How To Maintain UX Consistency While Leveraging Micro Frontends
UX consistency is a key aspect of making your user experience feel intuitive. When a user feels confident that your application will act in predictable ways, the experience becomes more frictionless, as your user is able to navigate your UI quickly and easily.
Therefore, when building online experiences, your brand should strive for the different aspects of those experiences to have not only a consistent look-and-feel, but also a consistent tone and similar functionality across every application, channel, and device.
While creating UX consistency is always a challenge, it can become even more challenging when multiple teams are working together to develop large enterprise applications. When your enterprise leverages micro frontends, you empower individual teams to independently develop and release updates to their projects, which increases the speed of innovation. But at the same time, enterprises must work intentionally to unite the work of those teams into a cohesive user experience that wins customers over and makes them raving fans of your online brand experience.
Here are 3 ways you can work toward UX consistency while leveraging micro frontends to innovate more quickly.
Make cross-team communication a priority.
In order to maintain both independence and cohesion, clear and consistent communication across teams is vital.
Cam Jackson, Lead Consultant at ThoughtWorks, says, “Just because our teams are independent and they don’t have to coordinate, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t collaborate. So you still want people talking to each other. You still want people saying, ‘Hey I solved this problem already. There’s no need for you to solve it again.’ That’s always something that we should be doing.”
Jackson goes onto explain that creating a cohesive product across independent teams requires an organization to have leaders that are able to continually cast a larger vision and keep lines of communication open. He says, “[This is] where the technical leadership becomes really important, to have people who are bringing those teams together to make sure they’re all moving in the same direction.”
While your vertical teams ought to have end-to-end control over a particular function or feature so that their rate of innovation isn’t slowed by organizational barriers, horizontal communication across areas of expertise keeps you from duplicating effort or creating divergent experiences.
While each team working in micro frontends has autonomy with regard to their project, leadership must cultivate an organizational culture that appreciates the fact that any one team is an important part of a greater whole.
Take a standardized approach to development and keep a common library of reusable UI components.
While unnecessary constraints quell creativity and experimentation, it’s important that the freedom your enterprise gives to its team still rests within a set of standards. So your leadership needs to make sure that you have clear governance in place to ensure your organization is taking a standardized approach to development.
Furthermore, by keeping a common library of UI components that can be leveraged across multiple projects, you keep all your teams up-to-date on the latest brand standards, and you enable them to easily work within those standards without needing to recreate elements from scratch.
Seek to strike a balance between standardization and freedom.
Balance between standardization and freedom is important when empowering independent, vertical teams.
If you take an approach that’s too centrally controlled, then you begin to lose the benefits that come from leveraging micro frontends in your development process. But you’ll still experience the level of technical complexity that architecture introduces--which is the worst of both worlds. At that point, you would be better off going back to developing a monolith. But conversely, if your organization’s leadership is too hand-off, you may end up with a product that lacks cohesion and a company that lacks a unifying vision.
This kind of balance can be difficult to achieve, and it looks differently for different organizations and their culture.
One consideration you might make is in predetermining the importance of finegrain user consistency in a given project. For internally facing applications that may be loosely related to each other, it may be more important to empower the speed and independence of a given team rather than more stringently standardizing across them.
On the other hand, if a project is an externally facing application that you’re envisioning as one fast and intuitive aspect of a larger customer experience, you will want to stress standardization more heavily, perhaps sharing dependencies across micro frontends.
In either event, this balance between standardization and the independence of individual teams is likely something that will require ongoing evaluation. The organizations that are most successful in leveraging micro frontends are the ones that think intentionally about how micro frontends should be talking with one another (along with the teams that built them) in order to provide a cohesive experience.
Standardize UX across your organizations by building with micro frontends on Entando.
People want online experiences that anticipate their needs. Simply put, bad UX loses customers. And when release cycles take months instead of weeks, your business is left unable to respond to the needs of your customers to deliver the kind of UX that will keep them coming back. So that’s why we created a platform to help you innovate UX faster.
Entando is the leading micro frontend platform for building enterprise web apps on Kubernetes.
On Entando, vertical teams using micro frontends deployed on Kubernetes have the freedom to update app features without affecting other parts of your site. This end-to-end autonomy empowers you to innovate more quickly, driving better UX. Micro frontends are developed using customized blueprints, decreasing development time and increasing standardization.
Entando also enables you to create an internal marketplace of reusable components, which further helps you standardize your organization’s development process and maintain a consistent look and feel across every device and channel. You can also update a component once to update everywhere, freeing you up to focus on your next innovation.
Win over customers with modern user experiences built on Entando. Entando is open source with available enterprise support. Begin developing on the platform today and schedule a call with us to see how we can help you build better apps, faster.