Use These 3 Things to Add Value to Your App in 5 Minutes or Less

February 18, 2020

Echobind Team

For those in-between task times when you feel like going above and beyond.

1. Cool Micro-interactions

Hover animations on the Echobind website.

Last week, we added a slick little transition to a few card components on the Echobind website. When hovered, the card appears to slide toward the user. The slight translation on the y-axis, combined with the wider-spread box-shadow, gives a visual indicator that this element is clickable, and focused. The growing gradient underlining the card title was just added for fun.

2. Loading Spinners or Progress Bars

This one will make your users immediately happy. We recommend nprogress. It’s a lightweight JavaScript library that takes 5 minutes to implement, and it’s framework agnostic. Add in a few extra minutes if you want to customize the appearance of the loader. Here’s a gif of what the default configuration looks like:

Default loading spinner for Nprogress, a lightweight library for loading spinners and progress bars.
Default loading spinner for Nprogress, a lightweight library for loading spinners and progress bars.

Depriving your users of a loading/progress indicator is not an option. Take a few minutes and show them that something is loading.

3. Tests!

Add some tests! Adding end-to-end testing (preferably, automated) immediately returns on its investment. We ask our engineers to use for integration and E2E testing on all of our projects because of its simplicity, features, and power. All of our engineers have reported 100% satisfaction because writing tests helped them fix bugs that weren’t immediately present, detect and fix bugs before the inflicting code is deployed, and use the tests as a form of documentation to set a feature’s acceptance criteria. Clients love it because they are seeing less time spent bug hunting and fixing, and more time writing features. Michael Yagudaev wrote an excellent article on testing with Cypress, and we recommend taking a gander and trying it out.

Cypress running automated end-to-end tests on a small to-do app.

What are some other quick things can add value to web apps? Let us know in the comments!

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