Web application design isn’t only for the big Fortune 500 companies anymore. Every business can benefit from a mobile or web application complementing their business. With an understanding of your needs and how you or your customers would use such an app, you can work with an app designer to create or find a digital platform that works for you.
In this article, we’ll share what types of businesses need a web app, the types (and examples) of apps you can create, and the process to develop your first (or next) web app for your growing business.
Who needs a web app?
Even brick-and-mortar businesses are online these days. A digital presence through a custom-built web app provides immense value to your customers or staff. It was once seen as a nice-to-have technology. Today, consumers demand on-the-go access to their accounts and your business offerings, and a web app can be that direct connection.
Here are some examples of web apps you can create:
- A full e-commerce website (where customers can browse your inventory, order, and pay for your offerings).
- A digital handbook for staff to have company rules and guidelines at their fingertips (through a web browser or their smartphone).
- An online community or forum for your customers to post and interact with others.
- A platform for customers to store their loyalty cards and information for faster access.
- An app to get delivery notifications and monitoring in real-time.
- An app with previews of photo sessions (with opportunities to purchase prints directly from the app).
Types of web apps you can create
You can enhance your business with software solutions based on your goals, needs, and budget. Here are seven ways you can develop software for your business:
- DIY with an “Idea to Prototype” workshop: If you’re not tech savvy, this can help refine your idea and get support to create an easy-to-use mobile or web app.
- Build software from scratch: If you need something custom and specific, you can hire a web app developer to create a design from scratch based on recommended platforms and programming languages.
- Improve an existing software: A developer can look at your current software and new requirements and improve your existing platform to meet your needs better.
- Create a Progressive Web App (PWA): These are apps (or app features)built on already functioning platforms and code that can be customized to your needs. For example, if your app needs SMS texting functionality or push notifications, your developer can use existing software and functionality to accomplish this.
- Create a web app: These applications run off a web server, not a user’s device and use common programming languages to zero in on your specific requirements and needs.
- Create a mobile app: These apps have a much lower barrier to entry than other software apps and create a smooth user experience.
- Build an eCommerce digital solution: These are usually built on eCommerce Content Management Systems (CMS) and support an online store, shopping cart, and purchasing process.
Web App development process
The best web apps start with an idea and go through rigorous scoping and testing before it’s released to the public or your customers. Here is a 6-step standard process for working with a developer on your next web app project:
- Discovery: This is an essential first step of the web app development process. This is where you work to refine your requirements, budget, and project scope. Based on your project discovery, you can narrow down your options for the type of web app you’ll be building (something from scratch, improvements to your existing software, or an app built on another platform).
- Your web developer should be involved in this process so they can make their expert recommendations. They should then provide you with a project development roadmap, including regular deliverables.
- Design: Next, your development team will begin working on your app. This may include a phased process where you’ll get previews of features as they are developed. Your developer will create a prototype app before developing the full app. This allows you to test the functionality and flow (your branding will be added later).
- Coding: The full development and coding will begin once you’ve signed off on the prototype. Ensure your development team adheres to usability and technical best practices and standards. This will ensure performance, reliability, and security.
- Testing: After the code has been completed, your app will be vigorously tested by your team, the developers, and potentially a team of real customers as beta testers. During this process, you can ensure that all requirements have been met to your satisfaction and that everything looks and feels like your brand and the experience you want your users to have. Testing will include:
- Unit testing: to ensure software components are working as expected
- Integration testing: to ensure data flows within the apps and any third-party software as expected
- System testing: to ensure the app functions well (includes load, performance, reliability, and security testing)
- Acceptance Testing: To ensure all project requirements are met and acceptable.
- Deployment: This is often the most exciting part: deploying your app into the world! A developer will first deploy the app on a fully functional testing server for one last round of tests before it’s launched to your audience.
- Maintenance: Apps need regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure maximum uptime and functionality. This includes creating regular backups of server files in case of cyber attacks or infiltrations and regular maintenance testing to ensure everything works as expected.
Have a web app idea? Here’s how to get started
It all starts with a need or idea to improve the customer (or staff) experience. At Twelfth Dream, we are passionate about turning your business ideas into scalable apps and software solutions. Over 50 projects later, we’ve got the team, skills, and vision to execute your custom web app.
Whether you need a web app created from scratch, want to build upon an existing platform or software, or need a revamped website with new features and a more professional design, reach out to the team at Twelfth Dream today for a complimentary discovery call.