6 steps to build web app

There’s never a better time to build a web app, particularly with a growing population spending their time on the internet. Yet, building a web app can be overwhelming for startup owners who are not well-versed in programming. Even for developers, a web app is more than dealing with technicalities. 

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What is A Web App

It’s important to understand what a web app is and not confuse it with regular websites. Despite both being accessible from web browsers, a web app is meant to provide a high degree of interaction for end users. Facebook, Google Doc, and Canva are some common examples of web apps. Meanwhile, a website is a collection of mostly static pages. 

There are many good reasons to build a web app for a business. It provides a platform for users to interact with the business without the need for installation or limited to specific devices. Building a web app requires web UI frameworks that are different from regular websites. That’s because UI elements on a web app often change states from the user’s actions.   

6 Steps to Build a Web App

These steps will help you to build a web app that successfully engages with the audience. 

Step 1 – Ideation 

All web apps start with an idea, but not all ideas are great for a web app. You’ll need to explore if you solve real business problems with your idea for a web app. Do you need a web app to accomplish your business goals? Are there any better alternatives? 

Once you’re convinced that building a web app is the wiser choice, move on to the next step. 

Step 2 – Check your Target Audience and Competitors 

The success of your web app relies on how it engages with your target audience. It helps to step into the prospective users’ shoes and figure out what they’re expecting from the web app. It’s even better if you can conduct interviews and surveys with real users. It helps to identify their problems and gives you a solid foundation in moving forward.

Besides user research, you’ll also need to find out who your competitors are and how they’re fairing with their respective web apps. Ideally, you’ll want to distinguish your web app from theirs, which means taking notes of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Step 3 – Create a user-centered design 

A highly-successful web app is one that’s user-centric. Therefore, you’ll want to build one with your users in mind. Pay attention to UI and UX elements to ensure that the web app will deliver a good user experience. 

Of course, it’s hard to determine if users will love the design without their collective feedback. When you’ve got a draft of the frontend UI, conduct a usability test with a group of users. It helps to identify potential issues that could hamper user experience and provide ideas for improvement. 

You can then revise the design according to the feedback. This can be an iterative process during development to ensure that you’re staying on the right track. 

Step 4 – MVP development

It’s tempting to work on all the features you have in mind for the web app, but it was never a good idea. A full-fledged app takes longer and is more costly to produce. Besides, there are often bugs during initial deployment, and the new feature-rich web app is hard to troubleshoot. 

Therefore, it’s better to start with a Minimum Viable Product or MVP. An MVP only includes the basic features needed to solve the user problems. Good-to-have features are reserved for future revision. If you have trouble deciding which features to be included in the MVP, use the priority matrix as an aid.

Test the MVP to ensure it runs properly before going live. 

Step 5 – Launch

Once you’ve got the MVP ready, set a date to launch the web app. Have your IT team on standby in case of any teething issues propping up during launch. Also, a new web app isn’t going to attract traffic on its own. You’ll need to work on marketing strategies to attract users to the web app.

Step 6 – Collect Feedback

It’s crucial that you’re actively collecting feedback from users when you’ve gone live. Ensure that you make it easy for users to leave feedback and go through every one of them. Have your team make small iterative improvements with updated releases. 

Summary 

Web apps remain a viable digital platform for businesses to engage and interact with their customers. Building one isn’t easy but can be done by breaking down the process into small steps. The whole idea of web app development is to ensure that the final product satisfies the users’ needs.

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