Web development trends – The modern user wants more – more meaningful, more user-interactive, and more dynamic web content. The brands serve an ever-evolving user, and for 2022, these web developments are the ones you need to build an impressive user base.
1. Progressive Web Applications (PWAs)
PWAs bridge the gap between the native mobile applications and the website experience by making the websites more application-based. They are websites that provide a seamless, linear user experience (UX) while delivering the features of native applications. Used by reputed top-level organizations, PWAs are one-step closer to the personification of speed and take up less space than a native application.
Take Pinterest, for example. Pinterest wanted to boost its international growth, so it sought the mobile web. Analyzing unauthenticated users on the mobile web, they realized their 1% conversion rates and, in July 2017, started writing their mobile web app as a PWA from scratch. And that is the birth story of Pinterest Lite.
Pinterest Lite is fast, data-friendly, works with low bandwidth, with push notifications and offline support. With this, the company saw more than a 40% boost in consumer engagement, revenue went up by 44%, and core engagements saw a massive boost of 60%.
So why PWA? Native apps offer a slew of services like offline mode, push notifications, camera, and geolocation unavailable on the web, and PWAs bridge that gap, along with better distribution, cost-effectiveness, and workability on both iOS & Android with a lone codebase.
2. Mobile-First Development
UX is a sure-fire way to induce engagement and retain customers. When people visit a mobile-friendly website, they are more likely to return to it. 74% of people say so.
Mobile phones provide access to the world at the tip of our fingers, and today, there are more than six billion smartphone subscriptions, and with projections of growth by several hundred million in the next few years, developments in the mobile web are the way to go.
The mobile web has transformed the daily life of users, and therefore, it is now important more than ever to adapt to both mobile phones and the desktop.
The convincing factor is that more than half of the web traffic – over 56% – is generated by mobiles. It is vital to have a uniform website design across different devices, and to do that, tools like LT Browser help in providing a smooth experience.
3. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)
Page load time is the starting point of any good, nay, great user experience. People want instant gratification, and because of this, websites only get 1-2 seconds of load-time. If it takes more than 3 seconds to load, around 53% of users will say goodbye and disengage.
Users of retail and travel sites bounce away when they have a sluggish site experience, 79% of them, not to be seen on second-visits. In fact, 64% of them just take their business elsewhere. So not only do users abandon the page but they also don’t come back and give preference to competitors.
Google says that conversion rates dip 20% for every extra second a webpage takes to load. And this is where AMP comes into the picture.
Then what exactly is AMP? Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source project which Google launched in 2016. With AMP, mobile web pages and ads work at the prime speed of their operations and deliver consistent and high-performing end-user experience.
AMPs are great for news and e-commerce websites to increase traffic. Analytics show that AMP leads to an increase in traffic by improved search engine ranking, increased visibility for publishers, support for Ads, and AMP Visitor Analytics.
4. Serverless Architecture
Serves are essential for users to communicate and access an application but managing them is time-consuming and makes a deep dent in the resource pit. Serverless architecture is leasing in third-party servers that maintain the server hardware and software, take care of security, and create backups, allowing developers to focus on typing code.
Natives of cloud development models, serverless, fall into two groups: Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Function-as-a-Service (FaaS). BaaS offers a diverse collection of services and apps from third-party providers like authentication, additional encryption, and cloud-accessible databases.
However, FaaS is the most popular serverless architecture. Here, developers can write code as a set of distinct functions. Each function performs a specific task that is triggered by an event, say, an incoming email or an HTTP request.
After testing, developers deploy their functions and triggers to a cloud service provider account. When invoked, functions are enacted by a running server or a new one.
Nearly 40 percent of companies worldwide employ serverless architecture of some form. From small startups to global corps, serverless is gaining popularity because of its cost-effectiveness, scalability, and productivity.
Public Cloud providers are generally metered on-demand so that it’s free of charge when the serverless function is not in effect. Some top public cloud providers are- AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, and Google Cloud.
5. Single-Page Application (SPAs)
The key benefit is the enhanced UX, where there is no waiting time for reloads. In a world where a 2-second delay generates an abandonment rate of 87%, SPAs are vital for penetration. Even Amazon says that a single second load time delay costs them 1% of sales, i.e., $1.6 billion per year.
The operations of SPAs are such that the resources it needs are loaded at the launch time, and the only thing that changes during usage is the data sent and received from the server -the reason why they are amazingly responsive.
