All Blogs
All Blogs

Designed to Perform: The narrowing UX experience

With rounded corners and floating buttons, web design is starting to look a lot like native apps, and in 2023 this trend is showing no signs of stopping.

Now more than ever, Marketers will be expected to do more with less, focus on what matters, and postpone projects that might be perceived as ‘nice-to-haves’. The pressure on marketers will no doubt trickle down to website redesigns and branding, where investments need to work harder to demonstrate their return. Yet this presents a dilemma, is it better to be functionally focused at the expense of creating a differentiated digital brand or to develop a web presence with all the trimmings?

At BBT, we strongly champion the idea of performance-centric digital. When we kickstart a website project, our performance and design teams look at how best to create a user experience (UX) that helps our clients achieve their goals. Innovative UX and goal-oriented design are not mutually exclusive.

Our new Designed to Perform blog series outlines 2023 design trends that some might consider frivolous but can actually help your business achieve financial and operational goals.

The narrowing experience between Mobile websites and Native Apps

With rounded corners and floating buttons, web design is starting to look a lot like native apps, and in 2023 this trend is showing no signs of stopping.

A key development has been the rollout of progressive web apps (PWA) by an increasing number of brands.

What are Progressive Web Apps?

PWAs are web applications that can be installed on a user’s device and run offline and, in many ways, behaves similarly to a Native app. For example, PWAs allow for features such as push notifications, offline access, and home screen icons, which were previously only available to native apps.

Web design has also evolved to utilise more native-like navigation and layouts, such as the maturing use of hamburger menus ( three horizontal lines) to hide or show a navigation menu or using swipe gestures to interact with the website, similar to how they would with a native app.

In addition, touch-based web animations and dynamic effects have also increased, making web pages more engaging and interactive, similar to native apps.

These changes have allowed web designers to create more similar experiences to native apps, providing users with a more seamless and consistent experience across different devices and platforms.

How does this help businesses achieve their goals?

Web design that looks more similar to native apps can benefit businesses in a few ways:

  • Improved user experience: By mimicking the look and feel of native apps, web design can provide users with a more seamless and intuitive experience. This can lead to higher engagement and conversion rates.
  • Increased brand consistency: Businesses can maintain a consistent brand identity and improve recognition by using similar design elements across web and mobile apps.
  • Greater reach: With the rise of Progressive Web Applications (PWA), businesses can create web experiences almost indistinguishable from native apps. PWAs can be accessed directly through a web browser, eliminating the need to download an app from an app store and increasing accessibility and reach for businesses.
  • Lower development costs: Creating a single web-based experience that can be accessed on multiple devices can be more cost-effective than developing separate apps for each platform.

For businesses that use PWA, the benefits are in the pudding:

  • Starbucks increased daily users 2x
  • British retailer Debenhams saw a 40% increase in mobile revenue and 20% increase in web conversions.
  • Best Western River North Hotel saw a 300% increase in revenue


Our final two cents

When redesigning a website, it’s important to plan for the long term by considering how your customers and competitors may change over time. This includes evaluating whether a PWA would be a good fit for your business and planning for future user experience (UX) enhancements that can be built upon a strong foundation rather than relying on patchwork redesigns.


Further reading

How Acme Supplies reshaped the B2B experience and achieved 150% growth in online sales

Budiu, Raluca . “The State of Mobile User Experience.” Nielsen Norman Group, January 1, 2023.