Progressive Web Apps Are The Solution To The Biggest Mobile UX Challenges - Coffee with CIS - Latest News & Articles

Progressive Web Apps Are The Solution To The Biggest Mobile UX Challenges

Progressive web apps have become the next generation of JavaScript-based web technologies.

PWAs can be explained as standard web technology with the addition of some of the newest JavaScript features. These are websites that give the look and feel of a native Android or iOS application with a backend code of websites. There are many big names such as Twitter, Forbes Magazine and many more which are now the leaders among the best PWA development companies. PWA managed to blend mobile as well as the web easily and make optimum use of technology. 

Progressive Web Apps have opened the door of opportunities to create rich experiences on the mobile web. This has become possible with the help of standardized features in JavaScript as well as web browsers. It totally depends on web developers how crucially they utilize these features of progressive web apps to develop exceptional user experience (UX). 

It is a cross-platform application development platform that eases the work of Android as well as iOS app developers. Progressive web apps developers have been trying to compete with functionalities of native apps. 

Difference between PWAs and Websites

As far as a designer’s point of view, building a PWA looks very similar to that of a web app. But from the user point of view, it might behave like a native app. One of the most prominent differences between a normal website and PWAs is that PWA is distributed. Also, they actually web apps that finish the need of downloading them from any app store. Users can download this app by adding them to the home screen in their web browser. 

Whenever there is a “Add to home screen” button in the browser, it is a surefire sign showing that the user is interacting with a PWA development company. Progressive web apps take much fewer data as compared to native apps. While on one hand, native applications reside on the users’ phone and consume memory, PWAs need not be downloaded and can be accessed when users go to that particular website. This is the time when data is used. Thus progressive applications are a great data saver. 

Advantages of PWA over websites

Progressive Web Apps have revolutionized the perception of mobile application development as well as web development. A progressive web app looks way more attractive than a regular website. It can run in a full-screen mode giving exceptional user experience and easy browser navigation. It behaves like a typical app but also poses some UX risks. It works in offline mode and has a more improved performance than a website. It has no requirement of installation or buying. This results in no app store submission and hence saves a lot of money and development time. It includes some specific hardware features such as push notifications. Publishers, as well as developers, have total control over how to implement such features. It opens the doors to create solutions with regard to advertise and market new content over the web. 

It mainly acts as a bridge between the mobile app and the website. Many professionals around the world are already shifting towards progressive web apps to ensure better relationships with customers and fellow marketers. Studies also show that progressive web apps banners convert 5 to 6 times more often than that of native install banners. 

Top UI/UX Concerns of Progressive web apps

When a PWA is designed, there are various concerns that need to be dealt with to ensure success in the motive. First of all, the idea of PWA must be clear in its design so that it can reach more and more customers. Below are some of the top user interface concerns. Developers must look into it to create a highly meaningful and interactive application that serves the purpose and provides a faster ROI. 

  1. System Fonts

It is important to make users feel comfortable while using progressive web app development services. To do so, style can be improved a little so that it matches the operating system of the user. Before the implementation of different menus and buttons per platform. The most preferable font is different for different operating systems. For instance, the preferable fonts for Android and iPhone app development are totally different from each other. 

  1. App icons

Mobile developers always put extra attention to the icons of the app as it is the first thing that any user notices. Since PWA gives the option to add the app to the phone screen, it will reside beside other native apps. So, it is important for the app icon to be professional and attractive to create a longer impression on the customers. A user might not feel interested in clicking on some icon which does not seem interesting to him/her. 

  1. Touch interactions

It is very important to implement touch interactions very well. There can be many examples of touch interactions such as “pull to refresh” or “swipe to dismiss” which can ease the work of users. Such interactions give a positive impact on the minds of users. But this will only happen if it works as expected. It is important to test them on real devices to ensure no error or lagging is there when the whole app is brought in the market. 

  1. Shareable content

As far as progressive web app development services are considered, the current URL is often inaccessible or becomes tough to access. Thus it becomes important for the developers to ensure that the users are able to share what they watch with their contacts. This can be easily executed by adding a sharing button with the PWA. Another important thing to notice is that if the developers are planning to implement social sharing buttons, it must be made sure to delay the loading of the 3rd party JavaScript so that the primary content is loaded before that. 

  1. Touch feedback

The tappable areas which do not give touch feedback can prove to be highly frustrating to the users and leave them in confusion. When a button or any tappable area is clicked, the user should be left in ambiguity whether the tap was recognized or not. The main focus should be on the taps so that they get recognized. The tapped region can be made color changing so that it shows some changes that help the user to gain a sense of surety. It can also be done by showing a material ripple or transitioning to a different page immediately. 

Below Are 5 Tips Which Can Be Used To Ensure A Great User Experience For Progressive Web Applications

There is one thing that progressive web applications have changed, it is the perception of people towards normal websites. Earlier after applications came, people started using them more and normal websites had to work very hard to attract visitors. Now, after PWA’s, the users have again started using browsers and using websites that look like mobile applications. Above were some advantages of progressive web applications.

Read the blog- Why is Demand for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) Growing?

There are many reasons why enterprises have started choosing PWAs over normal websites and even native applications. The biggest reason is that they save a lot of costs and are cross-platform. Cross-platform means that they can be used on any mobile device irrespective of the operating system.

