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Building Amazing Apps, Part 1: Optimizing the Advanced End
By Javier Garza on January 9, 2019Leave a Comment
There are millions of apps accessible today, and it’s abundantly accessible for any user to download and install any of them with aloof a few curtains on a awning or bang of a mouse. If you appetite to body and bear an app that will affect users, you charge to be able to differentiate from the blow of the pack.
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Over the accomplished 14 years, I’ve been alive anxiously with the top companies carrying the best accepted apps, allowance them optimize their apps for acceleration and calibration so users get a abundant experience. In this three-part series, we’ll analyze the axiological accomplish you charge booty to body and bear your own amazing app at calibration that will accumulate users advancing aback for more.
We’ll aperture these accomplish bottomward into three key areas:
Front end: Covers the genitalia of the app that end users collaborate with. Back end: Looks at the appropriate agent basement to abutment the app, including databases, application, web servers and more. Middle-mile: Explores the internet, area all the advice needs to bisect aback and alternating amid the advanced end and aback end.
Let’s analyze the advanced end, and the bristles things you charge to booty into appliance to body and bear a world-class advanced end for an amazing app.
Beautiful User Interface
People adulation admirable things. That’s why they adore adorable at the orange colors of a dusk or why they pay absonant amounts of money for a assignment of art. Architecture an aesthetically adorable interface charge be a top antecedence during the architecture phase. The aboriginal assurance of a acceptable user acquaintance is an adorable design, and users are added acceptable to absorb added time with the app if it is ambrosial to the eye.
So area do you alpha aback designing your app? Begin by reviewing the best accepted apps on the app food or the ones you use and adore the best and address bottomward what architecture characteristics you like from anniversary one. You should additionally chase industry best practices for app architecture such as:
Pay absorption to bright design. Ensure you use curated images that attending great. Pick admirable fonts with arced edges, e.g., Open Sans. Manage white amplitude finer to affectation as abundant advice as accessible after accepting awash text. Ensure your UI is automatic and simple to abate the acquirements curve. Avoid advice afflict through abbreviate and bright wording. Maintain bendability aural all the screens in the UI. Select a distraction-free UI that avoids blinking argument and boundless use of colors. Follow standards (follow UI designs already in place). Accessibility
At a axiological level, it is a amusing albatross to ensure your appliance can be acclimated by bodies with broken mobility, vision, hearing, acknowledgment or accent understanding. In some context, it is additionally a acknowledged requirement.
An accomplished accessibility advertence for developers is the Web Agreeable Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which is sponsored by the Apple Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This advertence includes apartment for amaurosis and low vision, deafness and audition loss, bound movement, accent disabilities, photosensitivity and more. For example, you should accommodate argument alternatives for non-text agreeable such as an angel or a blueprint appliance the alt argument HTML tag that accessibility software can use to call what the angel or the blueprint is. This is as simple as .
Accessibility is too generally abandoned or larboard to the after stages of app design. However, it is abundant added difficult to apparatus accessibility functions after on than if you plan for it upfront.
Speed and Responsiveness
User backbone is shrinking and aboriginal impressions matter, so your app needs to alpha as bound as possible. But it’s generally easier said than done to get aggregate accessible for user alternation aural 1 additional collapsed as assertive operations, such as sending abstracts to a server over a apathetic adaptable network, can booty a continued time.
So, accustomed the challenges, how can you affected them to accommodate a fast acquaintance in your app?
Start with performance-oriented architecture in mind, architecture the app argumentation in a way your users will apperceive it as actuality fast at all times. You can, for example, apparatus caching and abundance the advice presented to the user in the bounded cache. You can again use the accumulation to restore the aftermost cachet about anon during startup while the app opens the arrangement affiliation to the server and requests the data. Another appropriate of performance-oriented architecture is achievement account and cipher optimization. Achievement account agency you set a achievement baseline for a specific allotment of cipher or functionality and put accoutrement in abode to ensure that baseline is not exceeded aback absolution new code. Cipher access agency aggravating new approaches to accomplish the cipher run faster.
Do this in the afterward cycle: optimize -> arrange -> measure.
Repeat this aeon several times until your achievement assets alpha to flatline. After this point, you can administer two concepts from the attitude apple to accomplish your app “feel faster” (aka “perceived performance” and “active waiting”).
Perceived achievement refers to how users apperceive whether article is apathetic or fast, while alive cat-and-mouse refers to the actuality that users apperceive time as casual added bound aback they are affianced while they wait. So, aback there is an operation area the user has to wait, you can absorb some movement on the awning to draw the user’s attention—or, bigger yet, get them to collaborate with the app by accouterment a advancement for optimizing their acceptance of the app or a curated quote. The babble app Slack does this appealing well.
Your app should accumulate clue of arrangement status, ecology the accessible bandwidth and anecdotic aback the arrangement is not accessible at all. With this information, the app should acclimate its behavior to advance the all-embracing user experience. For example, let’s say the user is aggravating to accelerate some abstracts to the server while the arrangement is not available. One band-aid is to about-face the user to an offline mode, and let the user apperceive they are offline and that the operation they are aggravating to do will be candy as anon as they are aback online. At the aforementioned time, you could activity a buried adaptation of the information, so the user can partially collaborate with the app.
Network ecology in your app should be planned anxiously to abstain arresting too abundant power, which may appulse the device’s array life. For example, aback the arrangement is already active, you could accelerate a few bytes to admeasurement the cessation to the server. You should abstain a connected arrangement keep-alive, as actively advancement the arrangement alike aback there is no abstracts to accelerate or accept may appulse the device’s activity resources.
There are additionally able bend solutions you can administer to your app that automatically acclimate the compression of images depending on the arrangement conditions. This agency that the bend server can bear a abate adaptation of the angel for accessories that accept a apathetic arrangement connection, after accepting to apparatus any argumentation on the app.
Security is not an option, but a claim that you should accumulate top of apperception while architecture your application. The aftermost affair you appetite is a aegis aperture that compromises your users’ abstracts or the candor of your servers.
For starters, ensure all your arrangement access are encrypted end to end and use defended protocols such as TLS v1.2 at the minimum or v1.3, which activity bigger aegis and a faster affiliation establishment. Ensure that your affidavit offers able ciphers that apparatus “perfect advanced secrecy” (which makes it added difficult to be bent by man-in-the-middle attacks) and apparatus login techniques aural the app that verify the user through defended techniques such as two-factor-authentication.
You can additionally enhance your appliance aegis by implementing aegis measures at the bend such as automatic bot protection. In this instance, apparatus acquirements technology in your bend servers can use accessory sensors such as the accelerometer to differentiate a absolute user from a bot that has baseborn accreditation and is aggravating to accomplish a awful action.
Coming up abutting in this three-part series: Aggregate you charge to apperceive about optimizing the aback end.
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Filed Under: Blogs, DevOps Practice Tagged With: app development, appliance design, appliance speed, advanced end, adaptable apps, network, security