Chapter 11. Progressive Web App UX

Grace and Trust

Progressive web apps present a true paradigm shift in the way the web works. They provide an experience that is beyond users’ expectations of the web.

Users do not expect web apps to continue working when they are offline. Yet progressive web apps over-deliver on those expectations.

Users do not expect web apps to send them updates when new information relevant to them is available. Yet progressive web apps over-deliver on those expectations too.

Users do not expect full-screen experiences, launched from the homescreen, that look and behave just like native apps. Yet once again, progressive web apps over-deliver.

On the other hand, when a user visits a web app, she expects the content that loads to be up to date. But a user who does not realize she is offline may also not realize that content shown on the screen may be hours or even days old. To her, progressive web apps seem to be under-delivering on the experience she expects.

While the gap between the abilities of the web and the native app is quickly closing, the gap between the modern progressive web app’s abilities and users’ expectations and perception is still very wide.

In the long run, as users use progressive web apps more and more, this gap between expectation and reality will shrink and disappear. But until that happens, this dissonance between users’ expectations and the modern progressive web app presents us with a new challenge. One that we can solve by communicating ...

Get Building Progressive Web Apps now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.