Website development has always been in constant evolution thanks to technology. The internet has something new to offer almost all the time, which requires that websites keep up. However, technology is not the only aspect that influences changes in web development. For instance, human behavior also plays a key role.
Remember that websites are developed for humans, which is why user experience (UX) holds significant importance in setting the rules of development. By looking at the latest and upcoming web development trends, you may understand how they will influence this realm.
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What’s in It for You?
As a business owner or manager, you must be ready to take advantage of the latest trends to improve your website. The online world is full of competition and staying a step behind can cost your business a great deal. It is safe to assume that your direct competitors are taking all possible steps to stay ahead.
By following the latest trends in web development, you can get the required edge over your competition. Bear in mind that websites are an important part of running businesses successfully. As a result, you should make sure your website gives your target audience a great experience that results in increased engagement and conversion.
1. The Minimalist Design Trend
Minimalist design is taking over the development world. This is where the development of a website focuses on the input of users, and developers create streamlined websites by eliminating all the content and elements that are unnecessary.
This trend has two main advantages. Websites are fast to load and users get better experiences. Some people argue that the minimalist design trend is taking the flare and visual appeal from websites. However, the fact that many top businesses are making use of minimalist designs shows that the benefits outweigh any possible drawbacks. Ultimately, whether or not you should opt for a minimalistic design depends on the industry you are in and what you want your website to do.
2. More Focus on User Experience
Now, the process of building a website focuses more on giving users experiences they will not forget. In place of basic frameworks that build boring websites, developers are using additional tools to enhance overall UX. Parallax design serves as a great example, where the background and the foreground move at different speeds. It also includes the highlighting of links so that they are easy to identify on computers as well as smaller screens.
Cinemagraphs that highlight specific movements and isolate special movements in continuous loops aim to improve UX. They are becoming popular because they use less bandwidth when compared to videos, and they also bring more versatility to the table. In addition, developers find themselves drifting toward the storytelling end. This is because storytelling keeps audiences glued to their screens.
3. Interface Improvement for More User Engagement
The evolution of web design and the internet at large has greatly influenced the development of website layouts. Instead of a basic link in the navigation, developers are now going for creative user interfaces that lean more on being interactive. The experience users get is more like controlling an application as opposed to a website.
The main reason why this website development trend is a big hit is the fact that most people now use mobile phones to access the internet. There is the touch screen factor that results in larger links and buttons. Responsive design has proven it is not just about ensuring that a site works well on smaller screens, but also about making a site easy to navigate.
4. Voice Search
Data released by Statista shows that the global smart speaker market is projected to grow to more than $35.5 billion by 2025. It’s only fair, then, to expect, that an increasing number of people will use Google Assistant, Google Home, Siri, Alexa, or Cortana to carry out voice searches. To stay ahead of the competition, it’s imperative that businesses pay attention to voice searches. Fortunately ranking high in voice searches is possible by following a few relatively simple measures. For starters, you’ll need to claim your Google My Business Listing if you haven’t done that yet.
Web developers who have knowledge of this realm typically use Web Speech API to integrate voice search in different web applications.
5. Long Website Scrolling
Close to two decades ago, experts were against long-scrolling and encouraged developers to avoid this path. However, this web development trend has become increasingly popular in recent times, and the credit goes to social media and flat design.
Given the significant number of consumers who use mobile phones to access the online world, you can understand why long scrolling is a major development trend. Now, people use their fingers to navigate the web. For most, it is easy to scroll long and not sit waiting for a page to load after tapping the ‘next’ button. Consequently, developers are focusing on long scrolling that can, in all likelihood, eliminate many pages of a website. This brings us to the next trend – lazy loading.
6. Lazy Loading
Lazy loading is a relatively new concept for web developers, although it now shows on most lists of top 10 technologies for web development. This concept involves loading certain elements of a website only when they are really necessary, with the aim of increasing the site’s efficiency and loading speed. The concept works well on any platform, no matter whether it uses a reseller hosting account or a shared server.
With conventional sites, all the elements of the website, including graphics and content, load at once. If the page in question has heavy elements, there can be a delay in loading. Lazy loading makes sure that websites load faster, which is exactly what the modern-day internet user needs.
This web development trend has greatly helped address slow internet connection problems. Besides, some people still use older mobile phones that have difficulty loading heavier websites. Instead of trying to load all elements, this technology ensures that only the necessary ones load, thereby giving mobile and computer users a better experience.
Keep in mind that there are more people accessing the internet using their mobile phones than those doing it using traditional desktops. Consequently, you cannot overlook any development element that involves improving mobile user experience.
