Evolution is a crucial aspect of our lives. A person today isn’t the same as he was yesterday. Similarly, he won’t be the same tomorrow too. We are constantly evolving. Evolving is nothing but adaptation with the change.
And it’s a universal fact that you can’t survive if you don’t adapt. This theory is the same for all the living beings and you can apply it for the Native Apps too. Yes! Native Apps. The apps which are specifically written or coded for a platform. Twitter and Pokémon GO are some of its major examples.
In recent years we saw a trend where some startups which began as native mobile apps expanded into Web apps. Instagram and Uber are prime examples. These Native Apps realized the need to change to survive in the evolving market of IT.
So, they decided to expand their native apps to the realm of the native web app. The best part is they did achieve success in it.
So, if you own a Native app and are contemplating different methods to survive and improve, you’re the best suitable audience for this article. In this article, we’ll discuss all the aspects you must consider for expanding the Native Apps to Web Apps.
Why you should expand your native app to the web app
As an owner of a Native Application, the first question that may strike your mind is - why should I expand my native app to a web app? Second question - Why do I need to build an app specifically for Web audiences? What’s the need for this exercise? And more.
One of the promising answers to this "Why" is that a couple of huge start-ups like Instagram and Uber expanded their native app to web apps. And if they did it, there got to be a strong reason & benefit behind it. Now without any more assumptions, let us dive deep and find those strong reasons.
The stakeholders involved in an on-demand laundry service are the rinser, delivery person and the user.
Some company that has noticed increased customer engagement are:
- Twitter – 25% more pages per session
- Trivago – 150% more repeat visits
- OLX – 250% more repeat visits
- MakeMyTrip- registered 160% more mobile sessions
- Lancome – registered 53% more mobile sessions
The native app has reached the saturation point
Instagram and Uber are humungous Mobile Native Apps. Soon after its launch, the number of downloads touched sky-highs. Instagram on December 2021 achieved the milestone of having 2 billion active users.
On the other hand, Uber became the world leader in Taxi-Hailing Services. Under such circumstances, there was a high possibility that both apps reached a saturation point. A point from which it will witness very low or no progress. In such a scenario, the best thing is to find a new platform to grow in the market.
Web applications were a perfect remedy to this problem. Uber and Instagram could increase their reach by setting foot in the Web world. And that’s what exactly happened. In 2012, Instagram came up with its Web Application after the high demand of its users.
However, this was a basic web app - users could only view the photos on the web app. In 2017, Instagram refined its web app to attract users with a slow mobile network. Its main target was to allow those users to download the app despite the slow internet. Later, Instagram was accompanied by many big names:
Uber: Like Instagram, Uber also launched its light web app “[m.uber](https://m.uber.com/looking” for its users having slow connectivity.
WhatsApp: WhatsApp soon followed the footsteps of Instagram & Uber and came up with WhatsApp Web.
To capture better web experience
There are a lot of differences between native app development and web app development. You can design your web app like the native counterpart or experiment to create a different web application for web users - the choice is yours. Now let’s discuss the differences.
The first difference is the increase in the screen size. On the web, you’ve got more space to experiment with.
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You can add more features than that of your existing native app or can totally redesign the web application keeping the enhanced screen space in mind. You can add more visual elements and detailed content to utilize the screen space.
While designing for Web applications, it becomes crucial to take important decisions, such as making alterations. You’ve to decide which traits or features from the Native Apps you want to remove or modify according to the needs of the web application.
Expand web app design: Native app Vs. Web app
Over the years, native and web applications have become similar. However, there are still many noticeable differences between the two. Let’s see the differences from the spectacle of a designer.
The first difference is the increase in screen space gives designers massive scope for experimentation. We’ve already discussed this point above, so let’s move to the next one.
Clicking vs. tapping
Another difference between the Native & Web applications is that in Native apps, you tap and perform different gesture controls such as pinch, swipe, and long press. On the other hand, on web applications, the user can only click with a mouse.
The user experience in Native apps is fluid and users expect instant reactions to their actions such as pinch for zoom, swipe to advance pages, and long press to avail more options. Designing web applications with such experience is a tough task, given the constraints of a wide variety of hardware and browsers.