For developers, the creation of SPAs is slick and effective. The code does not need to be written for rendering multiple pages, and the development process can begin without a server. It also makes for an easier debugging and caching process. Informative & engrossing – SPAs provide more than a few chances of captivating the user’s attention.
6. Voice Search Optimization
Voice search optimization is a must with the gaining momentum of AI assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. Users almost always expect a voice search option. And why wouldn’t they, with the advantages of a speedy, hands-free action that stimulates multi-tasking?
Adobe Analytics clearly shows that an astounding 47% of the user base relies on voice search. Companies, especially e-commerce companies, need to jump on this bandwagon and increase their productivity in terms of reachability, UX, and SEO visibility.
The advent of smart speakers is another convincing factor to invest in this. Estimates project that the global market for smart speakers is set to grow by 21% this year. Developers need to open their user base to hearing and visually impaired users as well.
7. AI-Powered Chatbots
Chatbots cut down costs that companies save to hire managers and customer support. For international companies, chatbots save quite a bit. The more a bot is trained and used, the more it can become self-learning and interactive adapting to the user’s behavioral patterns.
With working hours that span twenty-four hours a day, AI-powered chatbots can work in conjunction with a wide range of web platforms, including PWAs, regular websites, and mobile apps.
Social Media giants – Whatsapp, Skype, etc are already utilizing this technology, and so are many B2C companies. Juniper Research says that retailers look forward to cost-efficient upselling and marketing as benefits of chatbox AI.
By grabbing this opportunity, retailers can elevate e-commerce transactions via chatbots to an estimated $100 billion by next year. The proliferation of chatbots will also demand a focus on sound designs for enhanced UX.
8. Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality (AR/VR)
IndustryARC data shows the industry of mixed reality ( AR/VR + IoT)is set to grow past $9.982 billion by 2024. Tourism, architecture, and retail industries are exercising VR tech so that customers can experience a real-time environment with the product or service before making a purchase. Gaming industries also use VR to transport the user into the fantasy world.
AR technologies have been increasingly employed in the last few years, with the Games like Pokemon Go changing the definition of UX. Other examples of AR include the Jaipur Literature Festival, Microsoft HoloLens, and the online luxury customer experience provided by fashion houses like Burberry and Gucci.
VR and AR work not only on mobile apps, but WebAR allows for browser interface too. Although current technology lags in terms of speed, the future stands strong for AR, with 69% of customers expecting AR/VR during their online shopping sessions.
9. Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT connects typical devices without internet connections and allows for a greater level of communication. Examples include IoT pet caregiving and monitoring devices like dog-food bowls and other connective home appliances and wearables. Vast adaptability has been observed in the form of smart home devices like Google Nest and Amazon Echo Plus.
IoT aids in fruitful communication within workspaces through, say, streamlining employees’ daily activities via connected devices. With a CAGR of about 25%, as estimated by Fortune Business Insights, the IoT market holds explosive potential.
While developers may not directly be involved in the creation of these devices, their configuration rests in the hands of UI designers in the form of applications that use, analyze, and display data collected through these devices. Xively and BugLabs are already dabbing with possible APIs compatible with such devices.
10. Data Security
The Q1 of 2020 saw a steep rise in Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks- where a service or network is overwhelmed with fake traffic, an elevation of more than 248% in comparison with Q1 2019. Unwanted data breaches and cyber attacks have become quite commonplace and have deteriorating impacts on businesses.
To protect and safeguard data, companies need to stay on top of security testing, employ website-monitoring tools, choose third-party services cautiously, and encrypt sensitive data.
Two important trends in data security are the developments in AI and Blockchain technology. Biometric Logins powered by AI – fingerprints and retina scans- are already prevalent. Founders of 80% of telecom companies rely on AI for cybersecurity.
In Blockchain technology, cryptocurrency is guarded for secure digital payments. Even NASA uses blockchain security for data protection and shielding against cyber attacks.
Speed is key for the current user experience, and these web development trends only enhance it. Trends in web development need to be selected based on individual business goals. Not everything is going to suit your business, so it is imperative to choose what suits you best and then incorporate it into your business strategy.
Users are increasingly looking forward to dark modes but coming away from simple contrast and blue-light exposure, what today’s user expects is customization- to derive a sense of individuality and uniqueness from their experience- and simplicity in UI (less content means opportunity for more focus points instead of un-retainable displays).