Gernot Bernkopf

on March 03rd, 2023

Unlock the Power of Front-end First

Enter dcupl, an exciting new solution that offers a front-end first approach to development. This puts the primary emphasis on user experience and the design of the front-end, which can lead to a number of advantages. Let’s explore why this approach is so valuable for developers - and especially for the users.

With data-intensive web applications like CDPs (Customer Data Platform) or extensive B2B sales portals becoming state-of-the-art, developers need services and tools that can streamline the development process and make it easier for them to create high-quality applications - which goes hand in hand with sufficient validation by means of user testing.

Maximize Efficiency for Developers and Delight Business Users!

The main benefit of the front-end first approach is that it ensures an intuitive user experience and user-friendly interfaces, which makes it easier for potential users to access and use the application, as well as creating a more appealing look and feel. There is no question that early user testing with your future target groups increases the quality of your application enormously and avoids unnecessary costs for later adaptations in advance. By focusing on the front-end first, far more potential usability issues are addressed before specifying interfaces and new management systems, which have to provide relevant data, and going further with full integration and development.

In the past, we have had very good experiences with Think Aloud User Testing, which belongs to the qualitative testing methods, and have established it as part of our approach in the design and development of modern digital services. If you have ever dealt with the topic of user testing and the different approaches, you have certainly come across various articles that refer to and describe the "5 User Sample Size" rule by Jakob Nielsen. The rule states that you can find 85% of the usability problems already with 5 users and that you can gain enough knowledge with a quite small group with some repetitions (

The criticism of this rule is often also put in connection with the fact that the underlying formula originates from the 90's and would have lost thus at expressiveness for today's software projects. The article was written in March 2000. Here one must be careful and first of all consider the difference between qualitative and quantitative test methods:

  • Quantitative studies aim to find metrics that predict the behavior of the whole population; such numbers will be imprecise - and thus useless - if they are based on a small sample size.
  • Qualitative studies aim for insights: to identify usability issues in an interface. Researchers must use judgment rather than numbers to prioritize these issues. (And, to hammer home the point: the 5-user guideline only applies to qualitative, not to quantitative studies).

We have found out that test groups for qualitative tests with 10 to 15 test persons with about 3 repetitions made the most sense for us and had the desired effectiveness.

dcupl brings enormous advantages for qualitative test methods (such as the Think Aloud tests mentioned) as well as for quantitative test methods - in both cases mainly due to the fact that testing can take place in very early project phases. The best basis for testing software or selected use cases (whether qualitative or quantitative) is the development of a "live prototype", i.e. a functional prototype in the sense of a real application. The problem with this is that usually both the time and cost involved are significantly higher compared to "paper prototypes" or "UI click dummies".

dcupl and its modelling language is designed to quickly deliver a minimal viable product, offering the chance to safely test ideas that touch sensitive processes, and in early project stages. There are of course plenty good reasons not to touch running systems. But painless innovation is indeed possible, carried out neither hurting organizations nor their finances - which is really the purpose of dcupl.

Stephan Lechner, CTO, Netural
Stephan Lechner
CTO, Netural

In a nutshell, there are various techniques to describe and explain solutions to people and visual techniques are the best in many cases. … The X-axis shows the time and effort required to create a specification. Obviously, a live prototype takes more effort than sketching. The Y-axis shows a technique value. Pseudo-narrative specifications are of low value, whereas the design and prototypes are very useful.

Not so with dcupl. With the dcupl Services and the dcupl SDK, you reduce the effort required to develop a live prototype by up to 80%.

What’s the advantage of a "live prototype" with dcupl? Due to the fact that you can create a realistic data scenario without early deep integration into the existing system landscape, not only selected test cases can be played through, but the entire spectrum of your possible characteristics and all edge cases are testable.

Test scenarios with mock data or even "Lorem Ipsum" texts do not reflect realistic use cases to the users at all, but rather distract them and make them uncomfortable. Especially in complex industries such as heavy industry for example, you can only create realistic test scenarios with real data and thus gain useful insights from your tests.

Likewise, an assessment of performance is also only possible in a meaningful way with real data. The dcupl platform offers a comprehensive suite of tools - including analytics and debugging capabilities - that allow developers to easily monitor their application's performance and make necessary adjustments if needed.


All in all, dcupl provides you with an efficient way to create high-quality applications with minimal effort or stress involved in the process. By utilizing a front-end first approach, you can produce applications that are both user friendly and visually appealing. Ultimately, dcupl is an invaluable resource for any developer looking to produce top quality data-intensive web applications quickly and efficiently.

Establish “live prototypes” as your way to go and build better software.

User experience is the interaction of the user interface and the technical performance of the application. dcupl ensures both - and only both in perfection creates satisfied users.

If you want to know more about our approach, contact us. We would be happy to share our experiences and discuss how dcupl can help you.

Ready to get started?

We look forward to working with you and your team, no matter if you are a SME or a global enterprise. dcupl helps enterprises to develop efficiently by minimizing risks effortlessly.