While the “native vs. hybrid vs. responsive apps” debate is a topic that we’ll leave for another blog post, it’s important to discuss why web apps should fit any form factor. Throughout the day, we switch from one display to another and we expect our beloved apps to look and work the same in all situations. In other words, responsive design has become something that should be available by default.
Do you read the morning news on the phone? How about reading your favorite book on a tablet while commuting? And then you spend a huge part of the day in front of your desktop PC or notebook. When it comes to web apps, responsive design still plays an essential role, even much more than the operating system. In fact, the main constraints will derive from the browser itself.
Responsive Design of Web Apps Is Deeply Rooted in Constraints
If you’re developing a web app, you’ll want it to look and perform equally fine regardless of the screen size, proportion and orientation. All of these are in fact limitations that determine web app developers and designers to get more creative. Things have also changed in terms of tools used for responsive design. Unless you’re using platforms such as Webflow, you’d need to build the same screen for various resolutions over and over again. In this dynamic world where every missed day is an opportunity for your competitors, you simply cannot afford that.
Benefits of Web Apps with Responsive Design
Responsive web apps are not only the easiest and fastest to deploy, but they are also the most cost-efficient. If you’re a startup owner, you need all of these three benefits for a competitive advantage. To increase efficiency while developing the responsive web app, you can use many libraries. On top of that, it’s possible to have multiple developers working on the project simultaneously.
Changes made to the code or to the design are instantly seen across platforms. That’s really a double-edged sword, as both new features and bugs will be visible immediately. On the upside, the UI is simpler and user acquisitions have lower costs than in the case of mobile apps.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
It’s not all sunshine and roses with responsive web apps, as the overall performance might be slow at times. That’s particularly the case if your web app features animations or videos. On top of that, you won’t be able to implement push notifications, which could alert users of new changes to the app.
Responsive web apps remain the solution of choice for content-heavy projects. However, there are many other situations when having a web app with a responsive design can come in handy. If you’re not willing to treat this as a permanent solution, you could treat it as an intermediate step towards a native app. Give responsive web apps a chance if you’re just getting started or wish to push new features instantly, without having to release updates to app stores.
Want to learn more about web apps and responsive design? Stay tuned, as we will cover both of these topics in even greater detail in our future blog posts!