User Experience: Native app Vs. Web app
Generally, Native apps provide a variety of experiences like entertainment, navigation, music, and many more. On the other hand, web apps are utility-based and mainly focus on completing a specific task.
Usually, Web applications have complicated functionality along with longer user sessions compared to Native apps. As the user sessions are longer, it becomes mandatory to use proper colour patterns and font size, which would prevent users from eye strain.
Aspects to keep in mind while designing for a web application
To design a Web Application, you must identify several problems that might arise in the designing process. These problems can be grouped into various section. Let’s have a look at these sections.
It is essential to design an effective authentication blueprint for the security of your Web Application. Weak authentication may lead your Web Application to threats such as session hijacks, dictionary attacks, spoofing attacks, and other attacks.
The prime function of authorisation is to evaluate the tasks of an authenticated identity. It also identifies the accessible resources. Designing an effective and robust authorisation is imperative for the security of your Web Application. Weak authorisation may lead to data tampering, leaked information, and the elevation of privileges.
The first step in caching is to choose when to load the data into the cache. Caching is used to optimise reference data lookups and to avoid duplicate processing and network round trips. To prevent client delays, you can load cache data by the batch process or by loading it asynchronously.
You can’t have a reliable and secure Web Application without an effective and excellent management strategy. You can prevent the revelation of confidential exception details with the help of proper exception handling on your Web pages.
It also improves your Web Application’s robustness. It makes your application durable enough to cope with any error.
Logging and instrumentation
Logging and instrumentation are crucial for the security and credibility of your Web Application. These logs can identify any suspicious activity, which usually is an early indicator of an attack on the system. It also assists in addressing repudiation hazards where the users deny their actions.
As a designer, you must isolate the navigation from the processing logic. Design it in a way that allows your users to navigate rapidly through the screens. The key advantage of a consistent navigation structure is that it reduces the complexity of the application - minimising confusion among the users.
The first move is to identify who would work on the page layout. The designers or the developers? If designers are making the layout then ensure that it doesn’t take much coding or usage of development-focused tools. You must design your application in a way that the page layout can be detached from the UI components or processing.
75% of the consumers determine the company’s credibility based on its website /web app design.(source: Kinesis)
The factors to consider in session management are where to store, what to store, and how long to store. Efficient session management helps in better performance and reliability of Web Applications.
A practical validation solution is a crucial step. Weak validation can cause SQL injection attacks, cross-site scripting, and buffer overflows.
Web app backend architecture and security
Developing a Web App has its own set of challenges for backend support. If you already have the backend architecture sorted for your Native App then you need to analyse the impact of Web App Development on those existing resources.
Going from Native Apps to Web Apps causes great scaling in the services. And due to this, you might have to accommodate the new needs. These needs include storage of any new records and encryption & security.
Security is a key aspect where you must focus hard. You can use SSL certificates to make your web traffic secure. Always try to identify security vulnerabilities during the development period. Be extra careful during financial transactions.
It is imperative to ensure that the services are secured during all transactions. You can ensure this by following all the payment service protocols. Moreover, if you want the users to subscribe or buy anything via your web app, then your payment service will have to pay a transaction fee. For example, Stripe takes 2.9% plus $0.30 for every successful card charge.
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Don’t forget to conduct server load testing. Otherwise, your servers might go down due to a lack of resources when it starts onboarding many users. You can simulate 10,000 users on your web app before the launch to test its performance when subjected to such pressure.
Or else you can use services like Heroku, which has auto-scaling. This will add more resources only when it detects the increase in load over a predetermined limit.
Expanding your Native App to the realms of Web Application is not an easy task. There are so many things you must consider for web application development. Firstly, you’ve to consider different use cases.
Secondly, you must consider all the important aspects of Web Application design. Third, you must consider the changes made specifically for the web app considering its different requirements and top-grade web app user experience.
And at last, you must consider the backend and security aspects of web application development.
It may seem like a tedious job; however, it’s worth it. Web application development is a step ahead to expanding your business. It gives you more audience and opens all new possibilities to scale your app by adding more features to your application.
The web application is a very crucial business move and you must hire a team of developers who can build a robust web application with all your requirements. So, what are you waiting for? Contact a web app development firm and discuss the cost of app development to get started.