A web application is an interactive program that runs on a web server and is accessed through a web browser. A web app is built so that the user interface provides data back to the development team that designed it. This data offers insights into customer interests, usage, and preferences that can prove invaluable to product and marketing strategies. The data can also inform optimization and other client-centered aspects of the mobile app or desktop applications.
A big difference between web applications and webpages is that user experience dictates web application design. Traditional web design is based on server-side programmers making decisions about what might enhance usability. In contrast, a web application has an application program interface (API) that takes in large-scale data from the user side and then funnels that information into automation.