In an article from last year on the Most Popular Web Development trends of 2021, we saw how the influence of artificial intelligence towered over most of the other trends. This influence continues into the predicted Web Development Trends of this year as well.
But why do we look at these annual shifts in popular pracices?
Well studies say that more than half of internet browsers expect a website to load fast and no more than two seconds after clicking a link. If it takes more than three seconds to load your site, your visitors most likely will leave, and it’s not likely they’ll be back, ever again!
Also, website performance has a direct impact on a companies bottom line. For example, interest reduced perceived wait times by 40%, and this increased search engine traffic and sign-ups by 15%.
These standards are powered by our users and how we respond to their expectations. This, in turn, creates new trends, new standards, and new best practices that business owners need to keep up with if they want to keep our users happy.
So, in this article, we navigate the technologies that will drive the most popular trends in web development in 2022. You will find that some of the trends linger as the technology behind them advances, while other trends are replaced by new technologies that come up to enhance the user experience.
1. Artificial Intelligence powered chatbots
Yet again, as observed last year, Artificial Intelligence keeps improving as it makes our tasks more efficiently executed and simpler. We cannot deny our need for Artificial Intelligence to stay functional and get access only to the most relevant and useful data that can be applied to our use. Simply put, AI does the hard work, so we don’t have to.
Already, Artificial intelligence is heavily felt in customer service tasks through chatbots. Their functions are growing every day and predictions are that they will soon take over support management jobs as well.
Naturally, this will enable companies to save on the cost of hiring managers and focus their resources elsewhere. Some of the tasks AI performs include;
- As virtual assistants who will communicate with visitors to the sites, this will make navigation more fun, more like having a guided tour through the website.
- Conducting and analyzing data presented by those interacting with the chatbot, to inform the improvement of services and marketing efforts
- They will be handling sales enquiries based on regularly asked questions, with determined answers. This will make it possible to collect leads based on the data presented that can be converted.
The ease of navigation through websites will ensure a high site ranking and simplify the user experience.
Chatbots come in handy in high customer orientation organizations that work around the clock like banks, and online stores. A human chat operator cannot always answer questions, because they have to rest and leave after their shift is over, but the bot works around the clock and seven days a week.
2. PWA (Progressive Web Applications)
A progressive web app (PWA) is a website that looks and behaves as if it is a mobile app. PWAs are built to take advantage of native mobile device features, without requiring the end-user to visit an app store, make a purchase and download software locally.
Instead, a PWA can be located with a search engine query and accessed immediately through a browser. The most amazing thing is that the loading speeds are high just like on a computer, which further elaborates the convenience. In summary, the below points illustrate why more companies are opting for PWAs;
- PWAs have a 36% higher conversion rate as compared to native apps.
- PWAs garner a 50% higher user engagement rate.
- PWAs have a 33% lesser maintenance cost.
3. Dark Mode
At times also called “Night Mode”, “Shadow Mode” or “Dark View”, this dark mode is a design term used to describe a low-light user interface that uses a dark colour as the main background colour, reversing the default light-on-dark design that designers have used for decades.
Screen time is increasing more and more among users, this influenced the popularity of Dark Mode as a way of avoiding eye fatigue and allowing users to interact with a site for longer. Big technology companies like Facebook and Google have adopted this trend and influenced others in the process. Some valid reasons why Dark Mode is becoming popular include;
- It makes the sites appealing – when blended with brighter colours it’s easy on the eye and therefore more attractive to users. This makes users stay more on the site and engage with your content longer.
- Lower eye fatigue – In low light situations, looking at a bright screen tends to bring strain and fatigue to the eyes. Once you reduce the pain that comes from bright backgrounds, you boost comfort and encourage users to explore the website for a longer period.
- Boost accessibility – UX research shows that dark backgrounds enhance page contrast, making visuals pop and easier for the users to focus on.
Simply put, not only that a dark version of your website will be more comfortable for your regulars, but it will also cater to those users with visual impairment, f.ex., that you “neglected” before.
- Save energy – This trend also saves battery power; lighter backgrounds tend to ‘eat’ up power more than dark backgrounds. This can be a plus; users will be able to save power while on your site, again, they will tend to stay longer as they engage with your website’s content.
4. Voice Search Optimization
As seen last year, Voice Search Optimization has blended well into our day to day lives through Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. Voice recognition technology becomes one of the trends that has shown tremendous strides among the latest web development trends.
In 2022, it is estimated that globally the market for smart speakers will grow by 21% making it up to 163 million units. Speech recognition with AI assistants like Siri and Alexa has made this revolution possible.
People opt for voice search more than typing as confirmed by Adobe Analytics, a staggering 47% of people rely on voice search. These numbers are realistic, with the backdrop of the numerous activities that surround our lives.
It is safe then to say that voice recognition is a growing trend and should be put to use to increase reachability and improve the user experience. It will especially improve the online experience for visually and hearing-impaired users.
To illustrate its impact, tech giants like Amazon, Apple, and Google have introduced to the market their smart speakers in consideration of this growing trend.
5. Mobile-First Development Approach
According to GSMA real-time intelligence data, there are now over 10.53 Billion mobile connections worldwide, which surpasses the current world population of 7.91 Billion implied by UN digital analyst estimates.