One more thing that is important is the user experience that PW applications provide to the user. PW Applications have user-experience which feels like a normal mobile application. These applications can be used with the help of a web browser and they don’t even take up any space on the devices of the users.

Let’s look at the tips below to improve the UX of the progressive web applications:

  1. Avoid Common UX mistakes

Designing a progressive web application is no less than designing a native mobile application, they look the same, they have almost the same features be it Android or iPhone application development. Transitions and movement of the pages are also the same. So, the developers and the designers need to ensure that they don’t fall into the same loopholes while developing a PWA. 

Try to recall the mistakes which used to happen while developing or designing a native application and make sure they don’t get repeated here. Keep in mind that web applications should also be compatible with most of the mobile phones because screen resolutions and other specifications of mobile phones are very different these days.

Below are some problems which should be avoided:

  • Blocked transition on a page

The pages sometimes start lagging whenever there is some network issue. The designers and developers need to solve the issue even if the contents of the page do not change, the page should not lag. There needs to be some way by which the users can still use the available data and the features. The transition should not be blocked, it should always be allowed. The issue can be resolved if the designers use skeleton screens. Skeleton screens are the screens which help the users to keep moving through the web application even when the network is down.

  • No response to touch or click

Now, users face many problems while using native mobile applications. This problem should be solved so that the touch or the click by users should not go black, this creates a state of frustration and they might terminate the app. To keep the user engaged, it is important that the designers design a page which has the power to respond to the touch by any gesture. This will let the user know that their touch is being taken and the application has not lagged. 

Designers work so hard on websites and progressive web applications, they need to put in some extra efforts and work with their developers to fix this problem which might not seem big but has a big effect on the users.

  • Problems while scrolling

There are some conditions in which the scrolling becomes tough, sometimes it stops altogether. These moments are very much frustrating for the users and they most often end with the users closing the progressive web app or the native application. The designers and the developers need to make sure that the scrolling feature is always working on the progressive web application.

No matter if the website is processing something or the network is not good, the scrolling option should never stop working. The applications have so many things that can keep the users engaged while the page is processing some things. The scrolling feature which can allow the users to read something while the page is making a transition to the next page. This is something very important and the designers need to keep this in mind. It has a significant effect on the user experience of the progressive web application.

  • Font Related Problems

The designers should focus more on device fonts and not go for custom fonts during mobile application development. There are chances that users might not have the same font installed on their device and in that condition they will not be able to see the content properly. This will also help the users to see everything that is on the website in its simplest form. Custom fonts are sometimes difficult to understand and that is why it is better to use basic device fonts. Custom fonts are also important to make the web page look attractive but the designers should only use them at the places where they fit. Using them everywhere will make it look very unattractive and also not so good.

  •  Unexpected Gestures

User Interface and experience of some web applications or websites are so difficult to understand that users just keep on scrolling through them. They don’t know what to touch and what to open. It is advised to keep it simple and give everything proper space. The users need to understand just by looking at what the feature will do. It is sometimes difficult for the users so try to design it in the manner that the users can understand it. Keep everything sorted in a proper way. Don’t keep everything in one place, that is something that will make it look ugly.

  1. Prefer using native UI on the web

  • Polymer Elements: Those who know about JavaScript will know about it. This is a JavaScript library and it helps the developers in building amazing progressive web applications. Android and iOS app developers can create custom and reusable HTML elements from this. They can also leverage web components and HTTP 2.
  • Material UI: This is a set of React components. It enables developers to implement Google’s material design. It is always better for the developers to know what React is and how to use it for the benefits of the applications, both web, and mobile. It will help them use this UI better if they understand how React.js fits into web apps development. 
  • Material Components For Web: It is something that provides the developers with modular and customizable user interface components. It can help them create great progressive web applications.
  1. Improve load performance

This is something that needs attention. The developers cannot offer their users a rich experience if they don’t work on the load performance of the application. There are some techniques that are recommended by Google and the developers can take advantage of those. 

The PRPL pattern:

  • This is used for securing and structuring the PWAs.
  • P stands for Push, it can push the critical resources to the initial URL route.
  • R stands for Render, It can render initial routes.
  • P for the second time for Pre-cache, It can pre-cache remaining routes.
  • L stands for Lazy-Load, it can lazy-load and create the remaining routes on demands.

There are two more techniques:

  • Service Worker Caching
  • Server-Side rendering


 

  1. Grasp the APIs shipped by google

The APIs about which we are going to talk about are; Credential Management API, Payment request API, and Service workers. 

All three of them are very important in any PWA development company. Payment request APIs are important, almost all kinds of applications need to have an API that can handle the payment requests. The other two APIs are also very important, credential management API helps the users to log in with ease. And Service Worker API helps the users to continue using some features of the web applications even after the internet goes off. These three APIs help the developers to make the UX easy and better for their users. 

  1. Validation of the progressive web application through the lighthouse

Google is a company that is constantly working to improve its web application, progressive web application, and cross-platform app development. They recently launched a tool for managing open source software development. The developers can easily validate their PWA development through this tool. The tool is Lighthouse. It is easy to use and offers many features that can help the developers in improving the development process.

PWA can make app development more attractive and has the potential to replace native apps as well as websites. Though each of the technology comes with its own sets of advantages, PWA combines all of them to give meaningful services to users.