Web app development has experienced a paramount shift over the last 5 years. Mobile devices have exploded. Consumer applications have largely surpassed business applications in both capabilities and overall simplicity.
The fact is, development standards have changed. If they don’t adapt, these companies will only fall further and further behind as technology rapidly evolves.
Build For Usability
While always essential, usability has now become an absolute necessity. After all, user expectations have increased as well. They expect the well-designed, intuitive interfaces they receive on their smartphones and consumer applications. These days, users have options. If the application confuses the user, they’ll find something else.
- Talk to users early and often
- Develop in small, agile cycles
- Measure Everything
One of the biggest hurdle faced developers today is platform fragmentation. You no longer know how users will access your applications. Maybe they’ll use a PC. Maybe they’ll use a smartphone or tablet. You don’t know, and you can’t control it.
Use APIs Wisely
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) is an essential aspect of modern application development, as they let web developers develop applications that include data from other applications. However, APIs must be used wisely. Why? As any developer using the Twitter API over the last couple of years will tell you, API changes are often sudden and drastic, and can negatively impact your application.
In the past, traditional programming methods often resulted in large, imposing applications. They were independent of other applications, and every function of the application was programmed into the code itself. As you can imagine, this structure created maintenance nightmares.
Stick To Well Known Technologies
Developers love trying new things. They love experimenting with new libraries, frameworks, languages, tools, etc. There’s nothing wrong with that.
However, it becomes a problem when developers carry that over into business apps development. For instance, if you develop a new business application using a brand new language, you take a big risk. What if that language never takes off? Now you’re stuck with an application built on an unpopular language that may or may not work well with existing technologies. While experimentation with the latest and greatest technology is fine, when building business applications, stick with established technologies.