What direction is web development taking in 2021?

photo by Kevin Ku from Pexels

It’s an exciting time for the future of web development. The industry is seeing tremendous growth in user accessibility, AI integration and more, all ultimately serving the user and developer experience.

Here are the top innovations and trends web developers can expect in 2021.

Increase accessibility and usability of applications

Some of the most important web development trends emerging in 2021 relate to the ease of use and convenience of web applications for organizations and consumers.

One of the main forms of this trend is the growing number of Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) among internationally renowned organizations like Forbes, The Washington Post, and even Starbucks.

PWAs are essentially a “thinner” version of native apps, in a sense. These offer the best of both worlds in terms of web features and native applications. However, they are much easier and faster to use and share since the user does not have to worry about a download.

This trend is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, PWAs are much more convenient for the user and more profitable for the business. On the other hand, native apps are better integrated into the device’s operating system, resulting in a much smoother and more consistent user experience.

Yet the past results of implementing a PWA are undeniable:

  • Chicago’s Best Western River North Hotel reported 300% increase in revenue and 500% increase in room nights after the introduction of its PWA
  • Pinterest saw a 40% increase in time spent on its website, 44% growth in revenue, and a 60% increase in baseline engagements.
  • Vue Storefront reported many benefits of implementing their PWA, including a 79% increase in revenue resulting from increased organic traffic, a 77% increase in conversion rate, and a 57% reduction in rate. rebound.

Likewise, Single Page Applications (SPAs) are also on the rise. This is another form of web application, especially the one where you don’t need to reload the page while in use. The most recognizable examples of this include Gmail and social media sites like Facebook.

These create a seamless user experience. The user can simply scroll through the website as new content appears while the page remains the same. SPAs also store local data, so users can retain their experience of the site (to some extent), even if they temporarily lose reception.

Overall, web applications are turning back the clock and balancing industry reliance on native applications for user services and communication.

The Future of Web Development Expands Accessibility

Accessibility is another major area driving developments in the future of web development. Even apart from website development, the general tech industry has seen massive growth in this area.

More Internet users than ever can access the services and content belonging to their favorite organizations, despite the handicaps or challenges that may have held them back in the past.

One trend within this category is the rise of voice search optimization. In 2019, approximately 60 million people in the United States have a smart speaker in their homes. Additionally, 54% of Americans have used voice control technology on these speakers, smartphones, or other compatible devices.

This means that companies have no choice but to optimize their platforms for compatibility with this mode of use. There is also talk of Google’s recent “Florida” update, saying that pages optimized for voice search may earn higher rankings than those without this specialization.

Many developers have also made very subtle changes to the user interface of their sites, emphasizing the convenience of mobile users. For example, consider the location of all the interactive buttons and menu options on your home website. Imagine moving them to the bottom third of your page rather than to the top or sides.

This slight change makes it much easier for your mobile site visitors to navigate the site, as it is the most comfortable location they can access by moving their thumbs.

Since most people hold their cell phones in one hand while in use, this is the best way to improve the ergonomics when visiting your site. If your users are more comfortable surfing your platform, they may be more inclined to spend more time consuming your content.

Improve the content experience and interaction with the site

The developers are introducing several changes to improve the ease of interaction with the site and the consumption of content. In general, the emphasis is on speed and minimizing the conscious effort required of the user.

For example, more and more developers are increasing the integration of AI into their platforms. This dramatically improves the level of personalization a user can experience, resulting in more relevant retail content and recommendations (which, in turn, serves the business as well).

AI solutions can store an immense amount of user data, such as search and purchase history. With all of this information, their web experience will almost always be designed specifically for them.

This improvement can dramatically reduce your bounce rate, as site visitors always get exactly what they’re looking for, without you having to search the web for lead generation or similar tasks.

Yet, while AI is lacking in this area, chatbots are also very popular. This trend has proliferated in recent years and continues to grow. Powered by machine learning algorithms, these can effectively serve your site visitors or potential customers without having to involve a human agent.

This could drastically reduce your time and financial investment in site operations, thus helping to improve your cash flow.

Motion UI is another change that could lower your bounce rate. This Sass library includes things like:

  • Animations
  • Content transitions
  • Animated graphics

As a web developer, you can use the CSS resources available in this library. These small but important changes can make your site a lot more fun to visit and experience, ultimately leading to a happier consumer base and better overall site performance for you!

Summary

Web developers have some exciting industry trends to look forward to in 2021 and beyond. Many of them are not unique to this year, but have been on the rise for quite some time. These are just a few of the things that will be expected in the future of web development.

Yet as the world increasingly relies on the internet and smart devices due to the rapid global transition to remote living and working, these innovations are more important than ever.

Fortunately, all of these trends benefit both the user and the developer. By improving the user experience of your web platform, you generate more traffic and revenue for your organization, thereby expanding your reach to a wider audience.

James S. Joseph