As engineers, we often wear a second hat of a consultant. Prospective and current clients will ask us, “what are the common problems with my current web application?” which then leads to us doing an analysis. Without going into too much detail, and of course without seeing each and every one of our readers’ web applications, here are some common problems we at SOLTECH see with web applications: lack of mobile optimization and white space, poor site navigation, and inconsistent user interface.
While there are numerous common problems with web applications the four discussed in this article are:
- Lack of mobile optimization
- Lack of white space
- Poor site navigation
- Inconsistent user interface
What is Mobile Optimization and Why Do I Need It?
Mobile Optimization, also referred to as Mobile Responsiveness, is when a web application has the capability to load the user interface and functionality based on the type and size of the device the user is viewing the web application on.
Web applications must be built to scale and respond, otherwise, the web application will load the same on a desktop, mobile phone or tablet. This typically means the site will not function the same which can lose the attention of the user since they’ll likely have issues navigating the website.
Therefore, you will want to make sure your current web application is capable of mobile optimization. Most users nowadays scroll web applications on devices other than their desktop computer, which means you’ll want a mobile-ready site!
Is White Space Necessary in Web Design?
Yes! Many web designers feel the need to fill every space with text, imagery, animation and other multi-media forms. However, the best user experience for your reader is going to be done by keeping things simple.
Having white space also allows for preventing fewer distractions, highlights call-to-actions as well as create balance when scrolling through the page. Try to remember to think of white space as not “dead or blank space” but as an element for clean, classic design.
Is Your Site Easy to Navigate?
One common problem is that the site is not easy to navigate. Be sure to outline your site, which some refer to as “breadcrumbs” to ensure that each page is easily accessible. Having a trail of links that lead the user to the home page is vital.
Another great option to make your site navigation easy is by adding a search bar, as allowing your users to search directly for what they’re looking for will save them time and frustration.
In addition to mapping out your site, this is a great time to also look for any broken links. Nothing is more frustrating than a “404 error”!
Why Inconsistent User Interface Is A Problem
Ensuring that the user interface is consistent from page to page is also important. This can include button and link placement, the layout of content, headings and containers, as well as main forms like the search bar.
Keep in mind that many users are in a hurry when scrolling through your web application, so mirroring the design and layout from page to page will be key to guiding your users throughout the page.
What are some of the common problems you see in web applications? Which do you think are the most important to fix? Let us know in the comments!