PWA behaves like a mobile app and enables most of its useful features such as push notifications, device hardware access, ability to work offline, etc. PWA allows experiences to similar to mobile devices.
While mobile-friendly pages have existed for as long as mobile devices itself, however, these pages lack the user experience in terms of speed, features and user adoption. While PWA runs exceptionally well on Android operating systems, they do suffer from performance issues on Apple’s iOS.
Benefits of Progressive Web Apps
PWAs are responsive apps and have cross-browser support. PWAs also make the process of development and deployment much more straightforward. Developers can quickly deploy new features, make enhancements, and resolve bugs. Users can soon see an updated version of the app with a simple browser refresh. It’s a cost-effective and time-efficient way of developing web apps that significantly reduces designer and engineer work overheads.
A few benefits of PWA:
- Intuitive, Trustworthy and Quick
- Hassle-free experience
- Quick response with animations
- Engage users without janky Scrolling
Building Progressive Web Applications
From a specialist’s point of view, there are several rules developers must adhere to when building PWAs. Similarly, it is crucial for the UX Designer to think about the pros and cons of different Operating Systems and ways to accomplish the best outcome.
This post describes in detail the checklist needed to build progressive web applications from a designer’s perspective.
The image below shows differences between Android (default splash screen) and iOS splash screens (customized splash screen)
The splash screen for PWA apps on a mobile device gives the feel of a native application. While this is a default feature for Android, they need to be independently created for iOS. Splash screens can be displayed until the application is ready to launch.
For the Android operating system, a white screen shows by default. However, we can customize it by displaying either the application logo, application name, or any animation.
Tip: Splash screens for iOS, show two splash screens for an Android user. One way around this glitch is to either show both screens on Android and iOS in the same sequence with some micro animation or redesign the same default screen for iOS and Android.
Push notification differentiates a native app from a web app, and PWAs can send push notifications on both desktops and mobile devices. While Android supports this feature iOS users will have to wait for some more time for it to become available.
Tip: Apple quietly added support for push notifications on its Safari browser. Other browsers on iOS such as Chrome and Firefox, do not support push notifications yet.
The App Shell is useful for showing some initial data on screen without a network, similar to what we see on native apps.
We can include Header and Footer in the App Shell to keep the user informed in the event of a network failure.
Tip: It is the responsibility of the UX designer to include these to ensure the best experience.
Ask Users for Permissions
While PWAs can access device hardware such as camera and location best practice dictates asking the user for access permissions similar to native apps.
Note: Don’t overlook these basic use cases while designing the PWA application.
Add to the home screen
Android automatically supports a “Add to Home Screen” toast message feature. However, as a general rule, this message should show in iOS by default.
Note: Don’t neglect to design a toast message on iOS separately.
Deep linking is the usage of URLs within the app that allows the user to navigate to other parts of the app or other locations.
In PWA, if a user taps on a deep link, the appropriate page should open. If the user switches between two applications, the app should not start from the splash screen but return to the last known location where the user left it.
Note: Android supports this feature and the same has been updated in iOS version 12.2.
Quick toast message keeps the user updated and can be used to show time-critical information or action items. As a designer, it is very important to include the “App Update” message as a toast message, this is a standout feature and one that users should not ignore.
Android users can use the Smart Lock feature. However, iOS users find it difficult to bring and utilize credential data. On Android phones, Chrome always asks users if they wish to store the credential if the user is already logged in to the system.
Offline support is one of the key features of PWA. All native apps do not support (all) offline features all the time. This is a key reason to move from native to PWA. A progressive web app can load the last seen page or save user data even when users face connectivity issues.
Note: Alert users about their offline status.
Chrome browser supports vibration alert in Android devices however Safari does not. Looking at Apple’s track record we hope to see this feature enabled soon.
While developers create apps, native or progressive, with certain intended navigation, users often find other ways to use these apps. To achieve a better user experience, designers and developers need to anticipate all user touchpoints and information they would want to see to aid better usage. These ten action items are must-dos for any designer working with PWAs.
If you think we’ve missed out any, tweet and let us know!
“Synerzip team is very responsive & quick to adopt new technologies. Team naturally follows best practices, does peer reviews and delivers quality output, thus exceeding client expectations.”
“Synerzip’s agile processes & daily scrums were very valuable, made communication & time zone issues work out successfully.”
“Synerzip’s flexible and responsible team grew to be an extension to the StepOne team. Typical concerns of time zone issues did not exist with Synerzip team.”
“Synerzip worked in perfect textbook Agile fashion – releasing working demos every two weeks. Though aggressive schedules, Synerzip was able to deliver a working product in 90 days, which helped Zimbra stand by their commitment to their customers.”
“Outstanding product delivery and exceptional project management, comes from DNA of Synerzip.”
“Studer product has practically taken a 180% turn from what it was, before Synerzip came in. Synerzip cost is very reasonable as compared to the work they do.”
“Synerzip makes the timezone differences work FOR the customer, enabling a positive experience for us. ‘Seeing is believing’, so we decided to give it a shot and the project was very successful.”
“The Synerzip team seamlessly integrates with our team. We started seeing results within the first sprint. And due to the team’s responsiveness, we were able to get our product to the sales cycle within 7 months.”
“Product management team from Synerzip is exceptional and has a clear understanding of Studer’s needs. Synerzip team gives consistent performance and never misses a deadline.”
“Synerzip is different because of the quality of their leadership, efficient team and clearly set methodologies. Studer gets high level of confidence from Synerzip along with significant cost advantage of almost 50%”
“Synerzip’s hiring approach and practices are worth applauding. Working with Synerzip is like
“What you see is what you get”.”
“Synerzip has dedicated experts for every area. Synerzip helped Tangoe save a lot of cost, still giving a very high quality product.”
“Synerzip gives tremendous cost advantage in terms of hiring and growing the team to be productive verses a readymade team. Synerzip is one company that delivers “co –development” to the core!”
“Synerzip is a great company to work with. Good leadership and a warm, welcoming attitude of the team are additional plus points.”
“Our relationship with Synerzip is very collaborative, and they are our true partners as our values match with theirs.”
“Synerzip has proven to be a great software product co-development partner. It is a leader because of its great culture, its history, and its employee retention policies. ExamSoft’s clients are happy with the product, and that’s how ExamSoft measures that all is going well.”
“They possess a great technical acumen with a burning desire to solve problems. The team always takes the initiative and ownership in all the processes they follow. Synerzip has played a vital role in our scaling up and was a perfect partner in cost, efficiency, and schedules.”
“As we are a startup, things change on a weekly basis, but Synerzip team has been flexible in adapting the same”
“Synerzip team has been very proactive in building the best quality software, bringing in best practices, and cutting edge innovation for our company.”
“We’ve been working for more than six years with Synerzip and its one of the better, if not the best, experience I’ve had working with an outsourcing company.”
“My experience with Synerzip is that they have the talent. You throw a problem at them, and someone from that team helps to solve the issue.”
“The breadth and depth of technical abilities that Synerzip brings on the table and the UX work done by them for this project exceeded my expectations!”
“Synerzip UX designers very closely represent their counterparts in the US in terms of their practice, how they tackle problems, and how they evangelize the value of UX.”
“Synerzip team understood the requirements well and documented them to make sure they understood them rightly.”
“Synerzip is definitely not a typical offshore company. Synerzip team is incredibly communicative, agile, and delivers on its commitments.”
“Working with Synerzip helped us accelerate our roadmap in ways we never thought possible!”
“While working with Synerzip, I get a feeling of working with a huge community of resources, who can jump in with the skills as needed.”