What to Know About Creating a Web App | Q90

Post by 
Christina Parker
November 14, 2022

What to Know About Creating a Web App

The pandemic, coupled with increasing technological advances and acceleration, has spurred organizations to increasingly embrace web apps to open new markets, generate value, and improve user experiences. 

It’s safe to say that web apps power the modern global business economy and will become ever more critical as organizations turn to digital transformation to attract and achieve a holistic user journey. 


By investing in progressive web apps, for example, many popular organizations have reported impressive results


While outcomes are promising, creating a web app can be complex, so having clear guidelines is critical. 

If you’re interested in creating a web app, this article will give you some objectives, tips, and tricks to get the ball rolling in the right direction. 

What are Web Applications?

Before we look at how you can make your web app development process smoother, we’ll define web apps and some types. 

Web apps are programs accessed via web browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. They’re cost-effective to create, adaptable, scalable, multi-platform, and require low maintenance.

Types of Web Apps

Web apps are categorized on their functionalities, including: 

  • Static web apps - don’t require a back-end language or database to deliver content and information directly to end users.
  • Dynamic web apps - respond to user queries in real-time by retrieving and delivering the relevant data.
  • Single-page apps (SPAs) - function as a single web app unit loading a single HTML page and all associated resources (CSS and JavaScript files) required to display the page correctly.
  • Multi-page apps - consist of multiple pages linked together by navigation elements. Each time the user performs a new action, the browser reloads and shows a new page from the server.
  • E-commerce web apps - enable businesses to sell products and services online to customers directly from their browsers.
  • Portal web apps - provide users with centralized access to navigate a wide range of relevant sections or categories on the homepage.
  • Progressive web apps (PWAs) - use modern web browser capabilities to deliver native app-like user experiences.
  • Animated web apps - offer creativity and design by facilitating content presentation and various animation effects.
  • Rich Internet web apps - deliver similar functionalities and capabilities as desktop applications. 

Creating a Web App

Now that we understand web apps, let's discuss what you should know and consider about creating a web app. 

Define and Refine Your Idea

The first step is to develop an idea for your web app. Your concept should be based on market analysis to locate a need, preferably one not met by existing players. 

After identifying the void your web app will fill, plan and design a feasible strategy for developing a robust web app that actualizes your idea and efficiently solves the problem you've identified. 

Define the web app type you'd like to build

You’re not just building any random web app. You'll need to specify a specific use case for it and whether you have the resources to build it. There's no point in trying to fill a market need that your app can't meet. Determine what web app you want to create and how your solutions fit into that picture before you move into development.

 Conduct market research

Most web apps fail because they launch into a market that needs to be more well-defined. Targeting a specific demographic when creating a web app improves its chances of success. Before development, you should clearly define your web app's target users and use cases.


Verify that users will like your web app and enjoy using it. Doing thorough market research will help you zero in on your target user personas, where you’ll seek honest feedback on what features your web app needs to succeed.


Moreover, you must look into your competitors' web app solutions and see if they're effective. After going through all of this, you should have enough information to know if your web app product has any potential.


Define app features and functionalities

After settling on the web app's purpose and audience, you now need to consider the app's features by answering the question, "what does your web app do?"


Identify and list all the features your web app requires, then determine which app features are essential and which can wait. The simple yet effective MoSCoW methodology might serve as your roadmap to prioritize the most critical functions.


Also, think about minimum viable product (MVP) development, a technique for discovering user problems and determining essential functionalities. MVP also helps you enter the market quickly by providing solid user experience and gives you insights into how people feel about the app's primary functions.

Design your web app

About 38% of visitors will only use a web app again if they find the design attractive and engaging. So, your web app's success depends heavily on how well you design it.


Start the design process by sketching your web app. This gives you a clearer understanding of your web app’s possibilities by visualizing how its design could play out. As the design evolves, sketching will help clarify and improve concepts, provide constructive input, and keep the project on track.


