Building a Great User Experience

As the web gets more sophisticated, the typical user experience becomes more demanding. Users expect more and more from everyday websites, even though they are everyday websites and not giants like Amazon, Facebook, or Yelp. These giants can provide “incredible” experiences because they have the resources. I put quotations marks around the word incredible because the experience really isn’t incredible. It’s just expected, normal, intuitive, and easy. The work it takes to create a user experience that feels intuitive is sometimes unimaginable. To a user, it just makes sense. I click this, and that happens. The typical user doesn’t think about the thousands of computations going on in the background in the blink of an eye. When they click something, and something happens, typically, the user isn’t awed by the fact that there is a complex system behind it made up of millions of lines of code with each component working in unison to accomplish a seemingly simple task. But users have come to expect that seamless experience on all the websites they visit. When a user clicks something, and what they thought would happen doesn’t happen, they usually don’t think “Oh, there is an incredibly complex system working behind this website made up of millions of lines of code that must work in unison. I can understand why this one small function might not work.” No, that would be nice if they thought that, but what they usually think is “Oh, it’s broken. What a terrible website.” But creating that seamless experience for users is becoming less and less of the monumental task it once was, thanks to SAAS (software as a service), APIs, and libraries like React JS. What once wasn’t possible a few years ago, is now possible for a few or even one web developer to accomplish. I don’t mean it’s possible for one person to build a clone of Facebook, but it is possible to harness a site like Algolia and a framework like React JS to create an incredibly fast and intuitive search experience: instant filtering of thousands of items, typo tolerance, ranking, distance sorting, and auto-complete. Granted, it will take a lot of work to set up that amazing search, but it is possible. And the possibilities are just increasing. The game’s getting more challenging. So, it’s time to step up your game. Get used to the fact that users will expect a “phenomenal” experience. Learn the ways of the new internet and pick up a skill like ReactJS or Laravel. As a web developer, you certainly won’t regret it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *