User Moments

UX tip 1.

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5 mistakes of using a cloud solution inside you app, without a plan b

1. Assuming the cloud is always available

The problem with the technology of today, is that people assume that cloud is always available. Because internet connections are faster and easier to get access too, doesn't mean that they are always working. When building an app that relies on the cloud, please take this into account. What if it needs to be used, when there is no internet connection available.

There is nothing as frustrating than being prevented from working with your files or project when a deadline is near. Make sure this is possible by syncing latest or complete data to the devices.

2. What if you quite with your app

The app is not a success, but what about the users that have put there trust and information in your cloud database? How are they going to continue there projects?

Consider giving an opportunity to download this material. But implement from the start that they can use this material without the cloud (or your app) else it is still worthless if you're not able to use it.

For example you cannot copy some information directly from Excel to Google's version or the other way around. Saving it when Google stops its online version is then hard to do. But you can export it to csv which can be read by many solutions.

3. There is no back up on your users devices

When using the cloud to store the information, consider making it possible to automatically backup a version of that data to the users device. Giving them the comfortable feeling and insurance that if something goes wrong they always have there data. And for you there is always a backup on a different location to restore from.

Evernote give premium users this option, so all there notes are available offline on there devices. Meaning i now finished this article in the train back from a meeting.

4. Problem on the server side

In this case it was iCloud who couldn’t handle the amount of images from my Ember library (just 2.500). In start of 2014, i started using Ember for mac to collect all my inspiration, it gives you the opportunity to sync your library between your devices. This sounds amazing like many other apps, until it totally crashed and I lost all my inspiration. Luckily I had a time machine back up and was able to save my image files.

Now imagine that I had to reorganize over 2500 images. Although a Ember for Mac gives you the opportunity to make a backup on your computer, it doesn't remind you or does this automatically. And because we are told to trust the cloud, you forget to make it backup. Make sure your app is fool proof. Ember is a great tool to organize your image inspiration library, try it out!

5. What if somebody else access your users account and deletes everything

Even if you are using all the security measures you can think off, it can still happen that someone access your users account. Now with the Heartbreak hack (march 2014) of the HTTPS, it shows there is always a change that there is a flaw inside a security measure.


Make sure you are having plan b solutions ready for when extreme situations occur. Like daily backups on external locations and versions on clients devices. Inform your users about backup solutions and make an automatic backup solution so they can work worry free. The cloud feature is amazing, gives freedom and endles possibilities but with great power comes great responsibility.

Do you know more mistakes or have great solutions to tackling the shortcomings of only working in the cloud? Share them with me on twitter @eyenoxmedia.

Learn something? Help other too!

About me

The idea is to create a checklist over time with suggestions on how to improve your apps & it’s user experience. Creating happy app user & taking the extra step, helping each other by learning from others.
I started speaking about users moments in Oslo, Norway at a meetup beginning this year (2014).

If you have good suggestions for a topic or examples, you can share them with me on twitter @eyenoxmedia.

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