Hazards.

They’re everywhere in life. The sneaky pothole that flattens your tire. The police officer that springs out of nowhere and gives you a speeding ticket. The black ice on the sidewalk that makes you slip in front of a large group of people (I swear, that happens to me every time I go up north during the winter!).

Just like the real world, hazards can also impact your application or website. But these hazards will cost you much more time and resources. Of course, these are much different types of hazards. If you’re not aware of these possible hazards, they may just hit you when you least expect it.

And the process of building a successful application or website can be intimidating enough—so it’s beyond frustrating when your application or website isn’t living up to your expectations.

Here are a few hazards that impact your application or website:

1. Choosing the Wrong Technology

Software development projects are tough enough without adding bad technology choices to the mix. The technology selected is a fundamental choice that determines how your app/website is developed and how users interact with it. But even the best developers are often biased. It’s not always a bad thing, but it can become a problem if your developer chooses an obscure or, even worse, obsolete technology.

With the wrong technology, a simple application can multiply in terms of cost, with an inferior product at launch. Not only will you miss your product window, but you’ll waste loads of valuable time and resources.

So, how do you avoid choosing the wrong technology? There’s no one exact answer. It varies depending on each application/website, and the makeup of the development team. But one tip is to choose your technology based on the design, not the design based on your technology. Also, be sure to get more than one expert opinion on the potential type of technology you should use.

2. Cross-Contamination of Responsibilities

Is your developer also your designer, product strategist, and/or QA team? If so, you might consider choosing a team that quarantines these disciplines.

For example, if your developer is doing your design, they’ll likely make design choices that are easier to implement, even subconsciously, at the expense of an inferior user experience. And when user experience is sacrificed, users won’t stick around and try to figure out your application or website. They’ll run to your competitors out of frustration.

If you’re hiring a development team, make sure to inquire about the structure of responsibilities. Aim for a team with clear roles and as little cross-contamination as possible.

3. Faulty Response to Errors

We’ve all witnessed everything from the Blue Screen of Death to a broken link. Errors are often inevitable, and perfection is impossible.

But does your application respond like a champ when there’s an error, gracefully handling the user experience while alerting you and your development team of an error? Or does it respond more like Roger Goodell (commissioner of the NFL), and completely self-destruct when faced with a difficult issue?

You want to make sure your application can withstand errors—and doesn’t go down in a ball of flames. Remember: the user doesn’t care if there is a good reason why the app or website crashed—it’s still the brand’s fault. With good, quality code, you can avoid these costly errors and maintain a good user experience even when things go wrong.

4. The Development Team Doesn’t Adopt Widely Accepted Practices

A development team should adopt widely accepted practices. This applies both to the code they write (using basic object-oriented methodologies when writing code, splitting up complex problems into multiple easier problems) and to the process (using a structured development process for managing priorities and tracking process).

5. Bad Architecture Decisions

Think of some of the greatest buildings/structures in the world: the Empire State Building; the Eiffel Tower; the Taj Mahal. These man-made spectacles would be impossible if they weren’t built on a good foundation with a solid plan. The greatest apps and websites wouldn’t exist without great architecture either.

Applications and websites need to be built with a variety of implementations in mind. This includes everything from a desktop application to a website to a mobile application to an interface that allows other systems to extend your application. With an inferior architecture, you immediately box in the potential of your app.

Your software architecture should allow room for growth and scalability.

6. Not Built for Scalability

Can your app or website accommodate and large influx of users, or is bound to break before it reaches its potential? The last thing you want is for it to hit a dead end. When your app or website is scalable, it can handle a growing number of customers, provide a good user experience to those users, and give you a better ROI.

To avoid scalability problems, make sure you and your development team plan to scale from the outset. This way, you won’t have to go back and make expensive changes.

Conclusion

Hazards are everywhere in life, and they can impact your application or website.

But unless you’re an experienced developer, you won’t be able to spot hazards like these. They can ultimately prevent your application or website from being successful.

If you’re in the process of building your app or website, you can still avoid most of these hazards. And if you’re already being impacted by some of these hazards in your current app or website, you should consider retooling and fixing the software.

Here at Caffeine Consulting, we help uncover these hazards for you. You can make sure your first impression is a quality one, and your app or website can grow to its potential.

Have you suspected any of these hazards in your application or website? Or would you like to avoid these hazards in your next application or website? Click this link to schedule a call to discuss your project.

Dustin DeVries

Dustin DeVries

Living and breathing software strategy and architecture, Dustin has been building software for over 20 years. He really enjoys working with clients to determine the right technology, whether it’s a web application framework like Django or NodeJS, or a simple CMS solution like WordPress. He received his BS in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University. During his spare time, Dustin enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, playing guitar, running, and hanging out with his family.