save more time and money.
Keep the first version as simple as possible
Build a minimum viable product which has the most basic yet core features of a web app. Yes, just that, nothing more. Creating a minimum viable product has many benefits, but the major one is to evaluate your web application ideas in the quickest and cheapest way possible.
Below is the first version of Google.
Look and feel is important, but app behavior is more important
Yes, it is true that your web application has to be visually appealing. But imagine this, your web application is quite good looking, but the functionalities are poor. The frustrations your users have with the way it behaves is nothing compared to how the way they feel about the looks. Ensure that your web app is designed well, but also invest your resources and time into the value proposition of your web app.
Be more concerned about loading time
Loading time is yet another significant aspect of any web application you are building. At the time of application development, you must ensure that the website loads within a few seconds. This creates a huge impact on user experience and customer retention.
Don’t neglect Call to action
Call to actions or CTAs are considered as the most critical web application development process steps for a reason. It helps in increasing user engagement with the content of the site. These friendly suggestions play a very significant role in increasing customer retention. CTA’s help your users to know about your company, your brand, and products in detail.
It’s all about branding
Branding is a vital factor that helps in endorsing your company’s products and services. You need to have a unique logo that carries your unique identity. When it comes to the logo, it is the prime thing that attracts or puts off a customer. Branding is to present a unique message about your business and its products to your end-users. Consistency, company logo, cross-branding, having a reputation are some branding tricks you might benefit from.
Web applications have a substantial business impact on the way both brands and customers do business. Regardless of reasons to create a web application, be it to streamline your internal departments or to gain more clients, web applications intend to offer innovative solutions to both business and customers. Building a web application is not just completing the development phase. Just like any other business process, web apps must be designed to solve any problem faced by your end-users.
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