Use sketching to: 

  • Doodle or draw to help you remember things.
  • Note any alterations made to various drafts of the web app design.
  • Display page operations, routes, flow design, UI/UX. 
  • Create and strategize a workflow plan or process for your web app, including user registration, login, navigation, verification, settings, and more.
  • Make notes to assist you in remembering details from/in design meetings and note progress.
  • Convey those hard-to-articulate ideas.


Once you map out and understand your app’s design, create a prototype by drawing out wireframes, which are basic layout ideas that show where the primary components of the web app design will go. 


There are several ways to create a prototype, but wireframing tools like Balsamiq or MockFlow can help you create a basic web app layout and get a feel for how it will work.


With a workable prototype that visually defines your web app, seek validation by getting direct user feedback—how users and relevant stakeholders understand, perceive, and interact with your web app.

Architect and develop your database

After you grasp the web app's intended features, visuals, and required pages, it’s time to start formulating ideas for database entries. The database's primary function will be to collect and maintain data and to make it available to authorized users safely and reliably.


At this stage, you'll need to consider the data you'll be storing and the actions you want your users to take. From there, you can determine the Database Management System (DBMS) required. DBMSs provide consistent APIs for performing database management tasks such as creating, updating, writing, reading, and erasing records. MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL are some DBMSs you can consider.


You must also be familiar with data encryption and partitioning to offer protected tiers of access and superior data security and privacy.

Develop the front-end

The front-end (client-side) refers to the elements that make up the visual aspect of your web application. It’s the part users see and use to interact with web application resources. 

The front-end utilizes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to facilitate user communication with APIs and deliver rich experiences to your end-users through multimedia content like text, images, icons, and videos. 


Popular front-end frameworks include Bootstrap, Tailwind React, Angular, Vue, Ember, Svelte, and Backbone.

Build the back-end

The back-end (server-side) manages data and includes everything behind the scenes of a website that the end-users never interact with. The back end's primary function is to handle user authentication, provide HTTP endpoints for the front-end, perform authorization, and serve the front-end.


When developing the back-end, you have two primary options: 


·  Single Page Application — here, the backend serves the static files on the front-end. 

·  Server Pages (Multiple Page Applications) — this allows your backend to double as a frontend generator and a frontend server.


It's best to stick with what you know when deciding on a backend. Besides, don’t forget to integrate your front-end with back-end APIs. Django, Flask, Spring, Laravel, Ruby on Rails, etc., are all examples of back-end frameworks.

Host your web app

Hosting is having a server execute your web application, making it accessible via the cloud from anywhere. Choosing a server may be a function of the technologies you’ve employed or personal preference. AWS, Microsoft Azure, Oracle, and Google Cloud are just a few popular cloud hosting companies available.


Quality assurance testing is a necessary and iterative agile development process that helps reduce the risk of releasing a product with serious flaws. If you don't test your web app thoroughly, it will likely have numerous flaws that negatively affect the user experience and crash frequently.


By testing your web app, you verify that it performs as intended and can function normally under abnormal circumstances.


Testing should begin early in the development process with the unit, component, and integration tests and continue through to deployment to find and solve bugs and add critical features in response to user feedback.


Deploy your web app

Deployment entails transferring your web app from source control to your cloud hosting provider. Tools like GitLab can assist with deployment. 


Notably, deployment isn't an endpoint but rather the beginning of continuous monitoring and testing to ensure that new features are constantly and quickly shipped according to DevOps and Agile best practices.


Organizations are increasingly turning to web-based applications as a future wave toward embracing digital initiatives adoption. So, creating web apps is a crucial area of focus for many companies.

Often, forward-thinking companies find success by forming partnerships with web development companies that bring different but complementary sets of expert web app development knowledge and skills to the table.  


Thus, while it's possible to create a web app from scratch, you can work with professionals like Q90. We consult and collaborate to design, co-create, and develop custom web apps for organizations from the ground up.

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