User Experience in Awala apps

Awala itself doesn’t constrain the look and feel of compatible apps, but you’ll have to unlearn common UX patterns when you design for people who may be disconnected from the Internet for a long time: The user being offline is the rule, not the exception.

Designing Offline-First Web Apps by Alex Feyerke is a good starting point for the kind of things you ought to consider. However, you should keep in mind that there are two key elements of the offline-first movement are unlikely to apply to your app:

  • Offline-first advocates are primarily concerned with web applications.
  • Offline-first assumes that the user is briefly disconnected from the Internet, but Awala is meant to support extreme cases where there’s no end in sight for when the Internet will be restored.

You should also consider that if your user is disconnected from the Internet, they may be under excessive stress as a consequence of the circumstances they’re dealing with in their region.

Sadly, there’s not enough literature on how to approach UX in these scenarios, but we’re keen to work with others to improve this.