Components of an App: Key Terms You Must Understand

Explainer
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Today, mobile and web applications are deeply ingrained in our daily lives—from talking to our friends and family to shopping and ordering food, we interact with various apps throughout the day. And with no-code, it’s now easier than ever to make applications for anything you want, ranging from an app that keeps track of all your warranties to something that helps you manage your household expenses. But before you go ahead and start developing your own app, you must understand the essential components of an app.

8 Essential Components of an App

1 – UI/UX

The UI and UX are the first elements you come across when you first open an app. While the UI (User Interface) design is the visual part of the app that users interact with and focuses more on the visual layout, like the colors, buttons, and fonts, the UX (User Experience) makes sure that the app is easy to navigate and offers a smooth and intuitive user experience. Together, both of these are responsible for the app’s look and feel, making it user-friendly and appealing.

The UI also includes the controls, design, and layout, and dictates how the user can use the app to perform different tasks. Meanwhile, the UX focuses more on ease of use, functionality, accessibility, responsiveness, and navigation. 

Let’s take a task management application as an example. The UI in this case includes the design of the task cards, color-coded categories, and the arrangement of buttons that allow users to add, edit, and delete tasks. Meanwhile, the UX allows users to easily organize tasks, set due dates, and mark items as complete. 

2- The Front-End

The front-end is more like the “storefront” where users interact with the app and encompasses UI/UX along with visual components, animations, graphics, and everything else that users see on their screen. The front-end also involves handling user interactions, like validating the user input and rendering the content, and providing feedback when users complete a task. To have a good app, the frontend should be engaging, responsive, and compatible with different screen sizes and devices. 

In a task management application, the front end is responsible for displaying a list of tasks, allowing users to add more tasks, and offering features like the ability to prioritize tasks using drag-and-drop. To ensure efficient task management, the front-end should provide a responsive and smooth interface. 

3 – The Back-End

The back-end works behind the scenes and is essentially the engine that powers the application and does all the heavy lifting to ensure that the app continues to work securely and reliably. It manages data, processes requests, and handles tasks like communication with databases and other external services, data storage, security, and authentication, and makes sure the application works smoothly. 

In our example app, the back-end handles user authentication and data storage for tasks and synchronizes task lists across different devices. 

4 – APIs

You can think of APIs or Application Programming Interfaces as gateways through which your application can talk to external services. They’re like bridges that allow data exchange between your application and external sources like mapping services, social media platforms, and payment gateways. By integrating external features via an API, you can further enhance your app’s functionality. 

For instance, when creating a task management application, you might want to use an API to integrate a calendar service, allowing users to schedule tasks with dates and reminders.  

5 – Databases

As the name suggests, databases store and manage all the data that your app needs to function as it should, including user profiles, preferences, transaction histories, and product listings. They make sure that the data is organized, secure, and easily accessible whenever needed.

For instance, the database in a task management application is responsible for storing task information like descriptions, due dates, and task names as well as user-related data.

It’s important to have an efficient and well-structured database so that the app can quickly get and update task information.  

6 – Logic

The login within an app determines how it responds to user actions. It includes the rules that govern the app’s behavior, like what happens when a user performs some action like clicking a button or entering data. 

In a task management application, for instance, the logic includes task completion logic, task prioritization algorithms, and notifications for upcoming due dates. All of this logic makes sure that the app works as expected, automating tasks like sending reminders to users and sorting tasks by priority.  

7 – Security

Security is a big concern when developing any app. Protecting important information like user data and payment information, and ensuring overall app integrity, is crucial for preventing unauthorized access. Security measures include safeguarding the app against various threats like data breaches or hacking, user authorization and authentication, and data encryption.  

8 – Testing

Before you launch the app publicly, it’s important that you test it rigorously to make sure it performs as expected and doesn’t have any bugs or errors. In addition to functional testing, it’s important to also perform both user and performance testing to validate functionality, identify and fix problems, and ultimately provide a high-quality user experience.

In the case of a task management app, examples of testing include checking if the tasks save correctly, if the UI is responsive, and if notifications work. 

Once you thoroughly test the app and make it live, you need to continuously monitor it to improve users’ experience based on their feedback and make improvements and enhancements. 

Building your first app

Now that you know all the crucial components of an app, you can go ahead and start making your own with our free No-Code Crash Course that guides you through creating your own library management app with Glide. And if you want to take things further, consider enrolling as a member to get immediate access to in-depth no-code courses that teach you different tools that you can use to create complex mobile and web apps.

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