Making impact on the user experience

by Randy — 3 minutes

Randy has been a front-end developer for over 11 years and has strengthened several front-end departments in recent years. He recently completed his assignment at a large hardware store. High time for a good conversation about his latest assignments, the challenges of front-end departments and the importance of front-end development in e-commerce.

Front-end with direct business results

"On my last two assignments, I worked on web applications with many users, both consumers and internal users. I like that, because it means my work has a direct impact on these users and the company's bottom line. This also means I directly see if what I came up with actually works. In my last assignment, we did a lot of A/B testing. One of them was a change that immediately resulted in over 1 percent conversion increase. That's great to see. On a previous assignment, we developed a feature that instantly revealed the cost of a particular decision. That used to be based on gut feeling, but we made it immediately clear to the people using the application. Then you add value immediately. But to make that impact, you have to know very well what your users want from their apps."

UX undervalued in enterprise environments

"Figuring out which information is essential and which is 'just interesting' is one of the important aspects of user experience (UX) work within an application. You really have to research stakeholders: interview and see how apps are used by key users. This aspect is not yet valued within enterprise environments, but it can make a huge difference. Assumptions are now often made without validating them. This creates discussions that are all about feelings, not numbers. I prefer front-end development with A/B testing, so we eliminate that gut feeling and get facts in return.

Good UX research provides insight into how satisfied users are with business-critical apps. For example, by using modern tracking mechanisms and data, or by talking to end users, you can find out a lot. You can hire a UX'er for this, but also invest it within a team. After all, developers know how something can be solved; they often already know which API call it could be due to. That knowledge is often lacking among UX'ers. You have to have a feel for it as a front-end developer."

Personalization and mobile first increasingly important in e-commerce

"For e-commerce, personalization is a big opportunity. Using data to analyze buying behavior to show the right products on the homepage. We know this from the likes of Coolblue, but it is also being done a lot within hardware stores. It has a positive effect on cross- and upselling. The combination of front-end development and machine learning is crucial here. This allows e-commerce to serve many different target groups. With A/B testing, you can immediately see the result of certain choices and test hypotheses. Another trend is mobile-first development and combining offline and online channels. In my previous project, between 70% and 80% of visitors came via mobile devices. In addition, you want customers in the store to be able to use the online loyalty card. At Albert Heijn, for example, you can open the gate with your loyalty card. You're going to see this kind of thing more and more."

Would you like to add Randy or one of our other front-end developers to your team? Check out or contact Juliëtte at 06 - 42078127 or