build-a-web-app

How to approach building a web app

One of the major advantages of creating a web app is that it can be accessed by users, wherever they are, as long as they have a PC with a working internet connection. This also opens up opportunities such as global teams sharing information, home-working and real-time collaboration. These opportunities allow you to be much more flexible as an employee, attracting talent across global markets. Below we’ve listed the key steps you need to go through when looking to create a web app.

Clarify your goal

Before you get anywhere near the design stage of your web app, you need to be clear about the purpose of your app. Understand why you want the app in the first place. Whether it’s to promote more flexible working, or to offer your team remote working, clarifying the reason for building the app is the first step in ensuring it’s a successful project.

Be prepared to test

Segment your customers or users and be prepared to test a few iterations of your web app before you’re ready to go for a full launch. Test out different version of your web app with your customers, or employees using the app, to understand whether the need you are trying to fulfil is met by the app.

Understand your app users

Creating personas for the people who will be the end users of the app helps you to take into consideration their needs so that you develop an app that will be most useful to them. Challenge your team to think about what your app could do that no other app can, and consider what efficiencies you will improve as a result of creating your app.

Prototype

Develop prototypes and test these with your users before you start writing detailed technical specifications. Wait until you’re completely ready to launch before you start compiling a user guide for your app, saving yourself hours’ worth of amends.

Be realistic

No matter how much you test or prototype there will always be developments that need to happen after the app has been first released. For your first full launch, create an app with minimum features and be OK with launching it when it is almost perfect, but not quite. The digital marketing mantra of sprint and fix should be your guiding force in the final stages, make sure you launch an app that is usable and useful, but be realistic that the app will evolve and develop during the first few weeks – and possibly months – of its launch.

Action feedback

Create a feedback programme which allows you to action feedback as it comes in. Spotting errors, or bugs in the early stages – or making design amendments to improve the user journey quickly, will help to keep users or customers engaged with your app. It will also help people to feel the app is developing to suit their needs as they change, making it an increasingly useful tool for the user.