The design of web applications is more than just creation of a website. Actually, these are two different things. Web applications are the base for systems of electronic payments and Internet banking, corporate portals, document management, e-mailing, business calendars, and many other both business and nonprofit areas.
Modern web applications have almost the same capabilities as classic desktop analogs, but with the main distinctive advantage: they can be easily accessed from everywhere and at any time. You can use them not just from PCs, but from tablets and mobile devices. Also, they’re attractive for developers since they often have lower cost of ownership. These features make web technologies extremely useful for a wide range of business purposes.
Almost all of DesignContest professionals use web applications for various purposes. But never before had we discussed the issues that accompany the design process of this helpful software. Recently, we had such discussion. In the paper, I want to share the most valuable tips I’ve received during the conversation with you.
So, how to design an outstanding web application that will generate profits?
#1 Function that Solve the Problems Accurately
No matter whether you’re going to develop an application for yourself or for someone else, it has to solve the specific business tasks. The final version of the application shouldn’t be overloaded with unnecessary features and has to solve the tasks assigned to it clearly.
Of course, users’ requirements grow constantly. But that doesn’t mean you have to fit all of them. Focus only on the features that really matter. Every element you add has to contribute to the ultimate goal of the application either directly or indirectly. Abandon unnecessary features and focus on UX.
#2 Don’t Fix What is not Broken
There are some general rules of design that’s applicable to the whole web design. I mean that you mustn’t try to break the users’ habits by reinventing the wheel. The popular UI patterns became popular not by chance – they’re based on numerous studies and are statistically proven. For example, if CTA buttons are red, please leave them red. Just let it be.
The same applies to the text’s placement on a page: visitors have to know where to get the necessary information and how to navigate the website quickly. Please don’t hide important features since too sophisticated navigation system may turn the website into a quest. The working environment has to be comfortable and friendly.
#3 Only Responsive Design!
A handy application in your computer browser is great! But if it’s capable of adapting to the screens of smartphones and tablets, it’s much greater. Firstly, you get the opportunity to reach a much larger audience and, secondly, you are expressing your concern for each and every user, thereby increasing their loyalty.
#4 Step by Step Development
The design of a web application often requires tangible time and cost. In this case, one of the best options is to divide the work into separate stages, the first of which is prototyping and preparing the technical task that allows us to estimate the future costs of the project’s implementation.
A great plan is what you need at the very start.
#5 Integration with Third-Party Applications
Most of the today’s applications can’t exist without external data. You can organize two-way interaction with back-end databases, cloud services, business accounting software, as well as third-party web services like social networks if needed.
Automation is one thing for which the vast majority of web and mobile applications are created. Automation makes our lives better: for example, students use applications available here to organize their tasks in the best way; entrepreneurs use apps to manage their daily goals, etc. Thus, you have all chances to increase the profitability of customers’ doings and attract more loyal users by giving them convenient service that can be used on a smartphone or a tablet.
#7 Do not Lose Connection with the Audience
Feedback is one of the greatest things for both developers and users. The first ones may get essential information about the inaccuracies and bugs while users will know that their opinions are valued.
Given the growing competition in the market of web applications, it’s not that easy to come up with something useful and profitable in the long run. But if you’re aiming to create a user-friendly app that would solve the set goals accurately, you may succeed. Do your best for users and they will thank you.
Brian Jens loves two things: design and research. Working as a logo designer on DesignContest, he constantly does research on the most controversial and burning questions of the design niche. Brian is always in touch with the reader, so you can be sure you’ll get a fast response. Feel free to send the ideas you have and get the research done in return.