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Lift your customer journey with rich web front-ends

One pager apps, Next.js, React, Angular. How can rich web front-ends solve your pressing business problems?

The world wide web is ever evolving, and the static, handmade HTML sites of the 90s are of course long gone.

The dynamic, service rich digital experiences of today and tomorrow are something most brands and organizations are trying to opt into, but in order to do so you have to have a basic understanding on rich front-ends.

So what are rich web front-ends, and how can they help boost your customer journey?

What are rich web front-ends?

A "front-end" is the framework for building web pages and user interfaces for web applications. A front-end implements the structure, design, behavior, and animation of every element you see on-screen when you visit and interact with websites, web applications, or mobile apps. Modern front-end frameworks rely on three core technologies: HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

In practice, a front-end influences the way you interact with a given web page or app. Let's make a comparison: In the old days you clicked a link, were sent to a site with a form, clicked "submit," before being sent to a "thank you" page.

This approach is what we call "request based." Today, thanks to the development of rich front-end frameworks, everything functions on the same page. Every request processes in the background, delivering a seamless experience at the front to you.

Create business value with the customer journey:

Create business value with the digital customer journey

The constantly evolving rich web front-ends are essentially making traditional websites into a more app-like user experience, where all actions and elements work on only "one page."

New solutions to functionality doesn't demand that you load new pages, as actions happen instantly. Try to imagine Facebook, where you read the news feed and interact with posts. The liking, commenting, or sharing happen instantly, on one page, without you being sent to a confirmation page.

Examples of popular front-end frameworks

There are several popular web front-end frameworks available for developers nowadays, and here are the most popular ones:

Next.js: Open-source web development framework built on top of Node.js, enabling React-based web applications functionalities such as server-side rendering and generating static websites.

React: A JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It is maintained by Facebook and a community of individual developers and companies. React can be used as a base in the development of single-page or mobile applications.

SvelteKit: A framework for building web applications of all sizes, with a flexible filesystem-based routing.

Angular: Platform for building mobile and desktop web applications. Angular is a TypeScript-based open-source full-stack web application framework led by the Angular Team at Google and by a community of individuals and corporations.

Vue: Open-source JavaScript framework for building user interfaces and single-page applications.

Ionic: Open-source software development kit for hybrid mobile app development. Ionic allows you to build cross platform mobile, web, and desktop apps with one shared code base and open web standards.

Don't miss: Supercharge your site with Next.js and headless CMS »

How rich web front-ends can boost your customer journey

Richer front-ends will make it easier for you to construct a smoother, faster, and more functionality-rich experience for your customers.

You can boost your customer journey in several ways, but here are two wide technological areas you can utilize:

Progressive web apps: A progressive web app (PWA) combines the features of native apps with traditional websites. A PWA thus makes a smooth and painless transition between whatever platform you’re on, wherever you are.

With PWAs you can design a holistic, thoughtful, and purposeful customer journey—taking all the customer steps scenarios and corresponding channels into consideration.

A digital experience shouldn't be limited to a full-blown desktop, nor cater only to the mobile screen. A great experience makes every device and bandwidth the right one, and removes every potential stick in the wheel from the user experience equation.

Headless: Delivering the same content to a wide array of channels and platforms may sound like a bother, but with the headless approach you can deliver content from a single database to whatever front-end you choose.

A rich web front-end therefore needs headless content in order for you to manage texts and relevant content in the different applications.

Even better, with the next-gen headless CMS approach you get the full package: Headless content can be fetched by an API and delivered to smart watches and IoTs, while you at the same time can manage a "traditional" website with an intuitive editorial experience—plus rich functionality offered by the popular front-end frameworks.

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Essentially there are no pure websites anymore. You need to manage phrases, banners, etc. that are no longer a part of the traditional website, and rich web front-ends can help you do just that.

For example: The Norwegian insurance company Gjensidige offers various types of insurances. Their site not only showcases the facts, it also includes signature options, videos, forms, and a dynamic box with sliders to calculate the price.

This is great user experience, enhancing the customer journey with all the questions, answers, and follow-up actions in one place.

Create business value with the digital customer journey

First published 20 March 2019, updated 19 August 2022.

Topics: 
customer journey
cms
front-end
digital experiences
single-page application