User experience has proved to be the most significant aspect for businesses to retain customers. 74% of the customers return to a website if it’s mobile-friendly and optimized.
Mobile phones have revolutionized and transformed the way humans lived and interacted with others. People are dependent on technology to run their daily life errands and that is why it is important to think about the adaptability of web technology for both desktop and mobile.
6. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Accelerated Mobile Pages is one of the top web development trends today and it will be in 2022 too. The use of AMP is to make the loading of web pages faster and to reduce the bounce rates on websites.
It is also great for using animation and video content since it does not overload when activated. The web pages are optimized and they operate fast and have convenient and simplified design with only basic features compared to full-scale web pages.
Their popularity is growing because they are mobile-friendly, and the content is also easily readable. Trends like AMP have been developed to make users enjoy web experiences through fast load up times and user-friendly operations.
A successful custom web development strategy for your business by using AMP will create a user-friendly solution for your end-users, this simply means more time spent on your website and a higher ranking against the competition.
7. Single Page Application (SPA)
Single Page Applications are one of the top web development trends that are expected in 2022. A Single Page Application or SPA is a web application that runs in a web browser and doesn’t reload itself.
Indeed, these SPAs offer a pleasant user experience because you don’t have to click the reload button every time to update information on their site. The apps we use daily, like Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, and the like are all examples of SPAs. These apps load content automatically, and they are always fresh.
SPAs have a high capability to hold the attention of the end-users because they are quick to use and provide instant information, unlike websites where users have to navigate through different web pages and reload pages to get certain information. Hence, SPAs offer instant feedback to users, unlike websites where they have to wait for page loads.
Most developers opt for SPA because;
- It operates fast and thus has more chances of holding the user’s attention than any other technology.
- SPAs are more informative than regular sites and keep the users engaged.
- Single-page sites are better equipped and can work without server-side codes infused with API technology.
A gem we can borrow from last year’s article is that there is no need to worry if the quality of the internet is erratic. Luckily, in Single-Page Apps visitors will still be able to navigate when the internet’s performance quality decreases, as SPA is able to adapt and synchronize all information as soon as the internet goes back to its previous state.
8. Cyber Security in Web Development
With our growing dependency on technology, cyber threats are also increasing. Q1 of 2020 saw a vertical rise for DDoS attacks, making it more than 248% compared to Q1 2019.
There were more than 10 million DDoS attacks in 2020, driven by new attack vectors and new threat actors; most of the industries targeted were vital to life during the COVID-19 pandemic. These statistics mean only one thing, we are all at risk.
Users acknowledge this emerging threat and there is growing pressure for companies to put stringent security measures in place to keep their personal information secure and safe.
The health, retail, and financial industries store sensitive and personal information of customers and are prone to security attacks, this calls for more focus on cyber security measures to keep the data safe.
Companies should invest in the security features of their website and use appropriate SSL certificates. Websites with decent traffic should follow the required security standards and conduct security audits regularly.
9. Server-less Architecture
We cover this once more, to explore the growth of this trend since last year. Serverless algorithms were built as part of the cloud-computing execution model through the support of major vendors like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Although this option doesn’t completely let go of servers, the coordination and management are performed by AWS, which means that your focus can be aimed at bigger tasks rather than maintaining the servers and doing the manual work.
Serverless architecture is the result of exploration for the possibility to avoid system overloading, loss of data, and costly developments.
This implies that regular servers can be replaced by clouds that manage machine resource consumption. Trends concerning server-less architecture are effective because they minimize development and support budget, apps with flexibility potential, and more internet-sustainable apps.
In 2022, the technology will be actively used for chatbots, IoT apps, products with complex backend requests, and APIs. The tasks that are most common to server-less technology are downloading files backup, notification delivery, and object export.
Most often, this technology is used when solving problems related to sending and receiving notifications, making it possible to download backup copies of important files, export various objects, and so on.
10. Enhanced User Experience with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Courtesy of our article on web development trends in 2021, Augmented Reality adds digitally designed elements into the real world, whereas Virtual Reality completely blocks the real world and places you into a digital reality designed by web developers.
Its good to note that the inclusion of augmented reality and virtual reality in the website development world has brought a significant change. According to the research, the industry of mixed reality will grow beyond $9.982 billion by 2024.
We will continue enjoying these trends in tourism, architecture, and the retail industry where we are allowed to get a real-time experience of a product before making a respective purchase.
The pandemic led to most of us working from home, and now that most companies allow employees to work from home, websites like Spatial are offering virtual meeting rooms where you can interact with your coworkers.
It’s such an amazing concept, that real estate companies have embraced it well. it’s normal to enjoy a virtual tour of a house from the comfort of your home.
Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies work fine with mobile apps. But, WebAR technologies make it possible to experience it on web browsers.
Even if it lags in speed and cross-browser compatibility, improvements will come because augmented reality technology has a promising future in web development based on its promise of convenience and comfort.
Our Parting Shot
What is the future of web development, you may ask. It’s all about the user experience. For example, how easy and intuitive is to use the website. How fast does the website load? How much battery power do I use while on the site?
Or more importantly, how safe is my data once I share it on the website? If a user is happy, then you are in good business because your ranking will definitely be high.
And remember, if you have a great web idea you want to bring to life, you don’t have to do it alone – our team is here to help out, so simply book a free meeting with our project managers, and let’s get planning!