UI design for Progressive Web Application (PWA) – Techtonic.asia

We are standing at the edge of an unprecedented technological transformation. Whenever we hear the term progressive, our expectations start rising for a better, larger, enhanced part of the existing product or scenario. Progressive Web application, as the name implies, means the same thing. We have seen the age dispute of native versus web application experience where the tussle is between price vs experience. With the advent of latest technology, developers and researchers have come up with an unprecedented, innovative solution which can change the course of web application forever. As Google’s VP of Product, Rahul Roy has portrayed it in a precise and prudent way “a radically better web experience… which users love and are more engaged with.”

As the world is moving towards technological revolution with lightning speed, it became quite an outdated concept for going through the primitive design of UI of web apps. According to the study conducted by Google, staggering 53% of the users will instantaneously abandon the website irrespective of the content if it doesn’t open within 3 seconds! In this fast-paced world, if things are not fast and visually appealing enough, then they are not worthy enough!!

Tips for Enhanced UI:

The few things designers should keep in mind while developing Progressing Web Application:

Creation of Attractive Icon: What looks good, sells well. Before the users get acquainted with the PWA, amaze them with a distinct, visually appealing icon which will not only stand apart from the crowd but entice the users to use it even more! The icon should be simple enough to be user-friendly, and at the same time accommodate the necessary ingredients of design such as shades.

Improvement in Performance: The UI should be made in such a way that enhances the performance multifold times. Using PRPL pattern, according to Google would certainly be an innovative idea where the critical resources would be prioritized, the initial route would be rendered and lazy loading would be accomplished.

Addition of Features: Addition of extra features would be a great way to start. ‘Add to Home screen’ button has always been favorable to the users. It actually installs it the user’s home screen, which equips the app to be instantly accessible without being bothered by the browser and URL. This has taken UI and UX to the next level and guess what – this has been highly acclaimed by the users who found it quite difficult to go through the URL typing process every time they wanted to access the app.

For instance, Twitter, due to the insurmountable pressure of massive user base, found it quite tough to manage the users efficiently. They wanted to reach to the unexplored segment but through a web application, it was difficult to do. Since the inception of Twitter Lite PWA, every day they are getting 25000 new users on a daily basis from the home screen button at an average of astonishing 4 times/ day.

Usage of Native UI on the Web: There are numerous UI stimulators that can be added to the web to enhance the UI experience of the users. For instance, Polymer is prominent JavaScript library that can put into use to build progressive applications. It allows the benefit of using service workers, HTTP/2 and web components.

On the other hand, Material-UI is a React component which arms the developers with the accessibility of material components of Google which can enhance the UI to further level. The only condition would be the developer needs to be adept at using React before venturing into this area.

Be specific about the Touch buttons: It has always been a nightmare for the UI developers to fix the touch-enabled zone. There are few selected areas where the most mistakes are committed:

Tappable area needs to be given utmost attention as it becomes the cynosure of today’s smartphone lovers. There shouldn’t be any hiccups regarding the touch feedback. Once a user taps on that, it should work fine.

At the time of scrolling, unnecessary touch feedback shouldn’t be triggered. That creates a negative impression on the user’s mind and more than often users do suffer from this problem.

Buttons and non-content specific area need not be selectable by a single tap. In certain cases, Google Chrome treats it as a selection, which can aggravate the situation for the user.

There are multiple areas to look into while developing a progressive web application. As the name suggests, it is going to be an ongoing process where the progress will go on. In the meantime, we have come up with the specific information where UI developers can be benefitted. For sure, PWA is going to take the mobile application world by veritable storm and we all are eagerly waiting for that.

Abhijit Chatterjee, a technology connoisseur

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