Web development is a highly dynamic field focused on innovation and continuous improvement. To drive conversions, websites must be aesthetically pleasing, responsive, useful, and easy to navigate.
This year, the changes are mainly driven by the focus on enhancing the user experience through more responsive and flexible websites and apps. Discover five most prominent trends in this industry in 2021.
1. Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
PWAs are not a novelty, but they have become increasingly popular lately. Even before the pandemic, over half of online shopping orders came from mobile devices.
Thanks to PWAs, users can now view their favorite catalogs on mobile browsers just as easily as on desktop devices. This does not require installing any apps.
The additional benefits include the integration of push notifications and offline access to cached content.
Progressive web applications are particularly attractive for e-commerce sites, news portals, and any businesses with restricted development budgets.
By eliminating the app development stage, they can reduce costs and reach a bigger audience. PWAs are also expected to change the monetary algorithms in Google Play and App Store, which require paid apps to share profits with them.
2. AI and Bots
Soon, bots will acquire more self-learning capabilities. This will help them meet the needs of individual users better and match responses to their behavior.
By replacing support managers with advanced bots that work 24/7, many companies will reduce costs.
Chatbots are already the most common tool for customer service. They are widely used by major B2C businesses. For example, official page chatbots may be found inside WhatsApp, Skype, and Facebook Messenger.
In the upcoming decade, this segment of technologies will turn into a large branch of digital development.
Bots will become an integral part of PWAs, regular websites, professional equipment, household systems, and any apps developed by businesses.
This trend is bound to change web design, particularly on the UX side. Due to the rise of AI and machine learning, there is an increased demand for virtual assistant designs.
They must be focused not only on the visual experience and product serving but also on sound design.
The innovations will be related to problem-solving capabilities, deep analysis of consumer behavior, and human-like experience. These are the most salient advantages of using AI bots.
3. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
The AMP technology is aimed at speeding up page performance, so it makes users less likely to abandon such websites.
AMP and PWA share some of their characteristics, but the former accelerates pages based on an open-source plugin, which was developed by Twitter in collaboration with Google.
AMPs built by professional development agencies are perfectly optimized for mobile use. They load quickly and have a simple but convenient design.
In comparison with full-scope websites, they include only the essential features and do not have any content readability issues.
The rise of AMPs is one of the signs that the digital space is becoming increasingly user-oriented. The plugin is attractive to any business, despite the spread of 5G and the popularity of native apps.
Companies can still reduce their UX costs and reach more users, as AMPs are accessible for visitors with any internet speed. Soon, we will see niche products competing with giants thanks to these technologies.
4. Single Page Application (SPA)
Today, high internet speeds are the norm. When a user clicks on some page element, this does not have to open another page that is downloaded from a server.
When SPAs are used, specific browser events are intercepted, and JSON requests resemble web application functionality. This is how Facebook and Google services like Gmail, Google Maps, or Google Drive, work.
In the future, we can expect most functional websites to be built as single-page applications.
Thanks to SPAs, users get immediate feedback. In comparison, conventional sites show white screens before a new page is fully downloaded. This means that SPAs are more likely to hold the attention of website visitors.
They work quickly, require fewer resources, and do not need any code on the server side thanks to APIs.
5. Voice Search Optimization
With the rise of virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Home, web development has become increasingly voicy, rather than texty. In 2021, over 50% of all IoT and smart devices can hear their users and execute voice commands.
Soon, they will learn to distinguish between the voices of different people to deliver a personalized experience to every user.
Voice technology emerged over a decade ago, but it is now more popular than ever. Consumers prefer to give voice commands to devices, rather than spend time typing them.
Large companies are optimizing their products for voice search. For example, Domino’s Pizza lets customers in the US make orders using a special skill for Alexa.
By the end of 2022, around 55% of households around the world are expected to have a voice assistant.
In web development, there are two main applications. These are self-standing devices activated by voice, and websites and apps optimized for voice commands.
Enriching search with AI brings multiple benefits to both businesses and users. First, this is a great time saver, so consumers can order more services and products.
Secondly, voice technology supports multitasking. Thirdly, as it helps customers to cope with routine, it boosts loyalty. Finally, voice search is a source of valuable analytics concerning user behavior.
To Sum Up
Web development is evolving rapidly. Today, the biggest innovations are focused on enhancing the user experience.
Higher page loading, more responsive websites, flawless mobile browsing, advanced chatbots, and voice search are some of the biggest trends that will continue to be relevant in 2022.
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