3 Golden Rules For Designing Web-Based Apps

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Designing a great web-based app should focus primarily on user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). The golden rules for creating one revolves around having an easy and comfortable UX while familiar and predictable UI. To know these rules, read on.

What makes great UX

There are no hard and fast rules with UX, but generally, you’d want to keep a close eye on three:

  • Design based on your users’ personas

Always be aware of your app’s user demographics or personas. To quickly create the general user persona for your app, you can follow this process:

  • Collect data from potential users
  • Draft a few personas based on your data
  • Simulate scenarios on how users will use your app
  • Select three to five personas who would likely need your app
  • Make a detailed description of said personas
  • Let the team about the personas and revolve your app design based on them (1)

Say that you have two primary personas, kindergartners and computer whiz adults. The two have different computer literacy levels. The former may find it challenging to use an app with only text buttons, while the latter may find fault in an app that doesn’t have keyboard shortcuts or gestures.

Typically, if there’s a massive disparity between personas, most developers settle on a compromise. They often ensure that their apps have all the elements and functionalities that any user—regardless of skill level or description—would need. 

Reaching a design compromise is also crucial if you plan to convert and design web-based apps to native platforms. Know user operating systems and devices also play huge roles in your users’ personas, and it’s in your best interest to ensure your app can accommodate their unique needs.

  • Easy UI and trouble-free UX
female ux architect has discussion with male design engineer, th
The users must never take a minute or two to find or know how they can do a particular action. For example, most to-do list apps will have a huge button with the plus sign. If users wish to add an entry, they can easily find that button and press it. There’s no need to navigate endless menus.

Aside from bringing buttons like that front and center, it’s also vital to utilize visual cues. The button in the example has the plus sign, which signals the users that they can push it to add something—in that case, another line entry for another to-do task.

Also, always design a digital strategy first to make it simple for you to market your app. For one, ensure that your app’s main selling points are an easy-to-use UI and a trouble-free UX. After all, one of the main goals in designing a great web-based app is to let users have a stress-free experience when using one.

However, know that this isn’t supposed to be the only rule you should follow. There are some cases you need to make it difficult for your users to perform specific actions. For example, if you have a messaging web app, you wouldn’t want your users to have easy access to the delete all messages function, which, when pressed, will delete all messages in a snap. Some apps would often trouble users by requiring them to type something like ‘PERMANENTLY DELETE’ in a dialog box before they do the command. (2)

  • Make your app robust and forgiving

With an average of 22% of app abandonment rate (people only using an app only once) for the past few years, remember that making your app robust by following the best web design practices can allow your users to stick around longer. Two of the main characteristics your app should have to prevent that from happening is to have an undo function and ensure that your users consistently know what’s going on. (2)

To allow users to be completely aware of what they and the app are doing, they must be frequently supplied with information. For example, a section in modern calculator apps always shows the numbers and operations—or the current equation—that users recently pressed. This section provides users with historical information of their past actions and the current state of their interaction with the calculator app, which can be truly handy if they’re working on something complex.

Also, you must make sure that your app has an undo function to improve its users’ user experience with your app. This function allows users to reverse whatever they do in the app. In word processors, the undo function is as simple as allowing users to remove or undo the changes they have made.

In e-commerce sites, the undo function is in the form of a shopping cart. Instead of buying an item immediately, the shopping cart allows users to remove the things they thought they wanted to buy but decided not to in the end.

Aside from those two, there are other features and functionalities that you can add to ensure that your web app is robust enough to your users’ liking. Some of them are personalization, feedback mechanisms, and even an onboarding process.


Designing a web app is challenging, but creating one that will sell and be a hit requires hard work. And to raise your chances of building that great app, be sure to follow the golden rules discussed above.


  1. “Personas: Why Is It Important To Understand Your Users?” Source: https://www.keepitusable.com/blog/personas-why-is-it-important-to-understand-your-users/ 
  2. “Easy UX Does Not Mean Good UX,” Source: https://uxdesign.cc/easy-ux-does-not-mean-good-ux-44eeee1d9077 
  3.  “21% Of Users Abandon An App After One Use”, Source: https://www.business2community.com/mobile-apps/21-of-users-abandon-an-app-after-one-use-02047838 
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