Power Apps and UX: Everything you need to know about User Experience to design a successful app
Updated: Mar 6
Until 15-20 years ago, when companies developed their software, the only thing that mattered was that the software worked with as few bugs as possible, regardless of whether we talked about software for business or personal use.
In recent years, thanks to the advent of technologies and paradigms such as broadband, cloud computing, apps, smartphones and tablets, the elementary desire for software that works has been joined by the need to make software that is enjoyable to use to improve internal users' efficiency and customer satisfaction. This is especially significant in Microsoft's Power Apps, which companies frequently use, but with often user-unfriendly results.
How to combine functionality and user experience? Let's find out why UX (User eXperience) is the added value of every app and determine the success or failure of a project.
Power Apps: what is it?
Power Apps is Microsoft's development platform for custom, mobile-ready business apps. With Microsoft Power Apps, you can easily create online apps to automate business processes and customize existing apps to meet your needs without being an expert programmer.
You can choose from a wide range of templates or develop your apps in Power Apps Studio in point-and-click mode and connect them to over 200 data sources such as Excel, SharePoint, or Dynamics 365.
Some key benefits of Power Apps:
Speed up innovation. The Power Apps platform helps companies instantly deploy custom apps to accelerate business processes and innovations.
Create your own apps. With Microsoft Power Apps, business app development is within everyone's reach: in addition to a wide selection of templates, Power Apps provides the user with an extremely intuitive point-and-click app design process.
Develop extensible solutions. Power Apps allows developers to extend app features with Azure services or use custom connectors.
How important is User Experience in the success of an app?
It is now clear that designing an app following UI/UX design principles improves the user experience and manages the user journey better, which is the path that the user must take within an app to achieve specific goals. To understand the importance of this, let's review for a moment the differences between User Experience and User Interface.
What is UI?
Often confused with UX, the UI is the user interface and is the part of the app that users interact with. Therefore, UI design aims at creating easy, fun, and effective interaction.
In the IT world, the User Interface concerns smartphones and any device that, through monitors or screens, allows users to interact with apps. The primary goal is to provide the best possible interaction between user and app.
What is UX?
UX stands for User eXperience. The idea behind the concept of UX is to create a final product that provides users with the best possible experience. The goal of a constant focus on UX is to turn sporadic users into loyal users, providing them with a more than positive experience.
Therefore, user experience is responsible for the successful journey users make through an app or website.
UI and UX are often named together because it's only by working on both of these aspects that you can achieve an app that is both simple, intuitive and smart.
Why is User eXperience important in app development?
Therefore, it is essential to devote time, budget, and resources to User Experience and User Interface study to design a successful app. Many developers create apps that perform well but forget to focus on the risk factors that could lead the user to uninstall the app.
Investing in UX (and on a good User Interface), instead, generates many positive results, which can be summarized in four points:
Attract users. Good UX grabs users' attention and increases interaction time with the app. Of course, increasing dwell time doesn't mean complicating users' lives: They should instead be able to navigate smoothly. Only in this way users will be pushed to stay longer inside the app. In this sense, user onboarding is fundamental: the set of activities that allow engaging users at the first visit, making them loyal and turning them into customers. A fascinating mix of strategies involving UI, UX, persuasive UX writing, marketing and psychology that, if done well, increases the chances that a person will adopt that product.
Create a good impression. In the app business, clothes make the man, no matter what they say. For a startup or any small business, even more than for a recognized brand, a proper UX is the first way to leave a good impression. When users visit your app, they need to be immediately "engaged" so that they are enticed to continue using it.
Build customer loyalty. Of course, the most popular apps have a very high number of users. Apps like Instagram, Facebook or Candy Crush, one of the most popular smartphone games, have an exceptional UX that has attracted millions of people (even billions, in the case of IG and FB). It's the satisfaction with the user experience that makes them loyal to the app, making them not uninstall it within a few days but, on the contrary, dedicate a constant little place to it on their phone.
The role of UX: understanding users' needs
If UX is about experience, and therefore about all the sensations and emotions that users feel when using an application, it goes without saying that these are very subjective and changeable aspects. The goal is to leverage User-Centered Design, a design philosophy in which the needs, desires, and limitations of the end-user of an interface are at the centre of every step of the design process for a user-centred App.
Each user's experience with an app is personal and different from any other person. It is clear that meeting every user's need is almost impossible, but you need to have a dynamic mindset. So it becomes essential to put the customers themselves at the centre of app design. From this starting point, you can develop an interface and an architecture that can best meet its audience's needs.
By focusing on a good user experience, there are two main benefits that a company can achieve:
In the present, you offer a positive customer interaction. By developing an app that is responsive to customer needs, you give positive feedback to their expectations and stimulate follow-up visits.
In the long term, as a result, you increase return customers and build a company/customer relationship of loyalty, so much so that you get to establish an ongoing relationship over time.
In this sense, the user experience is a broad, articulated and continuously evolving process. The development of an app is, in fact, something that never ends: making changes, improvements, renewals based on your customers and their user experience through UX is fundamental, as well as profitable because it always guarantees an excellent relationship between expectations and customer satisfaction in the long term.