5 trends that are shaping the web forever.
- Artificial Intelligence and ChatBots
- Voice Search will require consideration and optimization
- Mobile-first Development
- Single Page Applications
- Progressive Web Applications
Web Development has truly changed over the last 20 years. Not only are web developers responsible for the creation, maintenance, and ongoing performance of the web platforms they deliver into the digital world, they are also meant to be experts on user experience, user interface, marketing, copywriting, and a lot more!
It is clearly evident that professional web developers must keep a keen eye on the horizon as their work is viewed in real time and trends are just part of doing business. Being that times will and do change, what are some things to keep in mind as we close out 2022 and move into 2023?
1. Artificial Intelligence and ChatBots
We have all seen the headlines, technology firms are laying off workers and relying more and more on automation to handle routine customer engagements. ChatBots of the past were usually programmed with preselected queries and responses to help portions of a site’s user base find answers to simple questions before passing them off to an employee. While these simple chatbots served their purpose, we have relied on them more and more to answer an ever-increasing series of tasks, escalations, and engagements.
In 2023, we will see a much larger increase in chatbots paired with machine learning being applied to better serve customers all over the web. AI-powered chatbots will help users navigate through the interface faster and make decisions more quickly. It was estimated that the implementation of chatbots results in 30–40% higher response rates, and these are just the lower numbers of the spectrum. Some chatbots can generate 80–90% response rates, proving that users are actually willing to use these assistants to find out more about services and goods. These features make this technology especially effective for the eCommerce field, and such world-known brands as H&M, Sephora, and Tommy Hilfiger have already implemented bots in their digital products.
Moreover, AI chatbots are often used in banking, healthcare, and insurance fields, where users need 24/7 customer support. The companies from these fields can outsource some of the common and basic questions to bots to streamline the in-house processes and reduce the workload of the staff. Babylon Health is a healthcare service that uses this advanced web technology to consult its patients. Whenever patients feel unwell, they can write about their symptoms to the chatbot, and it gives them recommendations or offers to make an appointment with the doctor if there is a need for that.
2. Voice Search will require consideration and optimization
Despite recent announcements from Amazon and other tech firms killing off or reducing the functionality virtual voice assistants, content and search query results will be impacted by them. ‘Siri’ has remained a mainstay in the USA as Apple has roughly 60% ownership of the mobile space.
According to some surveys, the global voice recognition market is projected to grow by $27.16 million by 2026, meaning the trend will continue to affect the scope of web development and the entire digital sphere.
One of the more well known examples of voice recognition use in web development is Duolingo. Duolingo’s web app uses an AI voice recognition mechanism that allows users to improve their pronunciation and fluency of users.
Web Developers should pay particular attention to the impact of voice search queries on organic search results as more and more users are relying on talk-to-text to interact with their devices.
3. Mobile-first Development
Our phones and mobile devices have been omnipresent in our lives for quite some time, but a large portion of the web has not kept pace with this truth. According to The Drum, Mobile accounts for 65% of all e-commerce traffic and we expect web design and development to be geared to further accommodate this trend; eschewing the drab cookie-cutter templates that have proliferated every major CMS or website builder out there.
As further evidence this trend is deepening into our culture, have you noticed that your search results differ depending on location, type of device, and other logged-in services you are using? Still, the web is set to get even more user savvy; for instance, when a customer passes a bricks-and-mortar store, a push notification can be sent to their phone to provide them with an exclusive offer or a link to their website, blending digital and physical marketing. We’ll see a much more personal approach to a customer’s UX. New technologies will allow web developers to create tailored, bespoke experiences, individualized layouts, and content.
4. Single Page Applications
Also known as SPAs, Single Page Applications are a website or web application that dynamically rewrites the page content with new data from the server when the user scrolls the page. Meaning everything is displayed on 1 page, within their browser of choice, from the user’s point of view. What are some of the advantages an SPA can offer? Here are some of the highlights:
- SPAs load quickly, which enhances the user experience.
- The navigation is simple, and there is no need to create a complicated menu. Often, they mirror what we would expect from native applications.
- The backend code used for creating a SPA can be reused when creating a web application and a native mobile application.
Social media juggernauts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are arguably some of the most popular SPAs we interact with every day. One thing that makes single-page applications so great is fast loading speed, which is vital to reducing bounce rate. These apps even work well with a slow internet connection and when offline, using cached data loaded when the user launches the site.
Online shoppers are demanding responsive and straightforward experiences from the businesses they patronize and SPAs are a way to accomplish that. SPAs are easy to navigate and provide a delightful customer journey, increasing your conversations and, hopefully, revenue.
5. Progressive Web Applications
Progressive Web Applications (PWA) is a term used to describe the technology that allows users to install a website on their mobile device like a usual mobile application. It means a business doesn’t need to develop a website on top of Android and iOS mobile versions to gain both web and mobile presence. Here are the major benefits of having a PWA:
- PWAs can send push notifications.
- They are about 70% less expensive to develop than native apps.
- They do not need to be submitted and approved to the Apple App Store and Google Play.
- They can run without an internet connection.
- The PWA size usually doesn’t exceed 1 MB, which is smaller than a usual app.
- PWAs can connect to some parts of mobile hardware like a microphone, camera, or geolocation.
PWAs make the services accessible for users no matter what device or platform they use. The ability to work offline and send notifications helps businesses raise conversions. That’s why PWAs became an attractive choice for eCommerce brands. According to Statista, about 8% of eCommerce brands have already invested in having a PWA solution, while another 9% are strongly considering getting one.
A company that has already adopted this solution is Starbucks. It’s PWA has doubled the number of daily active users who place orders via the web, mirroring the number of orders via their mobile application. All in all, this impressive result proves that this technology can become one of the more interesting technologies to pay attention to in 2023.
If any of the above list has peaked your interest, we are cut from the same cloth! As we see it, the web is not going to look and feel the same after 2023. Whether some of the topics covered alter our behavior for good is yet to be seen, but there is one thing we can be certain of, 2023 consumers are going to be asking for more. Be ready!