UX Challenges and Best Practices in Designing Web and Mobile Solutions

UX Challenges and Best Practices in Designing Web and Mobile Solutions

Fernando Almeida (University of Porto, Portugal) and José Augusto Monteiro (Higher Polytechnic Institute of Gaya, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5384-7.ch004

Abstract

The design of web and mobile applications is one of the most challenging fields of the current information technology landscape. Increasingly, companies intend to have a strong presence in the information society, which allows them to advertise their products, services, make online business, interact with customers, among others. However, the development and design of web and mobile solutions have numerous challenges and best practices that should be known and applied. In this chapter, the authors adopt a qualitative methodology based on multiple case studies that allow them to identify a total of six challenges and best practices that are later confronted and compared with the recent findings on the coverage of the topic.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

Information technologies (IT) have become fundamental in professional and personal daily life. Through the Internet, people access to a wide range of services from their workplace, home or on the go. At the same time, the growth and constant evolution of the Internet have also increased the number of devices capable of accessing information. This popularization of the Internet, coupled with the idea of using mobile devices while performing daily tasks, contributed to the increased number of ubiquitous and heterogeneous devices.

Design of interfaces is a relevant field of study in the context of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). This area is notoriously challenging and requires multidisciplinary competences from the teams responsible for the design and conception of Web and mobile interfaces. One of the great challenges is to create “clean” and intuitive interfaces, and the success of a design task depends to a large extent on the use of elements with which user identifies himself. User Experience (UX) emerges as a highly debated and subjective topic. It is difficult to objectively and directly tell how to create good user experiences, but it is possible to learn how to design an interface to provide a satisfying experience for someone who uses it, and identify all aspects of user interaction with that product, service, or environment.

The challenge of making Web application accessible to all devices is extremely demanding. In the Web context, we can already find a significant number of challenges and best practices, but that significantly increases in the mobile paradigm. While on desktops there is more space for a variety of ways to trigger actions and provide a greater volume of information to a user that is only focused on the computer, mobile devices need to prioritize the information that needs to be accessible, which divides his/her attention between the smartphone, tablet or other devices with other routine activities. In addition, care must be taken regarding the size and memory of the mobile devices. It is to overcome these challenges that the UX has become increasingly important and more present in mobile app projects.

This paper intends to identify and synthesize the main challenges and suggested best practices in designing Web and mobile solutions. For that, we adopt a multiple case study approach and we compare the results obtained from those interviews with the recent findings identified in the literature. The paper is organized as follows: we initially perform a review of literature in the field of Web design process, development frameworks and UX experience. After that initial phase, we present the adopted methodology, highlighting the structure of the multiple case study approach. Then, we analyze and discuss the findings obtained from the case studies and we compare it with the recent advancements of the literature in the field. Finally, future research directions are hinted and the conclusions of this work are drawn.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Prototyping: The process of design, execution, and creation of a prototype.

Big Data: Very large sets of data that can only be stored, used, and analyzed with the help of technological tools and methods.

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI): Discipline related to the design, evaluation, and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use in a social context.

User Interface: Represents the user interaction layer, that is, everything that is visually perceptible on some platform and leads the user to a positive interaction.

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX): Set of techniques for programming and web development that uses technologies such as JavaScript and XML to load information asynchronously.

User Experience: The quality of experience a person has when interacting with a specific design.

Cascade Style Sheets (CSS): Language used to define the presentation of web pages built with markup language, such as hypertext markup language (HTML).

Flash: Technology used in a web environment that allows the creation of vector animations.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset