March 29, 2024

How to Use AI to Build A Web Application


Artificial intelligence has ushered in a productivity revolution. It has enhanced the way that everyone goes to work — from customer service to software development.

The world of web application development is no different. Software businesses are experimenting with ways to use generative AI tools to both accelerate and enhance the way they ship code. Tools like GitHub's Copilot remove the repetitiveness in writing code, while 8base's Archie unlocks insights that teams might have missed and speeds up the project definition phase by up to 50x.

In this short blog post, we'll walk through one approach to how to build a web application with AI. It uses 8base's Archie to rapidly architect an application, which we can set up in 8base's user-friendly GraphQL backend.

How AI Can Supercharge Web Application Development

Generative AI transforms web application development by automating repetitive tasks, enhancing creativity and streamlining decision-making processes. It is often used today in:

  • Rapid Prototyping - AI tools generate interactive prototypes from sketches or descriptions. This accelerates the design phase, allowing teams to visualize and iterate on ideas quickly.
  • Code Generation - As we mentioned above, tools like Copilot can write code snippets or entire modules based on specifications.
  • Enhanced User Experience Design - AI user research tools like Microsoft Clarity can aggregate hours of user recordings to identify friction points in your application.
  • Predictive Analytics - By predicting user actions and market trends, AI informs strategic decisions, helping teams prioritize features and optimize resources for maximum impact.

By integrating AI into the web application development process, teams can focus on innovation and strategy, leaving the repetitive and time-consuming tasks to AI. This not only speeds up development but also allows organizations to realize cost savings in their effort.

Understanding AI Tools, Their Capabilities and Limitations

Generative AI is still a very young technology. It's particularly useful for automating tasks and generating innovative solutions in web application development.

However, it's important to stay conscious of generative AI's regulatory, copyright and data governance challenges. Much of the legal precedent around this is still being written. Quality assurance is also a challenge, as AI outputs can vary in relevance and accuracy.

With that in mind, remember that generative AI isn't meant to replace human workers but to augment them. Gen AI can tackle repetitive tasks to free up humans to focus on creativity and strategic thinking.

Step 1: Use Archie by 8base for Comprehensive Planning

When it comes to planning, Archie by 8base is a game-changer. Archie is an AI-driven product architect designed to assist in the planning phase of web application development, and it can help you move through the project definition phase up to 50x faster.

Archie leverages multiple large language models, each adept in different facets of the product lifecycle, to transform concepts into detailed plans. The way it works is simple: Just give Archie a short description of the project you are working on, and Archie will return a comprehensive digital blueprint to help you ideate through the project.

Archie's digital blueprint covers just about everything — from application logic to UX principles, monetization models and problem statements you can present to investors.

With Archie, you can save both time and expenses during the web application development process, allowing you to focus on the aspects of your project that matter most.

Transforming Ideas into Blueprints with Archie

As we mentioned above, generative AI isn't meant to replace the value that humans add to the web application development process. Instead, Archie can help you:

  • Expand rough ideas into detailed functional and technical plans
  • Discover potential enhancements for existing projects
  • Accelerate the transition from idea to design concept by automating the repetitive elements of project definition
  • Enhance collaboration and communication with your stakeholders

Archie helps teams create more detailed project specifications, and it can help identify potential security and compliance pitfalls during the planning stage, ensuring that the project starts with a solid foundation.

It's free to try. You can get started here.

Step 2: Choosing a Hosting Solution and Setting Up

After planning, the next step is to choose a hosting solution for your backend. Common for hosting services include:

  • Dedicated hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Cloud hosting

Each offers different levels of control, customization and scalability. The choice depends on your project requirements and the level of control you wish to have.

Backend setup and ongoing maintenance can be a chore, to say the least. However, 8base's backend-as-a-service can simplify that.

Unlike VPS, where setup and maintenance require considerable effort and technical know-how, 8base provides a serverless architecture that eliminates the need for extensive DevOps. This service auto-generates a powerful API, supports managed relational databases and enables serverless functions without the hassle of managing infrastructure.

With features like role-based access controls, user management and authentication, you can spend your time on the frontend. This not only reduces development time but also allows for scaling without the direct overhead associated with traditional hosting solutions.

Step 3: Deployment

Once you’re done with the planning and setting up, it’s time to deploy your web application. Based on the digital blueprint that Archie provides, and working on the 8base backend, you can build and deploy your application. This process involves putting all the pieces together, testing the application, and finally, launching it.

Deployment is a crucial part of the development process. It is during this phase that your web app comes to life.

Step 4: Analyzing User Behavior and Iterating

After deployment, the next step is to iterate on your initial product. AI-driven analytics tools like heatmaps and click maps can elucidate the areas of a web app with the highest levels of engagement and expose design flaws when users interact with non-clickable elements mistakenly.

Session recordings clarify how users navigate through the app and interact with its features, revealing pathways for task completion which assist in making informed design optimizations. In-app surveys, such as Net Promoter Score surveys, serve as direct channels for collecting user feedback, which is critical for understanding user satisfaction with the web app.

This data is incredibly valuable for highlighting updates to make to your web app to improve the user experience.

Next Steps

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