7. WordPress Development
According to W3Techs, more than 40% of all websites use WordPress. To keep up with evolving web development demands, WordPress keeps adding new functionalities. As a result, developers need to stay aware of the latest changes. The Full Site Editing (FSE) functionality, for instance, is a collection of interrelated features that gives developers the ability to edit entire websites by using blocks. Released in May 2022, WordPress 6.0 came with improved performance and enhanced functionality.
8. Single-Page Applications
Single-page applications (SPAs) come in the form of single pages. An SPA loads an entire website first, and then moves to load its dynamic content. Given that waiting for different pages to load can be annoying and time-consuming, SPAs find favor with most consumers because they make way for uninterrupted scrolling. Popular companies such as Google and Facebook have already demonstrated what SPAs should look and function like.
One clear benefit of SPAs is that they come with faster loading times. This is because they only update the required content instead of loading/reloading entire pages. Besides, they let users benefit through offline caching, they offer reduced development time, and they also work in enhancing user experience.
9. Dark Mode UI
When it comes to improving the user interface (UI) of a website, the dark mode trend is gaining ground quickly. One main reason dark-themed websites are finding favor with users is that their visual design patterns make them easier to browse across all types of devices. Results from an Android Authority poll show that more than 80% of respondents use dark modes on their mobile phones, in apps, and just about anywhere else it’s made available. In addition, close to 10% said they’re somewhere between both modes.
Big tech names such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit already give their users the option to choose dark mode UIs. Some of the distinct benefits of going this way include:
- Uses less battery power
- Minimizes blue-light
- Reduces strain on eyes in dimly lit environments
- Makes content more legible and accessible
10. Motion UI
One of the reasons motion UI is becoming popular is the demand for richer and more interactive digital experiences. Motion UI functions as a front-end framework through which developers are able to create completely responsive websites and apps, and they can also use predefined motions within native app settings. In essence, this gives them the ability to make different elements bounce, spin, slide, and transition. Given the compatibility factor, developers can make use of motion UI practically anywhere in a website, be it its header, footer, or drop-down menu.
11. Progressive Web Apps
A progressive web app (PWA) offers a user experience that’s largely comparable to that offered by a mobile/native app. Developing a PWA is usually quicker and easier on the pocket when compared to developing a native app, and it functions as a combination of a native app and a website. Some of the popular businesses that already offer PWAs with the aim of enhancing user experience include Twitter, Pinterest, Uber, and Starbucks.
Any business that hopes to increase its online presence might benefit by going the PWA way because of multiple reasons.
- Adding PWAs on home screens gives users quick and easy access.
- Users may access them through different types of devices and browsers.
- They offer more search engine visibility.
- Push notifications allow retargeting of users.
- Since all pages have unique URLs, sharing them is simple.
12. AI Chatbots
According to data released by Salesforce, adoption of AI-enabled technology by marketers increased by a significant 186% from 2018 to 2020. Already in use by several popular businesses, AI chatbots continue to provide improved performance by leveraging information retrieval systems, natural language processing, and machine learning. While they aid businesses through text or voice chats, they also improve customer experience. AI chatbots are capable of collecting data, answering commonly asked questions, and solving an array of problems.
13. Data Security
Remember that the more data a website or app holds, the more attractive it becomes to cybercriminals. Consequently, the best web technologies are ones that offer or support high levels of security. Fortunately, there are ways to safeguard digital data.
- Security testing. As straightforward as this might sound, it involves carrying out security tests during the development stage. Testing after each change remains crucial.
- Website monitoring tools. Algorithm-based website monitoring tools are adept at monitoring all requests and detecting suspicious activity. Most such tools provide timely notifications.
- Encryption. Encrypting sensitive data is important because even if cybercriminals hack through your website/app, they cannot access the data you encrypt.
- Artificial intelligence. AI-powered systems are already capable of running biometric fingerprint and retina scans. Some businesses also use AI-based security software to analyze behavioral patterns with the aim of detecting suspicious activity in real-time.
- Blockchain. Cybercriminals find it relatively easy to steal data when it’s stored in a single place. With blockchain, you get to store your data in a decentralized database, making it much harder to hack. This is because the responsibility of data verification rests with each user, and changes can take place only upon everyone’s approval. Further, large businesses that face the threat of DDoS attacks can benefit through DNS decentralization, where their data is spread across a multitude of nodes.
Web development trends are always changing and what was hot a few years ago might no longer hold steam. As a web developer, it is important that you know the major website development trends to ensure that your clients are not left wanting on any front. From the perspective of a business owner or manager, you should ideally look for a web development agency that stays on top of the learning curve.