Poor app performance can frustrate users, hamper productivity, and sully your brand’s reputation, so you should do whatever you can to avoid issues where possible.
7 Ways to Make Your Mobile or Web App Run Smoother
To that end, here are some tips on how to ensure your app runs smoothly, whether it is browser-based or mobile-bound.
Ensure Your Database Is up to Scratch
Often the root cause of sluggish app behavior can come down to the underlying database being poorly optimized.
The best way to sidestep such issues is to monitor your SQL Server instances and make sure that any inconsistencies and inefficiencies are fixed as soon as they are spotted, rather than lurking unaddressed for any length of time.
Deal With UI Problems
The interface of your app is the user-facing aspect that will determine whether or not it offers a good overall experience. If the interface is lacking in terms of usability, or if it is over-engineered, then not only will performance suffer, but people will get disgruntled when faced with it.
Often it is tricky to detect the downsides of the UI if you have designed it yourself because, of course, you will be entirely familiar with its layout and navigation capabilities.
Instead, you need to take heed of user feedback and test the interface thoroughly to weed out poor design choices as soon as possible.
You can also consider UI automation testing which is faster and more scalable
One of the variables you have less control over app performance is the type of connection that end users are harnessing.
For web apps that can be expected to be accessed from desktop devices, this is less of an issue. Still, in the mobile space, the uncertainty surrounding connection speed and consistency is a bugbear for lots of developers.
In this context, it makes sense to optimize for the lowest common denominator; expect your users to have a moderate or slow connection and trim down data-intensive elements of the app accordingly.
Remember Hardware Limitations
Connectivity is not the only aspect that will need to be thought of from a broad perspective regarding what users can be expected to have on tap at any one time.
The power of their devices may vary wildly, and it comes down to what your app is designed to achieve in terms of how you optimize accordingly.
In the case that you are creating an app for internal business use, you can be certain of the resources that will be at its disposal, and so make tweaks based on this.
For mobile apps that will be available to anyone, working towards the lowest common denominator makes sense.
Clearly, this is a balancing act because you do not want to stymie your app’s abilities just because you aim to make it run smoothly on the small percentage of low-powered devices that might need access.
Implement Stringent Testing
As with any aspect of app development, thorough research and testing are needed to push you down the right path.
The best way to make sure that your testing is actually effective is to tailor it to replicate worst-case scenarios, which will allow you to see how your app deals with the steepest conceivable challenges.
In this regard, it is not only user-related bottlenecks that you have to be aware of, such as the hardware and connectivity concerns mentioned earlier.
You also need to test your app in situations when the problems are at your end, such as when underlying servers are being maintained or when simulated outages are in effect.
The tougher and more realistic your testing, the more valuable the insights you will glean.
There is no point giving your app an easy ride at this point, as it will give you a false sense of confidence in its capabilities and leave you ill-prepared for unforeseen calamities post-launch.
Don’t Overlook Compatibility
We have established that taking hardware differences into account is important for app developers, but encompassing the varied software ecosystems it might encounter is also essential.
For web apps, that means delving into the different browsers that are most widely used and pinpointing any obstacles to smoother performance.
In the case of a mobile app, you will of course be developing towards the two main smartphone operating systems, which makes things a little simpler.
Even so, it still makes sense to give any OS-specific versions of the app the same care and attention to ensure that they work efficiently wherever users might encounter them.
Listen to Third-Party Feedback
Lastly, do not only rely on input from people who are already familiar with the project, but seek feedback from as wide a pool as possible both pre and post-launch.
You will probably glean the most impactful pieces of information that can lead to optimization breakthroughs as a result of user feedback. And once responses start to flood in, do not brush them under the carpet, but harness them instead and base your decisions upon them.
App developers must appreciate that their work is never done, and this persistence is what really makes software run smoother in the long run.
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