Ok, so we’re all very well acquainted with our friend, the web browser. It has helped us with so many things in life, answered so many of our questions (well, technically it is Google, but nevertheless), and kept us entertained. It simply became a huge part of our lives. And how?
Through its well-built web applications. Our web browsing experience is influenced a great deal by these two factors, the web application and the web browser. And over the years, we have seen a hell lot of improvements in our browsing. The kind of browsing experience we have now is not something we imagined a few years back. To explain how it has changed, let’s take a quick look at how web apps used to be in the past.
While growing up
Single page apps
Such apps were actually very good for the user as all they needed was the initial loading time. Once that was done, then navigation between the pages would become pretty easy and smooth without refreshing the page and it even supported offline browsing if everything was done right. Even for the developer, such apps were perfect, as there was a clear cut division between client and the server and there was not much sharing of logic required between the two (which are often in different programming languages), which facilitated the smooth workflow.
However, there were a few flaws in this perfect approach for web applications:
Trouble for the spiders
An application that works only on the client side is not capable of serving the web spiders or web crawlers. Web spiders are automated programs or scripts that run to search the web in an automated and systematic manner. The process is called web spidering. A lot of search engines and even sites use this process as a way to provide up-to-date data. What they basically do is request the server for a page and interpret the results. If however the result is a blank page or an undefined page, then it is of no use. Now, as such apps cannot support web spidering, their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will be poor or not up to the mark by default.
Apart from these, there were several other minor limitations like for example, as there was a clear distinction between the client and server sides, there were chances for duplication of application logic and data, such as formatting of date and the like. Such things were more problematic in case of huge and complex applications.
With all the above-mentioned limitations, there was a need to find a solution that surpassed these issues and yet maintained the efficiency and smoothness of client-side application logic. Thus emerged Isomorphic web applications developed using React.js.
An Isomorphic application is one that can run on both the client side as well as the server side. The code for an isomorphic application can be used or shared by the front end and the back end. A major difference in such applications that make them much better than other applications is the way they process requests. An initial request made by the web browser is processed by the server and all other subsequent requests are processed by the client side.
Now there are a number of benefits associated with Isomorphic applications due to which they are rising in popularity and becoming a huge hit among developers as well as users. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits:
- Speedy– Isomorphic apps are faster to provide HTML content, as the request is not always handled by the server-side. Only the initial ones reach the server whereas subsequent requests are handled by the client-side. This makes browsing faster and more efficient. Moreover, as opposed to common Single Page Applications, where the first request is used majorly for loading the application and then further steps to gather the required data, Isomorphic apps have fast first page processing and even faster further processing.
- Less Code – As the code is shared between the client side and the server side, there is much less code required as against Single Page applications. This makes it a lot easier to develop as well.
Another major factor is the fact that Isomorphic apps can be easily maintained. As there is no need for duplication of application logic between the front end and the back end, it makes handling of even complex applications much easier.
A lot of these benefits make Isomorphic apps very popular among developers, as they all point in one direction – that is, making development easier. They also give the expected results, and that put together with less coding, makes it a favorite among developers.
As for the users, speed and efficiency are the essential drivers. If you have an application that loads fast and gives excellent features, what more do you need?
Just like any application, there happens to be a little flaw with Isomorphic apps as well. It’s just that debugging is a bit of a problem for such apps. There is probably a need to use separate debuggers for the server side and client side of the application. Like for example, for the server side, a node.js debugger would be sufficient while for the client side, maybe the web browser’s debugger would do. It depends on the kind of application as well.
Another possible difficulty could be in managing the settings on both sides. For example, the setting for the server side such as API keys and for the client side like the hostname of resources used such as CouchDB, could vary according to the production environments and it could be quite a task managing them.
Just like any other application, Isomorphic applications have their own share of advantages and disadvantages. In spite of the minor flaws, these apps are definitely increasing in popularity with each passing year because of its ease in development and speed. It is an exciting technology that comes with the option of various isomorphic libraries available, that can be chosen according to the scenario. What do you think about Isomorphic applications? Share with us in the comments below.
We’ve all had a thousand stories to tell about our clients, haven’t we? From the “oh-so-understanding” perfect clients to the most adamant perfectionists, each client gives us a unique experience to talk about or even learn from, sometimes. Now, how often do we think about the client’s perspective of things; like, what kind of stories would they have to share about us – the designers, or maybe are already discussing now?
Yes, they do that too. This is the part where you can probably think of the times you’ve lost your temper trying to convince the client about something, or the times you’ve messed up things, just because you needed an extended deadline to finish something perfectly.
Its OK. We’ve all been there. Just like clients, designers too have their own unique characteristics and ways of dealing with things.
However, there are some who may be too eager to finish the project, have a million doubts at every stage of the project, and some may know just what clicks, hey, perfectionists exist among designers too. From a client’s point of view, some of these kinds of designers are ones that they should probably keep away from.
So, this is for the clients. Here we list 5 types of designers who can do no good for you or your project. Make sure you steer clear of these people and as for the designers, make sure you don’t fall into any of these categories.
- The “Mr. Know-it-all” frauds – These kinds of designers are the ones that think that they know everything about everything. They will probably portray themselves as experts in their field and get you to believe that they are the most experienced designers (which they could be, in terms of years of experience alone) and how they are the best for the job. But later on, you will probably realize that your project looks like the latest collection of the free design templates available online and that there is absolutely nothing worth the money you just paid them. They probably think of themselves to be right all the time and others wrong, so they tend to avoid anyone else’s ideas. What’s more, they might just disappear with the money, once the project is delivered to you, and never be heard of again. Try telling him an opinion of yours. If he smilingly rejects it or turns it around to make it his own, then this is probably it.
- The “perfectionists” – These are the ones that spend hours at length trying to perfect a tiny little aspect of the project and finally end up not being able to deliver the project on time. They might have the most organized way of doing things and often cannot stand the thought of something being out of place. Even though the project might be the epitome of perfect, you probably won’t get it when you want it. Also, they might tend to ignore a lot of instructions because it’s just not their way of doing things and they might not even pay attention to any other ideas because they are just not perfect. Maybe you can try giving him a trial work for which you have a proper deadline and also have a clear idea of the time needed to complete and see if he can do it with full perfection. If he can, then you can go ahead and hire him, but if not don’t hire even if his so far is perfect.
- The “multi-taskers” – These kinds of designers often take up a number of projects to work on simultaneously and have no priorities set. They will probably also have a couple of ongoing freelance and personal projects too at the same time. As a result, they have absolutely no track of time and hence no track of due dates. The quality of their work on all of these projects also gets affected because they are focusing on numerous projects at the same time. In the end, you will probably be left with a completely off the schedule and substandard quality product, plus a whole lot of wasted time, effort, and money. Try getting a clear picture of the kind of work he already has on his plate before you hire a designer.
- The “clever foxes” – These are the ones that keep you updated on the advances of the project and keep telling you their bright ideas, which you probably might have nodded along with, because you thought your designer is the best. By the end, you will probably find yourself nodding yes to including something that they made you believe, the project cannot do without and end up spending twice the cost that you had planned and taking twice as much time as what you had initially planned for your project. If you hear a “Your project is almost done, but…..” then you probably have chosen the wrong designer.
- The “copy machines” – These kinds of designers often search the web for inspiration and new ideas, and finally end up literally stealing the design styles that they’ve browsed through. You don’t want your project website looking just like another one, do you? You certainly don’t want to be accused of copying the design of another website, right? Then you should probably stay away from these unoriginal copiers. They often have a history of similar looking websites and designs to their credit, so if you do your research before signing up with a designer, you can probably spot this one out pretty easily.
There are many other kinds of designers out there who have their own unique traits, like for example, ones who finish off projects ahead of the deadline, but with substandard quality, ones who are the opposite, that is extremely lazy and keep putting off deadlines and ones who like to work alone. The truth is that all kinds of designers have their negatives and positives. The real challenge is to find the one that is best for your project and how will you get there? Research, research and more research.
What other kinds of designers have you come across in your professional life that you think you should avoid? Share with us in the comments below.
Several statistics prove that almost 75% of website users judge the efficiency and credibility of a company by its website design. That pretty much shows how important it is for a company to have a well-designed website. They are undoubtedly one of the main factors in improving business. However, it is also one of the most overlooked aspects of a business. Managers and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), often do not spend much time on their company’s website. Even though they realize how important it is for their business, all they do is simply hand over the job to the designers and forget about it.
What people seldom notice is that there are a lot of misconceptions around how websites are built these days. Some of these can even cost the company their relation with designers when the final design is a mess and doesn’t attract people. In turn, the company might just lose its prospective clients.
Here are 5 of the most common misconceptions that companies should probably watch out while designing their website. And if you are a designer, these points will definitely teach you what not to do while working on your new project.
- ‘Fancy is better’ – Most often client companies feel that their newly designed website is not good enough, or not worth their money when their designers submit a minimalistic design. The truth is that minimalism is actually the “in thing”. White spaces in websites are often considered to be the signs of a poorly designed website, but the fact is that users find such websites more appealing and beautiful. It is as a matter of fact, quite OK to have white spaces in a website as long as everything necessary has been included. Instead of including extravagant icons and elements, designers need to focus more on making websites simple and perceptive. Moreover, simple designs contribute to a lesser load time, which adds to the effectiveness, as most people tend to leave a web page if it does not load in 4 to 5 seconds.
- ‘What the client likes is what the users will like’ – Most website designers, finalize on the design by taking into consideration the client’s preferences. However, what they like might not always seem appealing to the actual website users. Again, if the company finds a particular design not good enough, then the website as a whole is said to be of bad quality. This too is not good practice, because of the same reason – what the company likes might not be what the users like, and vice versa. Companies need to hire designers that do thorough market research and trust them in providing effective designs.
- ‘Content just needs to have the keywords and can be recycled easily’ – The content of a website is supposed to have the right keywords. True. But these keywords shouldn’t be stuffed into the content for the sake of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The content should be relevant, reliable, engaging and original. It should also contain the keywords. Also, most designers think it is ok to use already existing content, from the same website. That again is something that affects the credibility of a business. Whether it is from the same company’s website or from some other website, recycled content makes the users bored and also affects the search engine ranking.
- ‘Mobile websites are not necessary’ – A lot of designers focus only on, or more on the desktop version of a website. This practice is no longer a wise move, especially today, when the world seems to be under the reign of smartphones. People need to focus on building mobile responsive websites instead, and make it possible for the users to access the site from anywhere in the world, regardless of the device. Several surveys show that over half of the website users are less likely to become customers of a company that doesn’t have a mobile site or if they have a poorly designed mobile site.
- Bigger logos are better’ – Logos are meant to add brand value and help customers identify unique brands. They are not meant to fill web pages. Adding huge logos to a website, in the hope of being able to grab attention, is a big mistake. It is important to properly design the size of the various elements in a web page in order to make it appealing to users. Having the essential elements in a bigger font and the rest in a slightly smaller font is probably a good way to go.
A good website design is one that will not only be useful and attractive for the users but also conforms to SEO specifications. It will have relevant and original content and shall appear seamless on any mobile device. Companies need to hire designers who know all these and are well aware of the future trends in website design as well.
What other strange website design misconceptions have caught hold of your associates? Let us know in the comments below.