DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION – CHALLENGES IN WEB UI & WEB APPS
Digital transformation starts with excellent user experience (UX), which is integral to real customer experiences. Your goal is to enable customers to achieve their objectives, while using a product or service, by keeping them engaged, and being more user-centric across platforms – easy, efficient, consistent, intuitive and pleasant.
Your existing products with traditionally designed Web UX require a digital transformation, if they are accessed by users across platforms – through portable devices like mobiles and tablets, in addition to desktops. While your newer products need to be developed with modern Web UX, if you are considering cross-platform accessibility.
There is a different UX expectation from Web user-interfaces (UI) and Web apps. Not surprisingly, mobile users want the Web UI and Web apps to behave like native mobile apps. However, traditional Web UI and Web apps are unable to meet user expectations due to the following disadvantages:
- Poor usability experience in comparison to mobile apps
- Inability to leverage device capabilities such as location, sensors and camera
- Dependence on network connectivity and speed
Mobile UX for your existing and new products need not be achieved only through mobile apps. Mobile apps are expensive to create and maintain, require multiple builds for different platforms, have low user retention rate and are not easily discoverable by search engines. Instead, mobile UX can be enabled via Web UI and Web apps with modern digital transformation technologies.
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION – TRENDS IN MODERN WEB UX
Responsive Web Design (RWD) and Progressive Web App (PWA) are digital transformation advancements that address the challenges of modern Web UI and Web app development across platforms. In addition, other technologies such as AJAX, MVC, SPA, HTML5 new features, HTTP2 and Web components, play a key role.
RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN
Responsive Web Design (RWD) techniques improve the user browsing experience across platforms on desktops and portable devices by rendering the content to different resolutions and orientation of the devices.
A Web UI designed with RWD adapts the layout to the viewing environment by using fluid, proportion-based grids, with page element sizing in relative units, rather than absolute pixels or points. Images are flexibly sized in relative units enabling their display within their containing elements. Media queries allow the page to use different CSS style rules based on characteristics of the viewing device, particularly their width.
Though they are widely deployed, RWD still falls short of providing mobile app-like Web UX.
PROGRESSIVE WEB APP
Progressive Web App (PWA) is the next digital transformation advancement in the Web-mobile apps genre after Responsive Web Designs. PWA takes it one step further by providing mobile app-like UX and more on mobile devices. Progressive Web front-ends are rapidly growing in popularity as they have a comparable level of performance and usability of native apps.
Progressive Web Apps & Web UI provide the following benefits as against other traditional approaches.
- Responsive – fit any form factor from desktop to mobile and future devices
- Connectivity independent – work with ‘service workers’, which can keep the user engaged in low-quality networks as well as when the network is offline
- App-like experience – provide app style navigations and interactions
- Fresh – always up-to-date due to the service worker update process
- Safe – TLS is used to prevent snooping and content tampering
- Discoverable – W3C manifests and service worker registration scope allow search engines to find them as “applications”
- Re-engageable – push notifications to help re-engage with customers
- Installable – allow users to “keep” apps on their home screen without the trouble of searching and installing them from an app store
- Linkable – preserve the original intent of the World Wide Web by making these apps linkable
- Single code base – as against a native mobile app and hence a less expensive alternative to the mobile app
PWA is now considered an even better alternative than native apps since they combine the benefits of both mobile and Web apps but eliminate unnecessary downloads/installation. Statistics indicate that they provide superior UX and better user retention than native apps and traditional Web apps.
PRODUCT ENGINEERING SERVICES FOR MODERN WEB UX
At Celstream, with nearly two decades of experience in delivering product engineering services for diverse and complex products and apps, we understand what it takes to implement digital transformation for Web UX for your existing and new products.
Our product engineering services teams with experience in front-end UX can implement Web UI and Web apps for your products with RWD and PWA, which leverages the features of underlying browsers to create a top-notch UX. With our expertise in popular frameworks, libraries and tools we can help you rapidly create modern Web UX that are light in size, highly responsive, adaptive across devices and screen sizes, and less dependent on connectivity.
An open-source platform which can be used for PWAs. Ionic2 suits products that have been working on Cordova™ and PhoneGap™.
An open-source tool from Google for PWA performance measurement that can be installed as a plugin for Chrome™ browser. Lighthouse provides analytics on: app’s performance on flaky connections and when it is offline, page load performance, network security, mobile friendly design, and PWA best practices.
An open-source project from Google that optimizes delivery of app and the resources to the device. Polymer is deployed on HTTP2 servers and applies Google’s material design by default.
Our product engineering services teams can implement Web UX for your products using your company’s branding and standard UX designs. Alternatively, we can assist you in designing user-centric Web UI which is easy, efficient, consistent, intuitive and pleasant.