7 Design Features of the Best Progressive Web Apps
There are so many different reasons why you might want to develop an app. Like the fact that there are over 2.7 billion smartphone users on Earth, currently. There are 1.35 billion tablet users as well.
Considering that mobile users spend 90% of their time on apps, that alone is a good reason for your business or brand to develop its own app.
There are almost as many reasons not to develop a native app, however. It saves you from having to decide on a platform, for one thing. It also saves you the trouble of having to market your app, which is a full-time job in and of itself.
The good news is if you want to take advantage of all that apps have to offer you and your business but without many of the downsides, progressive web apps make for the best of both worlds.
We're going to show you some common characteristics of the best progressive web apps out there. This will help you develop the best possible app for both native platforms as well as the web.
#1 Loads Quickly
Speed is of the essence with anything having to deal with the internet. It's a well-known statistic that users are likely to leave a webpage if it takes longer than 4 seconds to load.
Even worse, they may never return. A slow-loading website is a bad look for your business or brand. One that you'll be saddled with for the duration of your relationship with that customer, especially if they're new.
Mobile users are even more demanding when it comes to page load time. That in and of itself makes developing progressive web apps worth investigating. The hybrid app loads virtually instantaneously, even under less-than-ideal network conditions.
That also means you're more likely to get actual conversions out of your customers. Your bounce rate will thank you for it, as well.
#2 Works In Any Browser
A progressive web app (PWA) is a web app first and foremost. That means it has to function as one. Which means that any internet user needs to be able to use your progressive web app for it to be effective.
One way to go about making your progressive web app universal is to get clear on what your app does. Focus on its core functionality, apart from any bells and whistles.
Stripping your progressive web app down to its bare components means that you'll be able to implement it as easily as possible. Often times, you can code your PWA only using HTML.
#3 Add To Home Screen Feature
Think about the apps you use most regularly on your phone. Think about how many of them are on the main page. Who wants to have to go digging through pages of app folders to get to something they use five times a day?
Now think about how much more likely you are to use that app when it's right there on your desktop. The same thing rings true for a PWA when you include the option to add it to your home screen.
The popular dropshipping website Alibaba saw a 400% increase in traffic just by adding the 'Add To Home Screen' feature.
#4 Offline Support
Do you ever use Google Docs? If so, have you ever noticed the 'Edit Documents Offline' option? How much more likely are you to use an app when you know it'll work even when the internet's down?
Progressive web apps can take advantage of caching. This makes them able to function even when the network goes down. It also helps to optimize uptime, so your users will know they can rely on your site to be up and running.
#5 Push Notifications
Don't worry, build a progressive web app means that you can still take advantage of many of the main features of native apps. Push notifications being one of the most significant, of course.
Push notifications are updates that publish directly to a user's phone or home screen. Considering how much promotional material gets blocked by ad blockers these days, this makes developing a PWA worthwhile in and of itself.
Push notifications are an excellent way to increase user engagement and customer retention.
#6 Universally Responsive
Here's another great reason why you should work a PWA into your web development strategy. It's similar to the reason for developing PWAs to work with any browser. You want your progressive web app to work with any device and to always look its very best.
Progressive web apps are designed to be universally responsive for every device. Your PWA is guaranteed to look its absolute best no matter what they're looking at it on.
#7 Easily Discoverable
The App Store is a busy place. It sometimes feels about as easy finding a particular app on the app store as finding a single package of napkins at Costco.
Having a PWA makes your app much more likely to be found. That's because you've got multiple avenues for your site to be discovered. It means your site will turn up in search engines as well as on the app marketplace.
That means it's also more easily shareable, as well. Your users can simply share the address, just like they would with any other link. It's much easier to convince someone to open a webpage than to download an app.
PWAs are able to reach an incredible amount of people due to this discoverability. And anyone will be able to use it once they find it, as well.
Developing a PWA lets you make the most of both web and native apps. It's a win-win situation, which is all too rare in the business world.
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