Web development is one of those things that everyone notices, but so few people actually see. The process of creating a website that people want to visit, can navigate easily, and want to come back to is both science and art. So, web developers are always looking for ways to push their field forward, driving page views and engagement.
To create a website that gets a lot of traffic, it’s important to have a site that people remember and want to go back to. Here are some of the key trends coming to web development in 2021.
- Machine learning will improve AI programmes
Machine learning is expected to see a lot of growth in the coming year, covering many applications. When they hear about artificial artificial intelligence, most people imagine Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. Those aren’t the only two though! There are a lot of AIs behind the scenes, especially analytical AIs. Programmes like Google Analytics will use ever-improving machine learning to optimise how users interact with websites. Many web users have interacted with customer service through a chatbot, in which case they have also met an AI. Loads of sites are now using AI helpers that can navigate FAQs and provide specialised assistance to users. More of these are sure to come in 2021, and chances are they’ll be more interactive and even more helpful than before.
- Voice recognition will expand and improve
Speaking of virtual assistants, it’s hard to find a household that doesn’t have at least one these days. Smartphones usually come with Google or Siri for easy searching. Plus, they make it possible to send text messages hands-free with speech-to-text. Since voice recognition is the province of mega corporations like Google and Amazon, they may be hard to develop independently. But web developers can capitalise on their hard work by making sure their sites are easy to search for using these innovations.
- Progressive web apps will edge out mobile apps
Nothing is worse than having to download an app for a site only to visit once per month – or less. Luckily progressive web apps (or PWAs) are coming to help. PWAs are great for both users and developers in a number of ways. PWAs run faster and give app-like capabilities while remaining on the web. Since there’s no app to download or update, companies save money on the development cycle too. Lower data usage, faster speeds and better performance are all bonuses of PWAs. You can see PWAs everywhere, from major news sources like The Guardian to online casino operators like Betway, which offer a wide range of technologies to facilitate payment and improve overall user experience.
- Cybersecurity developments will keep your data safe
Internet usage is only growing and that means more people are trying to exploit it for their own gain. Hackers are everywhere, trying to get into anything from the smallest companies to government networks. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of people working to create secure web systems. Developers are increasingly aware of how to lock down sites against hackers. This means they are always looking for updates and new methods, like web access firewalls and SSL certificates. These kinds of techniques are important for every website, especially ecommerce retailers who want to create secure payment gateways for their users.
- User interfaces will be simpler and more interactive
Even users who don’t understand things like machine learning or PWAs will get the major changes coming to user interface design. One of the most prominent is the single-page site. With the majority of people navigating via mobile phone, developers are creating simple and intuitive sites that don’t require much work to navigate. At the same time, Motion UI is creating a new library for developers to use. Where once before they had to create any animated site elements on their own, Motion UI changes that. Now, interactive elements can be pulled from the library, creating engaging sites with far less work. How about an elevator website that moves like an elevator? This kind of slick web design is closer to common use than ever, and independent web developers will be driving innovation.
These are just a few of the major trends coming to web development this year. We’re excited to see how these and others make the internet a more engaging, useful, and safe place to communicate and do business.