Essentials For Creating a User Friendly Web App
If you’ve had enough experience and success in designing and managing websites, you may have thought that having a crack at your first web app would be a piece of cake. As you’re probably discovering, however, creating a good web application can often be much more challenging. Here, we’ll go through some of the most valuable tips we’ve come across for designing a user-friendly web app.
Don’t Rely on Users Too Much
If you’ve spent enough time using web apps, you’ll know that there are few things more frustrating than jumping from one page to the next, and finding that you need the information you entered on page A for something on page B. A user-friendly web app should never expect users to remember their details. They should simply provide the means for the users to do whatever it is they wanted to, presenting them with any relevant information that they may need. Let’s say that one of your users needed to enter a reference number when they first started using the app. You’re only going to alienate people by asking for this same information a few pages later! Keeping all the information you need on one page is the best way to avoid cognitive overload!
Less Is More
Image from Pixabay
Naturally, once you’ve released the preliminary versions of your web app, you’re going to want to keep on working on it, and giving your users the best experience possible. You’ll be actively asking for feedback, monitoring Azure performance, and pinning down major problems wherever they arise. As you’ll soon discover though, keeping everyone happy is far from easy! As soon as you give your customers the floor, you’ll get bombarded with different feature requests and suggestions, and those won’t stop as long as you keep your web app in the public eye! If there’s one rule of thumb you should stick to, it’s that you should never let too many features get in the way of speed and functionality. Your app will never please everyone, but you can get the large majority of your audience to agree that it’s useful. Unless keeping a cap on the number of features is going to seriously limit the function, I strongly recommend you do it!
Don’t Forget Status Messages!
If there’s one feature you certainly should make room for, it’s status messages. This is something which a lot of web app developers manage to neglect, and I can see why to some degree. If you make sure that everything else is in good working order, then status messages aren’t really necessary. However, they can make a pretty big difference to the user’s overall experience. It may feel like you ignore messages like “Loading…” and “Please Wait…” on web apps and sites in general, but believe me, we all register it. In our modern, digital-centric minds, an absence of one of these messages just doesn’t sit right with us. Don’t let your users get frustrated clicking a button a hundred times every time they want to do something!