Before we tell you how web application development works, let’s briefly explain what the term “web application” really means and what possibilities it gives.
What are web applications?
Web applications are software that is installed not on the user’s computer (as is the case with standard computer applications), but on an Internet server. This means that to use these applications, all you need is a web browser and access to the network (often you will also need login credentials provided by the owner/operator of the application). The user does not need to download anything to their computer – everything happens online.
The process of implementing a web application is, in a nutshell, to run it on a selected web server and equip it with all the necessary functions and capabilities.
What opportunities do web applications offer?
Nowadays it is more and more common to create dedicated applications that can fulfill any task that a client can think of. Most often business web applications (as well as mobile applications) are used for:
- communicate with customers,
- learn about the company’s offerings (and place orders),
- Use additional services provided by the Company,
- gain knowledge and many other purposes.
Common examples of web applications include online banking, email, social networking, online documents for work (such as Google Docs), loyalty programs, customer dashboards, and many more. It really all depends on what your business needs. The list of web application possibilities will never be complete.
You already know what web apps are and what possibilities they offer. Now let’s get to the point, which is web application development. What does designing and developing this kind of application look like?
How does web application design work?
The design of an application actually includes as many as eight different stages, during which the appearance of the application, its interface and functionality are refined. Let us now go through these stages:
STEP 1: GOAL SETTING
It’s always important to start by answering the key questions – what is the purpose of the app? Why do you need it? What do you want to achieve with its help? This is important because the answers determine the look of the whole process and the final effect.
STEP 2: COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS
Relatively few web projects stay on the market and gain user recognition. There may be many reasons for failure, but definitely the lack of sufficient analysis of competition is one of the main ones. It often turns out that a very similar solution is already available on the market and another “almost-identical” application does not have a reason to exist. Before you commit to writing the first line of code, analyze the current offering on the market.
STEP 3: METHODS AND TECHNOLOGY
STEP 4: CONCEPT CREATION
We already know what we want to achieve and with what technology. An experienced programmer will now prepare a preliminary concept of how the application should work and look like. Nowadays intuitiveness and usability of an application are the absolute basis, and UI and UX influence the whole process of creating a new digital product.
STEP 5: GRAPHICS AND OPERATION
Stage 5 is really an extension of the fourth stage. Once you have an initial vision, you need to concretize it and design the various elements of the new application, including the:
- interface and menu,
- graphic design,
- choice of colors,
- additional graphic elements (animations, icons),
- the way particular functions and sections work.
This is where UI, or user interface, and UX, or user experience, are most important. UI ensures that an application is easy to use and intuitive, while UX is a slightly broader term and encompasses the overall user experience of using a product.
STAGE 6: PROTOTYPE
Before “releasing” an application on the market, it is necessary to prepare a prototype that will allow you to assess whether you are going in the right direction. Often these prototypes are multiple, depending on the complexity of the project. The basic prototype is called MVP, or minimum viable product. MVP allows you to present the most important functions of the application to the first users and thus test the idea.
STEP 7: VERSION FOR PUBLICATION
Once the MVP is tested and receives positive feedback from the market, you can move on to creating a publishable version (we deliberately don’t use the term “final” here – we’ll explain why shortly). This is the so-called MMP, or minimum marketable product. It already contains everything the client expects and is fully functional. Nothing stands in the way of making the application available to a wide range of customers at this stage.
STEP 8: CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
When it comes to web applications, the final version is almost never in question. The market is evolving and applications need to evolve with it. That’s why it’s important to observe market trends and competitors’ actions and adapt your app to them so that it performs well all the time and is appreciated by users. Of course, you can skip this step, but it involves the risk that after some time the application will stop being useful, or that a better solution will appear on the market.
We hope that after reading this article web application design doesn’t hold too many mysteries for you anymore. 🙂 If you would like to create your own web application – feel free to contact the Da Vinci Studio team! We will be happy to help you create a dedicated application that will delight your customers!