Web apps are computer programs that perform their functions over a web browser. They can be as simple as an online calculator or as sophisticated as a full-blown eCommerce platform.
Many businesses have integrated web apps into their operations because it streamlines almost every task. Whether it’s to generate analytics reports or keep track of listings and inventory, the applications for web apps in business are endless.
The best thing about them is they can be custom-made to fit your needs.
In this blog, we go over some of the features of successful web apps. We’ll talk about features for both internal-use and customer-facing software, as well as handy elements that are unique to both types of web apps.
It’s standard to provide a mobile-friendly interface as the number of smartphone users rises. In 2020, almost 6.4 billion people owned a smartphone. By 2027, the count is estimated to go over 7.5 billion.
The majority of the population also prefers to connect to the internet via mobile devices versus through desktops. That is why this feature is a must-have for both company-exclusive and customer-facing web apps.
Mobile-friendliness means that your web app adjusts to different display dimensions. Small buttons and text are enlarged, and the general layout is rearranged to improve viewing and accessibility.
It’s also important to declutter what appears on the viewport in a mobile-first design. Since there isn’t much space to work with, avoid pop-up messages and ads that block your main content.
2. Search Bar
Over time, your web app is going to accumulate a lot of information. If you’re managing an eCommerce shop, for example, you’ll eventually want to add more products as the business continues to grow.
This is generally good news for you and your customers. But if buyers need to go through a needle in a haystack before checkout, they’re not going to stay much longer.
Adding a search bar solves this problem. It allows consumers to find exactly what they’re looking for fast.
To make the user experience more pleasant, program your search system to display related results in case of typographical errors. So if a user enters “ruining shoes” instead of “running shoes”, have your app pull up the best possible matches.
You can also add quick filters to make searches more efficient. For company-exclusive web apps, this means less time wasted and more time to be productive.
3. Document Management System
All business owners probably agree on one thing: there’s no escaping paperwork. Although heavy-duty file cabinets aren’t as popular as they used to be, paperwork can still get unwieldy.
In many cases, you can get away with simple web forms, but some industries need something more comprehensive.
Law firms and real estate agencies are good examples of enterprises that work with tons of documents. Building a web app for such organizations needs a robust document management system.
A document management system serves as a centralized storage and sorting station for all paperwork. It records who turned in the document and the time and date it was last modified. It also categorizes files according to file type and content.
If you plan on storing documents in the app long-term, add an extra layer of protection. Enable password-protected folders and limit access to submitted documents. This will secure your company’s and clients’ information as your business expands.
4. Offline Work
Web apps need the internet to perform their functions. But that doesn’t mean they should just stop working as soon as there’s no signal.
Instead of serving a fullscreen message saying ‘no connection’, opt for a small pop-up notification and allow users to continue their work. It’s a small change, but it’s enough to make your web app more flexible and give it a competitive edge.
Google Docs does a great job at this through its Work Offline feature. Users can continue typing even when they’ve lost connection, and their changes are automatically saved once they’re back online.
You can also give users limited access to frequently opened content and allow them to download files in-app.
5. Analytics Dashboard
Data is a big part of success. Every business decision has to be backed by thorough research and logical reasoning to produce positive results.
Data analytics is big on websites, and the same level of scrutiny should be done for web apps. Integrate reporting and analytics on your app to collect information on consumer behavior and performance metrics.
You can program this feature to generate automated reports and use different data visualizations. The insights you gather directly from your web app are vital in making the necessary changes to boost conversions and sales.
Web apps intended for internal use also benefit from this feature. Instead of analyzing behavior patterns, you can audit your company’s productivity, revenue, and other KPIs.
6. User rights management
Regardless of who your web application is designed for, it’s going to play host to plenty of users. If you give the same privileges to all of them, it’s only going to end in disaster.
User rights management groups users according to their administrative privileges. With it, you can set what kind of information people can enter into the app.
Another function of this feature is to bar general users from accessing sensitive data. Companies take advantage of it all the time to limit what their employees can access on their apps.
Not only does this help users focus on their respective roles, but it also protects the company from insider data theft.
Meanwhile, web apps that cater to customers need this feature to combat hacking attempts and malware injections.
7. Social media login
The most important thing you need to understand about your target audience is that they want every everything to be convenient.
The more obstacles you remove from their path, the better impression they’ll have of your brand.
Social media login is an alternative option you can offer to first-time users so they can create an account in half the time. Rather than having them fill out lengthy forms, you can link your app to their preferred social media account and sign up in as few as two steps.
You should consider enabling this feature especially if you’re designing an eCommerce web app. This, together with social share buttons, makes it easier for consumers to post their orders and reviews on their timelines. That’s free publicity for your brand, meaning more leads and sales.
8. Touch ID or Face ID Login
Again, keeping customers happy is all about convenience. Although not all gadgets have the hardware to support fingerprint scanning and facial recognition, you should take advantage of the ones that do.
Touch and face IDs allow users to log into their accounts in a matter of seconds. It also lessens the chance of login errors when because of forgotten passwords or typos.
You can integrate touch and face IDs for both customer- and company-use web apps. A word of warning, though. Don’t rely on these login options by themselves, especially for platforms web apps linked to e-wallets or credit cards. Always secure your web app with multi-step factor authentication.
9. Live chat
24/7 customer support is something consumers look for in any business. Of course, you can’t always have staff on the line to answer every little question your users might have. That’s where technology comes in.
Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, you can now program a chatbot to take questions for you and serve customers any time of the day. They can even make product recommendations and help users navigate your web app.
Well-crafted chatbots also keep consumers engaged and connected to your brand. Some marketers use chatbots to run interactive campaigns and get consumers to reveal personal information that’s hard to include in forms.
10. Push Notifications
The last feature on our list is push notifications. It’s appropriate for web apps designed for consumers and company employees alike.
Notifications ensure that users don’t miss out on important announcements such as promos, messages, or rescheduled appointments. Instead of staying on the app, the notification system will alert them of anything important while they go about their day.
Get Started on Your Web App with Professional Developers
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