At the start of every new year, us web developers usually have a few questions on our minds, one of which is “What’s going to disrupt the industry this year?”. It could be a programming language that picks up some steam and rises to the top (like AngularJS in 2018 - all of us React devs are crying inside.) Or it could be a faux-winner (like BlockChain technology - more on this later.)
Some trends are obvious and a bit predictable; we expect mobile users to be on the rise, but by how much? As a front end developer who loves design, I’m aware that large typography is trending up, and so is the use of a lot of whitespace, as well as the use of more organic shapes and scribbles in design, but I’ll be focusing more on the web development trends expected to take off this year.
What is a design system you ask? Here’s an excerpt from our recent blog post about why we create using design systems here at Appnovation.
A design systems simply put, is designing, with future growth in mind. It's the source of all of the design practices. It grows and evolves as the project does. It's there to help designers, developers, and clients all create together.
One of the biggest benefits of a design system (especially to a more recent adopter like myself) is the ability to reuse components easily, but not just that, the ability to speed up the development process. Companies like Shopify and Airbnb have their own design systems and swear by them. Expect design systems to become more the norm in web development in 2019.
Even More Mobile First Design and Development
We’ve seen mobile users on the internet steadily increase over the last couple of years; specifically an increase from 35.1% in 2015 to 52.2% in 2018. That’s a 17% increase in just 3 years and we expect that to rise. In Asia, the number of mobile users is 65.1%.
What does this mean? It means if you don’t have a mobile optimized website, you’re missing out on a ton of eyes for your business or product.
I’ll assume you already know that having a responsive website is necessary, but there’s more. You also need your assets being delivered to a user’s device to be optimized. SEO, using a CDN, and having minified assets might not cut it depending on how media-heavy your website is; you might need an Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) version of your website - the biggest benefit of this being page load time and excellent usability on mobile devices. Or maybe you might need a Progressive Web App instead - more on that below.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
Progressive Web Apps have been on the rise for a while. A Progressive Web App is basically a website that acts like a native mobile app; best used for websites with dynamic content. There’s many benefits to having a PWA - the biggest being cost as you don’t have to develop for 2 or 3 different platforms (Web, iOS, Android) and can focus on delivering a very polished and fully functional web app that serves all 3 platforms perfectly. Native Mobile Apps definitely still have their place as PWA often don’t have access to native platform services (among other things), but tools exist to wrap PWA’s as native to counteract that. PWA’s should take off this year.
Chatbots and Customer Experience
2018 saw the launch of many startups specializing in conversational bots. Not just bots that answer questions, but lead-generating and maintaining bots that take care of your customers’ technical or customer support questions outside of business hours. As AI and machine learning get even better, these bots are going to become even more common on websites. I have one on one of my websites and plan to add another to my portfolio website. I believe we’ll see a lot more of our bot friends all over the internet in 2019.
Source: DDI Dev
More Practical Uses of Blockchain Technology
These are just a few of the many web development trends I and many other developers consider as very likely to take off in 2019.
Are you ready to take on 2019? If most of these trends are not on your business’s radar, reach out and we'll help you get started on your next project.