With time, it’s natural to forget that a web application means nothing without users. Development might focus on cosmetic changes or swapping technologies under the hood. However, without any substantial improvement for your users, the value of changing the layout of your website or breaking down a monolithic application is questionable. Even worse, your paying customers might get frustrated when they notice that you are just moving things around. This bug they put up with every time they use your website is still there and nothing has been done about it. This example is simplistic, yet it is drawn from my professional experience, where I’ve seen companies rebranding themselves so often that employees themselves grew tired of it.
A good way to circumvent the problem of development work for the sake of it is to constantly ask ourselves: How does this make the user’s life easier? Similarly, when your developers add a feature to your application, the question to keep in mind should be the following: How can I help users accomplish this task in two clicks instead of three? Providing feedback to our customers is essential to a good user experience: If an error occurred, do they get a notification, even vague, that something went wrong? Or are they confronted to a spinner that will never go away? For reasons that I have yet to understand, developers seem to put these problematics on the back burner. Unfortunately, not communicating to users when things are not going as planned is the best way to alienate them and jeopardize your business.
Creating a beautiful and efficient interface is critical to the popularity of your product. Don’t underestimate the power of a polished web page! If it looks beautiful and it’s simple, you will have an easier time conquering the hearts of minds of your users.