Skip to main content

What SilverTech Front-End Engineers are up to in 2021

by: Ian Chouinard Sr. FE Engineer, Team Lead

Progressive Web Apps. 

As we look to adopt and maintain the best development practices, we are applying guidelines for our front-end (FE) team. These guidelines are meant to ensure consistency and quality from our front-end engineers. We are setting these expectations so that our clients will get great-looking websites. Front-end developers help build what users interact with and see. The Front-end team takes the designs and implements the design on the web. In 2021, our Front-end engineering team will be integrating more Progressive Web Apps. 

What are Progressive Web Apps? 

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are web apps that use emerging web browser APIs and features along with traditional progressive enhancement strategy to bring a native app-like user experience to cross-platform web applications.  

PWA is truly considered the future of multi-platform development because of its application on many devices, the improved speed, and the fact that it does not require installation or updates. Its availability on both Android and iOS makes PWA the app of the future. 

According to Google Developers, Progressive Web Apps are: 

  • Progressive - Work for every user, regardless of browser choice  

  • Responsive - Fit any form factor and screen size; desktop, mobile, tablet, etc. 

  • Connectivity independent - Enhanced to even work offline  

  • App-like – built with app-shell model with app-style navigations and interactions 

  • Fresh - Always up-to-date  

  • Safe –  hosted over a secure network via HTTPS 

  • Discoverable – allowing search engines to find them 

  • Re-engageable - with features like push notifications 

  • Installable - apps can be visible on a user’s home screen and be readily available 

  • Linkable - shareable via URL, able to bookmark with no complex installation 

 What are some characteristics of a PWA? 

An app is considered a PWA when it implements a set of given features - works offline, is installable, is easy to synchronize, and can send push notifications, etc. There are tools available like Lighthouse that allow you to measure how complete a web app is.  

How can your company benefit from PWA? 

Let me try to explain in plain terms, without the tech speak, how progressive web apps can help your business. Just like any app on your phone, users would be able to install your website on their phone home page desktop or mobile device, get push notifications, and use it even without access to the internet. The benefits of being able to work offline from an end-user's perspective provide an excellent digital experience. To have the option to load the website during air travel, when there is a weak WIFI signal, or if no internet connection is available at all, is convenient and non-disruptive to that user’s interaction with your brand. 

The ability to utilize the website as an app is the way of the future but is purely optional. When loading the site on desktop, it will look and function exactly as your site would normally.  

Questions? 

Contact our team if you are interested in learning more about our development process or if you have a project you’d like us to quote.