How to make PWA applications more user-friendly?

Progressive Web Apps is a new quality of commercial use of the Internet. Many experts agree that they have very real potential to decide the future of e-commerce. Users already appreciate PWA for its functionality, overall experience and speed. What can be improved to make the applications even better suited to the expectations of customers?

Reaching a higher level in this field does not require many hours of work. Often, the final effect of this technology will encompass several advantages that will change the perception of PWA.

Progressive web apps - artistic impression. Image credit: edar via Pixabay (Pixabay licence)Progressive web apps - artistic impression. Image credit: edar via Pixabay (Pixabay licence)

Progressive web apps – artistic impression. Image credit: edar via Pixabay (Pixabay licence)

How to make sure that the application is even better? See a few tips that can have a positive impact on every PWA.

Efficiency is the key to success

There’s nothing worse than a PWA that can’t meet your needs. Slow operation, system crashes, errors with high resource utilization? It’s time to take care of efficiency. It’s not just a matter of UX; an efficient and well-designed application is also a signal to Google that it’s a high quality product – and so better than its competitors.

How to improve the performance of Progressive Web Apps? Each application must be optimized for its current performance and future expansion, new features. This is facilitated by the PRPL pattern. This particular pattern includes rendering the initial route, caching the remaining route, and generally improving loading. The result is a comprehensive acceleration of the PWA process. This is especially important when using PWA for the first time. In the following steps, the application uses already downloaded data. However, if PWA does not work properly in the first stage, the user will be disappointed and will not be able to return to it.

Improving the download speed

The script, which is running in the background of PWA – the most important for offline activity – is one of the priorities. Poor connection, Internet instability or network interruption does not necessarily mean problems. PWA also works offline, but only if your browser can use service workers in the background.

Server-side rendering also works for optimal script performance. This will ensure faster downloads. The speed of page loading is nowadays one of the main factors influencing Google indexation. However, it is not only about this rating. A PWA user should not feel that he is using a typical website – waiting for the page to load is unacceptable. A website should naturally behave as native applications do.

Standard fonts instead of experiments

PWA is no place for visual tests. A common mistake when creating PWA is to use custom fonts. Basic fonts are matched to standard solutions. The more unusual the fonts are, the more the risk of errors or misjudgment on the part of the user increases. A standard font adapts more quickly to a given project. This applies not only to text, but also to headers or logos. If they contain an unknown font pattern, it is better to use a graphical format.

Offline functionality

The advantage of PWA is that it also works without the Internet. The application should be created based on the Service Worker component responsible for saving the application file to the cache storage. This will allow you to use the data only if the user is not connected to the network. Note how much space there is in the cache. The differences are considerable. This is max. 6 percent in Chrome and 10 percent in Firefox to specific Mb data in Safari or IE10.

Intuitiveness instead of effects

PWA is all about simplicity, ease and transparency. Users expect speed and specific content, not excessive graphic effects. Complex projects don’t make sense – they will have the opposite effect and start to irritate the user. Navigation must be minimized and simple. The intuitiveness will also be influenced by the blocking of views when switching between screens. Navigating smoothly through the application environment is a simple way to get a better UX.

Remember that the performance of PWA should be checked regularly. One of Google’s tools is used for this purpose. Lighthouse, used as a browser extension, allows you to generate reports. In this way, a few clicks are enough to check if the PWA is efficient or if it needs to be fixed. The audit is very precise. The tool analyses dozens of criteria to be met – Lighthouse will also present three results: “good”, “average” and “weak”. The way to good results is not only the basis of the application, but also the details.


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