It’s been said that the best way to learn a new skill is to teach it. The same is true of your users: the more you try to understand what they want, what they’re good at, and what keeps them from achieving their goals, the better off your web application will be. So if you’ve got a failed web app in your past—or even just one that didn’t take off as quickly as it should have—here are some lessons learned:
Don’t get too ambitious.
You should be careful not to get too ambitious when designing your application. If you want the best results, it’s important to focus on what’s most important and leave out anything that isn’t essential.
For example, if you’re working on an e-commerce website and want users to be able to make purchases online, then making sure that feature works well should be your top priority–not adding in a social networking component or live chat support options. The same goes if you’re developing an app for iOS devices: don’t try building something that competes with Facebook Messenger just because both apps use text messages as their primary mode of communication (and also because Messenger has more users).
Keep it simple.
The most important lesson to learn from failed web applications is to keep it simple. Don’t add unnecessary features, and make sure the application is easy to use.
You should also avoid making users do too much work, or think too much about what they’re doing in your app.
Test, test, test.
- Test in a staging environment.
- Test in a production environment.
- Test with different browsers and devices.
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
When you are building a web application, there are several tools that can help you get started quickly and easily. Don’t reinvent the wheel unless you absolutely have to!
- Use existing frameworks or libraries where possible. There is no need for your codebase to be an island if there’s already an established solution that does what you need it do do. Just because something works well for one project doesn’t mean it will work well for yours; research what others have done before deciding on how best to approach problem-solving in your own project
Make sure your application works on all platforms and browsers.
- Make sure your application works on all platforms and browsers.
- Testing is important, especially if you’re going to charge people money for your product. If the application doesn’t work on a specific platform or browser, then it’s not going to be useful for anyone who uses that platform or browser!
- The best way to test an application is by using it yourself in different environments (e.g., desktop, laptop and mobile devices). However, this isn’t always possible since many companies don’t have access to all types of computers/devices at once–which is why they hire outside testers who specialize in testing applications across various platforms/browsers.*
People aren’t as tech savvy as you think they are.
The web is a complicated place. It’s easy to assume that anyone who uses the internet knows how to use it, but that’s not always the case.
If you’ve ever tried explaining how a computer works to someone over 50, you know what I mean. They may have been using computers since they were kids, but they still don’t understand how they work today–and sometimes it takes them awhile (or forever) before they get it! And some people never do get it!
The same goes for mobile devices: even though everyone has a smartphone in their pocket right now, not everyone knows how those things work either! Don’t assume that because someone has an iPhone or Android phone that they’re going to be able to figure out your app immediately just by looking at its icon on their home screen or launcher screen (whatever floats your boat).
Understand the limitations of your users, and don’t try to do anything that would require them to be more tech savvy than they are
Users are not as tech savvy as you might think. They don’t know what a URL is, let alone how to use it. If you have a web application and need to do something that requires more technology than your users have, make it optional.
If you have an app with a signup form that asks for an email address, don’t require them to enter their password as well–or even worse–make them type their password in twice! This is going too far for most people; they will simply abandon the process and never return again because they don’t want their information stored somewhere else where they can’t get at it (and possibly lost).
There are many factors that can lead to the failure of a web application, but there are also a lot of things you can do to make sure that your application is successful. The most important thing is to test it repeatedly before launching and make sure it works on all platforms and browsers. Don’t get too ambitious with new features or functions unless they’re absolutely necessary for the core functionality of your app; keep it simple! Finally, understand the limitations of your users (and yourself!) in terms of how much time/effort they have available for learning new things