Webinar – Introducing V.9 with ProjectHub5/301 PM ET

The Benefits of Using an External UI

November 20, 2019

In its simplest terms, a product’s user interface (UI) is what enables the end user to easily interact with the back-end processes of the application. A good UI provides visual cues and a reliable information architecture so that users are able to easily navigate and find the information they need. Sometimes, however, a simple UI just isn’t enough. There are times when a user interface requires intricate visual designs, well-planned interactions, and data-rich dashboards. When a more robust UI is called for, you may find that turning to technologies that allow you to create a more complex interface is the answer.

But when solutions exist that offer a quick, easy way to create a UI, why would anyone want to turn to an external UI that requires more complicated technology? The answer lies in the benefits that an external UI has to offer.

Develop More Visually Appealing Experiences

Applications like Decisions allow you to create a front-end experience out of the box. You can do this without having to write any code, install anything extra, or work with technical stacks that create dependencies. Drag-and-drop capabilities in these types of solutions make things easy, but they do limit what you can create from a visual design standpoint. Using a technology that exists for the sole purpose of creating front-end designs, such as Bootstrap, Vue.js, or React.js, allows you to extend a UI’s capabilities. What you are able to create using JavaScript is limited only by your team’s capabilities to design and code up your user experience. This allows you more flexibility when it comes to:

  • Displaying your brand elements
  • Delivering a visually enriching customer experience
  • Using animations and other style elements

In the webinar “Using Decisions with External UI,” there is a walkthrough of how you can connect the forms created in Decisions to a site built in React.js.

Keep Your Existing UI in Place

It would be great if you could use all the right solutions from the very day your business goes into operation, but that is not always the case. Businesses add solutions to their toolkit long after other parts of their business have been established; this often means there are existing interfaces that people have grown accustomed to. Whether they be customer-facing or internal applications, you may need to keep the existing interface in place. Businesses that have invested a great deal of time and money into building the right UI often don’t want to change, and they shouldn’t have to.

Leverage External Dependencies

There are times when you may have specific requirements and compliance needs that aren’t so easy to work with. One example that is a common reason for using an external UI is the need for a secure payment portal. Not all applications give you the capability to leverage this from the UI builder, but you may be able to integrate with your payment portal and any other dependencies by building an external UI. The workflows, rules, and everything that you create in the application’s back end is called through an API and appears exactly where you need it on the external front end.

There are obvious benefits that come with using an external UI. It is important to note that there are a few things to be mindful of if this is the route you take. For one thing, building a UI takes resources. There is a level of technical know-how required to code and secure your applications. If you don’t have access to people with these capabilities, it can be expensive to create and maintain a secure, working UI on your own.

Using an external UI allows you to build a user experience that is limited only by your vision. This webinar explains in greater detail how working with an external UI and a Decisions-powered back end works and benefits your business. If you would like to discuss your particular use case, we would love to hear about it. Please contact us at sales@decisions.com.

Gordon Jones
Gordon Jones has founded and sold three companies with the last built using Decisions technology. He has also led factories and large IT implementations both in the US and in Asia, where he lived for over seven years.

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