The Future Of User Experience Is User First

The user experience is certainly one of the most important aspects of any application, website or software tool, both enterprise and consumer-oriented. It can be and in many cases is a decisive factor in the development and implementation of various kinds of software solutions. Yet, in recent years we are clearly seeing a decline in overall user experience as it is frequently being shoved aside by the approaches that put the convenience of the development process first. 

There are compelling reasons why this is happening, of course. As the digital transformation unfolds, tech solutions across fields and industries are getting increasingly complex and multifunctional, requiring the developers to put more effort and resources into building them. Continuously growing diversity of software technologies is also contributing to this problem. As a result, developers tend to increasingly rely on approaches that make it easier for them to deliver the product, sacrificing great UX in order to create a functional cross-platform solution.  

What is wrong with modern-day UX development? 

Let’s take a look at several mainstream web, app and enterprise development trends that contribute to worsening user experience. 

Excessively large web pages. 

Web pages are getting bigger in size every year, which tends to affect their performance, ultimately resulting in worse user experience. Today the average web page is more than 3 MB in size, while in 2011 it was just 929 KB. 

It is easy to see why having excessively large poorly performing web pages is a problem: modern-day users expect to see great performance and fast speeds. According to Google’s data, 53% of mobile site visitors will bounce if a page takes longer than three seconds to load. But in reality, despite the Internet connection speed getting more than 20 times higher over the last ten years, many websites are actually working slower. Bad inefficient designing habits are to blame. A 2019 study by Backlinko, based on the analysis of over 5 million desktop and mobile web pages, found that an average desktop page was taking 10.3 seconds to load and mobile pages needed a whopping 27.3 seconds to load on average. 

JavaScript overload. 

One of the main drivers of web pages gaining weight continuously over the last decade is JavaScript. This language offers web developers many powerful capabilities, such as getting real-time data from third-party sources or utilizing innovative technologies at low cost, but it’s not like they come without a price. An overload with JavaScript elements is the major reason for slow page loading time and latency. Especially when JavaScript elements are poorly written and/or integrated, conflicting with other components and resulting in compatibility issues. 

Heavyweight Electron apps. 

Another considerable contributor to deteriorating user experience due to bad performance and latency are apps made with Electron, a framework that allows developers to create native applications with web technologies to deploy on multiple platforms at once. 

Electron has been steadily gaining adoption in the industry since its release in 2013, and today there’s a number of highly popular apps that are built with this framework, such as Slack, Skype, Visual Studio Code, WordPress Desktop. WhatsApp Desktop, Atom, etc. The main problem with Electron-made apps is that they are incredibly memory-intensive, consuming enormous amounts of RAM when active. This is due to the fact that every Electron app is in fact a browser in a separate window with Node.js server powering the back-end. 

Mobile-first thinking in web design. 

More and more people are accessing the Internet via mobile devices each year. In fact, according to Statista, 92.6% (4.32 billion in total) of all active internet users worldwide were accessing the Web via mobile devices in 2021. Having these statistics in mind, it is easy to understand why web developers today are increasingly going with a mobile-first approach when creating designs for their products. Assuring the convenience of mobile users is good, but not when it harms the user experience of the desktop version, which is what we can increasingly see nowadays. 

The focus on presenting content for small screens can easily undermine the UX of a desktop version. A common example of mobile-first thinking getting problematic would be needlessly simplified, minimalistic interfaces of many websites and services, with deep navigation structures, reduced visibility of infrequent destinations and too many top-level views. Or presenting content in size and structure best for mobile devices, when pictures in desktop view look too small.

All these and a handful of other factors are the result of spreading adoption of technologies and solutions created to make the life of developers easier at the expense of end-users.  

How to combine ease of development with superb user-first experience? 

Of course, this is not how it should be, and the problematic nature of modern-day web development is getting increasingly obvious. Along with the need for some severe adjustments of this course towards putting the end-users first again. 

Is there a way to simplify various parts of website and app development, while implementing all the latest features and still creating outstanding products with a truly user-first approach? This goal is achievable with Visual LANSA, a powerful low-code, rapid application development platform for building enterprise-grade mobile, web and desktop apps.

Here are only a few of Visual LANSA’s rich selection of tools and features that were designed with focus on the idea of combining easy and cost-efficient development with great user experience. 

Low-code app development. 

Visual LANSA enables simple app creation with hybrid approach, combining low-code development in IDE with WYSIWYG designer. When developing web apps in Visual LANSA, you create the entire application in the internal IDE, using the same development approach as any Visual LANSA application. Your developers no longer need to learn several web development languages and technologies. Every developer can create the entire web application from start to finish when using Visual LANSA.

Cross-platform deployment – Write once and run anywhere solution. 

Creating versions of the same app for different platforms can be extremely disruptive, as it requires changing server platforms or databases. This is the main reason why Electron framework and other similar solutions are gaining popularity, as they allow developers to deploy their apps on multiple platforms at once. 

Visual LANSA truly lets you deploy anywhere: IBM i, Windows, the Cloud, and Linux. When other low-code platforms limit your deployment options, Visual LANSA enables businesses to deploy where it makes the most sense for them. With LANSA’s multiple deployment and migration capabilities, you are immune to platform, database, or interface lock-in, and have full control over where and how you want your applications to run.

Automatic transformation of legacy tools into web-enabled apps. 

LANSA’s aXes is a unique solution that allows you to web-enable IBM i 5250 applications automatically. Transform existing 5250 screens into web pages out-of-the-box, without changing source code. You can also change the default modernization rules to suit your requirements and apply the changes automatically across all screens in an application.

RAMP (Rapid Application Modernization Process)

Rapid Application Modernization Process (RAMP) is an incremental modernization approach that implements the best of refacing existing applications and new development. By consolidating existing functionality with new capabilities inside RAMP’s application framework, you get to have the applications you want without having to throw everything away. Modernization is performed in stages, new functionality can be introduced incrementally without serious impact to business operations, and the user interface becomes consistent across all of the applications.

Ready to start creating apps of the future with outstanding UX? 

As you can see, Visual LANSA includes a variety of proven tools that allow businesses to build solutions with truly outstanding user experience fast and without the need to hire big and diverse teams of software developers. LANSA enables the creation of well-optimized, light-weight applications that have great UI and design, while easily deploying and ensuring their stable performance across the platforms.

Ready to begin? Get in touch with us to start utilizing Visual LANSA for the development of new apps and modernization of legacy solutions.

LANSA Hybrid Low-Code solutions are fast to deploy and easy to maintain delivering outstanding value for any application development project. Ready to get started?

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