How to Build a Great User Experience, Quickly

Building an analytical app and web app at the same time? It can be done!

In my last entry, I spoke about creating a great user experience, and how it’s not about pretty charts and fancy colors. Rather, it’s about how it makes the person feel when interacting with the application. It must be intuitive, useful, and pleasant to work with to ensure high user adoption.

According to a recent article, a Forrester Research report found that 72% of business leaders identified effective user adoption as the most important factor for the success of a project, and that 70% of applications fail due to lack of user acceptance or adoption. Too many companies have tried - and failed - at building what they thought would be a great user experience, only to miss the mark because they forgot to ask “how will they use it,” “where will it be used and on what device,” and “are we telling the correct story?”

In this blog, I wanted to dive a bit deeper on the development and deployment aspect of user experience with Desi Reuben-Sealey, our Certified Designer in Qlik Consulting Services. One of my first questions of Desi was, “if a customer wants a great user experience, doesn’t that require a web application?” We had previously discussed that, in fact, a company can create a great UX with any UI - such as native Qlik UI or embedding Qlik inside other web-based apps. However, in this day and age of 24X7 mobile devices, many are so used to having a web-based experience that it’s the preferred choice, or it’s required to adhere to a company’s custom interface.

So, when that is the case, how do you go about building the analytical app and the web app at the same time? If done right these are two different development tasks, yet still highly co-dependent. My assumption has always been that you build the analytical app first to avoid any possible rework. Desi explained that there is no reason not to do both at the same time, especially if you are anxious to launch the app, as long as you have a good idea of the final layout ahead of time. While the analytic developers are busy integrating data, building data models and setting up charts, the web developer can be swiftly building the infrastructure – splash page, navigation and chart containers – which is based on the design created by the designer. When the analytic app is ready, content is simply dropped in.

Short on time & need to build a great #UX experience? Here is the formula:

That’s one of the great things about Qlik – it integrates so easily with web applications that the web developer can be creating the chart containers in advance of finalizing Qlik content. Furthermore, if the company wants to change Qlik content later, like replace a bar chart with a mapping object, that’s easily done in the native application without requiring any more development on the web side. Nice!

Even with all that, Desi explained it still doesn’t mean a company should go head-first into building a web application. Before going too far into a workshop with a customer to design their user experience, he spends time getting to know if they are ready for this step. Just like with many things in life, sometimes a company has to crawl before they walk, and walk before they run. Luckily, even if they use Qlik Sense natively, they still have a mobile-friendly application that provides a great UI!

In my next and last installment of the user experience topic, we’ll talk with Desi about some of the more advanced topics practiced by companies, such as setting up a user experience governance. Until then, if you want to learn more about how Qlik Consulting can help you design a great user experience, visit


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