Trend 1: Progressive Web Applications
Progressive Web Applications (known as PWAs) refer to a type of web application. They’ve been around for a few years now, but you can expect them to take on a new importance in 2021.
They allow web pages to load when there’s no Internet connection. That’s an important functionality for user experience (which in and of itself is another web development trend of 2021, but more on that later). WhatsApp is a great example of a PWA: even if you’re not connected to the Internet, you can still see and respond to messages. When you do reconnect, the messages you typed will be sent.
Trend 2: Artificial Intelligence
AI isn’t a new trend either, and we can expect to see even more of it in 2021 because of its power to drastically improve the customer experience.
How will we see AI incorporated into web development in 2021?
- Chatbots—so customers can utilise self-service capabilities.
- Machine learning—to improve the customer experience.
- Automation of certain tasks for developers—so they can focus on higher value activities.
As the use of AI expands in the web development space, developers can expect to see websites that are easier to build, while consumers will see websites that are easier to use.
Trend 3: Voice Search
You’ve probably been using voice search for a few years already. However, not all websites are optimised for voice search, which means these websites won’t come up in search results - and that's not good for business.
In 2021, more companies will modify their sites to take advantage of the enormous rise in voice search (as of 2019, research showed almost half of all consumers are using voice search for general queries).
How do you optimise your site for voice search? Here's five steps you need to take:
- Ensure the site is built for mobile devices
- Boost the load speed of your page
- Write content that enhances the user experience
- Make your website discoverable by including useful, accurate content
- Ensure your site’s security—search engines won’t send a user to an unsafe site.
Trend 4: WebAssembly
WebAssembly is a web development technique which compiles code into bytecode - compact, numeric code designed for the efficient execution of a software interpreter. The bytecode can be in any programming language, and it can be run directly in a browser.
This web development technique has several advantages:
- It’s independent of programming language and platforms
- It executes code quickly
- It’s hardware-independent
- It’s highly secure.
WebAssembly also fits into the ‘golden triangle’ for web development:
- It has a small footprint
- It allows for cross-platform scripting
- It’s fast.
That’s why we’ll be seeing a much higher usage of WebAssembly in 2021 and in years to come.
Trend 5: Data Visualisations
Data visualisations, as the name implies, present data through an image. You’re probably used to hearing the term in a work context, and maybe you’ve even created some charts or graphs for reports or presentations. In 2021, we’ll be seeing more data visualisations incorporated into web designs, especially the interactive variety.
Interactive data visualisations engage and educate users by allowing them to access and view information they want to see in a way that’s easy to understand.
et's look at the New Zealand elections as an example of telling stories with data. Instead of just a straight "How many MPs of each party?", "How many MPs are women?" or "How many MPs are of Maori descent?" you could actually splice the data of an interactive data visualisation to break down piece by piece so you end up with how many women of Maori descent is in each party.
Interactive data visualisations are popular because they grab the user’s attention. You can expect to see more of them from journalists as well as companies in 2021.
Trend 6: Accelerated Mobile Pages
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are another one of the top web development trends of 2021. AMPs are a faster version of a mobile web page. They download faster than HTML.
Because of their speed, it’s possible to add lots of rich animation to AMPs, which can not only attract the user, but also boost their experience. Here are some other benefits of AMPs:
- They’re search engine friendly
- They always load well on mobile devices
- Users get the information they need faster, thanks to short load times
Trend 7: Motion Design UI
Here are some of the places you’ll see motion design UI on websites:
- Page header transitions
- Pull-down menus
Motion design UI will take on an even greater prominence this coming year because it’s eye-catching and it helps make people want to visit your site.
Trend 8: Better User Experience
If companies took one thing out of the events of 2020, it’s that they need to offer a better user experience to customers or they will take their business elsewhere.
What does a better user experience look like when it comes to web development? You won’t see better user experiences become apparent through just one web design trend, but rather in a variety of ways, such as through:
- The use of chatbots for self-service.
- Faster page load speed.
- A more attractive page.
- Web pages that deliver the content users want and need.
In 2021, better user experience will take centre stage. Your customers will expect a website that offers an excellent user experience, so now is definitely the time to start planning it to them.
Enlighten Designs: Creating Beautiful Digital Experiences
At Enlighten Designs, we’ve been creating amazing digital experiences for our customers for over two decades. We believe that your digital presence doesn’t just reflect your products and services, but also your ability to deliver them. Enlighten helps businesses realise their objectives by combining digital strategy, user-centred design, and technology. To learn more about creating an intuitive, user-friendly website that delights clients, contact us.