Since its implementation, the internet has continued to evolve. In its early days, Mosaic and Netscape Navigator helped to democratize it, and since then each new year brought new concepts, new ideas, and trends, sometimes good, sometimes bad.
One of the lessons of all these years of change and new trends is that to succeed, you often have to ride the wave of change rather than just letting go. You can do this by exploring tomorrow’s trends and seeking to integrate those that may apply to you before everyone else does.
Here are eight web development trends that are expected to have a major global impact on the industry in 2018.
Being connected to users is more important than ever. Chatbots, written or oral conversation software, allow a website to be contacted daily, at any time, without having to continuously maintain a customer service department. The evolution of chatbots has given them new capabilities: they can answer the most common questions, redirect customers to information or web pages, or even help them complete a transaction. As consumers become accustomed to their presence and ways of interacting with them, they will expect all sites to have chatbots.
Progressive Web Apps
A recent study on mobile phone usage showed that apps accounted for 89% of the time spent on our smartphone. It would, therefore, be logical that the use of a format similar to a mobile application is well received by the general public.
The progressive web apps are applications that take advantage of the features of an internet browser, with a mobile application interface. This technology has many advantages, such as the ability to work offline, virtually no load time (because much of the information is stored in the cache of the phone), good reliability, and the ability to receive notifications. These progressive web apps can be designed faster than mobile applications, work for all users, and are generally easier to deploy and maintain, which is good for both the developer and the user.
Notifications are one of the best tools for mobile apps. The ability to send information directly to an interested user soon became very popular in all areas, from traffic info to sports scores or promotional sales. This type of communication also works with websites after the user authorizes the notifications. This provides greater customer engagement without the added costs of creating a mobile app that replaces a website.
These sites are composed of, well, one, very long, page. To navigate it, we simply scroll, or use links to go down or up the page to the desired section.
The biggest advantage of these sites is their simplicity. There is no intricate navigation or endless menus to explore. And this concept works very well on smartphones, where scrolling is the easiest navigation mode. It is a modern solution to simple online needs, and very inexpensive to develop and host.
A static website is very basic. Each page is simply encoded in HTML and displays the static content for each visitor. Why, you ask, would you seemingly want to take a step back in web technology? For the sake of simplicity.
These websites are secure, load quickly, and are not expensive to develop. I imagine in the near future we’ll witness a resurgence of static sites in budget-conscious projects. Especially since they are now much more advanced than the first static sites, and much less boring or difficult to achieve.
User Interfaces in Motion
Interfaces have been a major concern for developers for several years. Even the best designs are pointless if the user is not able to find what he is looking for. Interfaces allow you to use animations or transitions that show users certain actions, or important parts, in addition to breathing life and class into projects.
This technology opens a wide range of customization, giving the developer a lot of options for building a very functional and attractive website. Examples of movements include easing, superposition, cloning, obscuration, parallax scrolling, matching, and games on dimensionality.
The Release of Flash
Flash was something very interesting for websites: it allowed developers to add animations or other movements. It has been used extensively for years, but it is now something that everyone should try to get rid of. Adobe announced this year that Flash will no longer be updated or released after 2020. In addition, it is incompatible with most phones. Rather than losing your audience, especially on the mobile version of your site, you should replace Flash with HTML5, which is quickly becoming the universal format on the internet.
The interest of a good photo has never been so great on the internet, especially because a good photo can allow (re)launch a discussion. This concept is not new since, in the golden age of the paper magazine, quality photos were in great demand to launch debates simply from the story contained in the image. A unique photo, full of individuality, but also conveying information, will be the key to success on the internet in 2018.
Trends are moving as fast as they arrive, as our technologies evolve. These new features can be used to attract and retain customers when they are well used. That’s why it’s important to look to the future for new ideas and inspiration and to stay ahead of the competition.