Today a developer mentioned that we should display a message to the users saying "A new version of the XX app is available, please refresh de browser". Like what Inbox did once.

Is displaying this message a good practice or an anti pattern as they mention in this tweet? Are there other better ways to solve this?

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Thank you in advance!

  • Why is it an anti-pattern? Dec 19 '18 at 16:14

This depends on the kind of system but is also hard to answer with scientific facts.

While for regular apps, it would make sense to update them before loading it completely. (Like games do.)

For web-apps, this makes sense, out of a technical point of view. Of course it is always better to update the app before fully launching, but sometimes, especially at webservices, it is hard to force everyone out of the app, so sending them such a notification can be the only way to make them update.

Sadly such new solutions are hardly researched or atleast researches are rarely publicised for anyone so making data based answers are hard to do. Especially since it always depends on the target group and variety of users everyone has.

  • It works well for Inbox or other apps like that because it's likely the browser tab is always left open, and not just loaded up each time a user wants to check it. If so, it's harder to automatically update the version as it would require the page be called again. Many people don't close their browser very often at all, just closing the lid / snoozing the session between uses. So whether this solution is good for OPs situation may depend on the type of application it is and whether it's permanently in use or an occasional visit.
    – JonW
    Dec 13 '18 at 17:00
  • @JonW thanks for saying what I was saying with different words.
    – marvinpoo
    Dec 13 '18 at 17:06
  • 2
    My comment was addressing why these apps are often left open.
    – JonW
    Dec 13 '18 at 17:11
  • 1
    It's hard to know what 'best practice' means to anyone, and in any type of endeavour, from any point of view. It's a word pairing best removed from use. It conveys nothing useful and obfuscates from actual problems through a faux presumption of an ideal.
    – Confused
    Dec 13 '18 at 21:52
  • 1
    @marvinpoo Programmers accept programmer art, bad interfaces, horrible user experiences, unsafe operations and bugs. They are also used to using users, and being used. This site is designed by programers for programmers. Some programmers believe they can understand general users but lack the self awareness to see themselves as used.
    – Confused
    Dec 14 '18 at 20:07

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