The first web page went live in 1991, and with that launch, our lives were forever changed. Today, millions of people around the world spend hours surfing the Internet, earning money, spending money, finding their second halves, obtaining university degrees, watching movies, listening to music, probing conspiracy theories, and more. The list is practically endless.
Web development evolved from simple web pages to complex websites that can immerse users in a given topic and create experiences that wouldn't be possible without the magic of computing. You might remember an iconic statement by Bill Gates: “If your business isn't on the Internet, then your business will be out of business." The impact that a web presence has on business performance is now absolutely clear, just as night follows day. A good website makes it possible for companies to attract customers, learn about their behavior, propose what they’re looking for, and, finally, earn money.
However, not just any website is sufficient to benefit a business. In fact, a website that isn't user-friendly, is slow to load, or is unresponsive can mess up everything a company has tried so hard to achieve.
“Citius, Altius, Fortius” (Latin for "Faster, Higher, Stronger") is the motto of the Olympic Games. “More dynamic, interactive, and fast” is the web development credo in 2022.
Let’s dive into the web development trends that will help set your site apart from the crowd.
The reason people love trend reports is that they make it possible to keep up with the fast-moving world of web development and understand what to expect. The team at Yellow has read through a stack of 2022 trend reports so you don’t have to. Of course, if you really want to do that, we can recommend Adobe, Google, Blue Corona, and SocPOB reports on web development trends and tendencies. What is now apparent, even in times of uncertainty, is that your website must be good-looking, fast, and mobile-friendly. Otherwise, visitors will leave. In the absence of customers, your business will starve.
It takes a visitor approximately five seconds to form an opinion of a site, according to Google’s research. That’s why good, user-friendly design is so important. Blue Corona reports that 38% of visitors will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. You might think, “Well, 38% doesn’t sound that bad." Hold on. Almost 90% of consumers shop the competition after a poor user experience. (Web FX)
The following five eye-opening website development statistics are worth keeping in mind:
47% of users expect a maximum load time of two seconds for an average website. (Curatti)
Retailers lose $2.6 billion each year because of slow-loading websites. (Inside Design)
Thirty-one percent of all retail e-commerce was generated via mobile devices in 2021. (Statista)
Seventy-five percent of consumers admit to judging a company’s credibility based on its website design. (Kinesis)
A group of scientists from Northumbria University found that 46% of consumers in the study made their decisions regarding the credibility of websites on the basis of visual appeal and aesthetics.
All of this might give you an idea that great design, UX/UI, and responsiveness are important. They certainly are, but that's just the beginning. So, let's talk about the latest web development trends in regard to the front end, back end, technologies, and programmatic languages.
In this part of the article, I’ll cover front-end development trends that will shape the industry in 2022 (and beyond).
It’s an object-based and dynamic language used both on the client side and the server side.
It’s supported by many browsers, such as Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.
Many libraries and frameworks are available.
The synergy among these three elements gives developers a simpler, faster, and cheaper work experience. Moreover, Jamstack-based architecture makes websites more secure because there’s no need to worry about database or server protection. They're scalable, too. So, if a project goes viral, the content delivery network (CDN) will adapt.
As the majority of browsing is now done on mobile devices, companies can’t ignore the importance of this approach. Moreover, it’s no longer about developing a website that displays well on mobile devices but making it responsive, in other words, making a website that displays equally well on mobile devices with different screen sizes. The importance of responsive web design made it one of the top web development trends, and the following rules enable to achieve it:
Focus on vertical orientation rather than landscape one, and on functions done with a touchscreen.
Set up meta viewport tags to help browsers change how pages are scaled.
Use different layout methods, e.g. Grid, Multi-Column, or Flexbox, to make layouts fit the viewport.
Use CSS queries to change the size of things based on what the devices can do.
This type of content organization became popular once Netflix adopted it. To understand what it's about, let’s look at a traditional (or coupled) CMS.
The use of a traditional approach in content management is like putting all content—images, videos, texts, and code—in a single box. It means the front end and back end are coupled together, making it very difficult to process content updates.
People consume information via many devices simultaneously. So, imagine that a customer wants to buy baskets. He or she starts searching for them on the phone, then compares reviews on the desktop, and finally makes a purchase via a tablet. All of the content must look good on all of the devices involved, which is why headless architecture for content management is the way to go. It doesn’t make traditional CMS bad. It’s simply a fact that content consumption has evolved, and so has web development.
The point in using headless CMS is to make content delivery fast and easy so that content creators don't need to dive into code. In a headless CMS, the frontend and backend aren’t linked (decoupled), so they represent two different systems: One is responsible for content creation and storage, and the other is used to present it. Once the content is created, the headless architecture uses API to deliver it and make it look good on any device.
We’ve created a comparison table that gives you an idea of why they differ. Otherwise, it would be cumbersome to describe each of the criteria.
|Criterion||Traditional CMS||Headless CMS|
|Hosting||In-house||In the cloud|
|Number of supported devices||Limited||Unlimited|
The back-end must be secure, must react quickly to users’ requests, and must be easy to scale if needed. Let's examine each of the back-end technologies to trend in 2022 based on Yellow’s web development expertise.
Python developers are in high demand, and right now there are at least 51,000 Python developer jobs in the United States posted on LinkedIn. Indeed reports that the jobs requiring Python have increased by 26,275.00% since 2018. Huge companies like Google, Facebook, and Spotify rely on this programming language. Let’s look at some of the reasons for that.
Compatibility with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, and Internet of Things (IoT)
Integration with other programming languages
Availability of collections of libraries and frameworks
It isn’t big news that companies take cyber security very seriously. Gartner, Inc. forecasts market growth all the way to $170B in 2022. Kent Walker, who is Google's senior vice president for global affairs and chief legal officer, said, “We'll invest $10 billion over the next five years to strengthen cybersecurity, including expanding zero-trust programs, helping secure the software supply chain, and enhancing open-source security.”
It still won't be enough just to invest millions in cyber security. It has more to do with how well companies (from startups to large operations) build safe, secure backend architectures in order to prevent data loss and network intrusion. There are at least 3 cyber security threats that web development specialists must know about:
1. Cross-site scripting (XSS)
XSS attacks, Stored XSS, DOM XSS, and Reflected XSS, oh my! All of them are effective and dangerous and help hackers scan websites for vulnerabilities and steal users' credentials and sensitive information. How to prevent that? Make sure to use Django or Ruby on Rails which includes algorithms to block XSS and context-sensitive encoding for DOM XSS attacks.
2. Sensitive data exposure
Data leak is one of the company’s worst nightmares that can cost reputation and billions of dollars. Happily, there’s a way out: Strong encryption policies. Make sure to protect personal or sensitive information, such as customer names, addresses, phone, email addresses, credit card numbers, employee dates of birth, social security numbers, etc.
3. SQL injection
SQL, NoSQL, and Path injections are used by cybercriminals to “inject” malicious code into your web pages to access databases, change information, steal data, or add malware to your code. An antidote? Data cleaning, input validation, character-escaping, parameterized queries, and stored procedures.
Cyber attacks are getting more smart and sophisticated, and cyber security is becoming not only one of the app and web development trends but an absolute must-have.
Traditional SQL databases are still in use, but cloud-native ones are already available (like Google's BigQuery or DynamoDB, by AWS). In fact, there will be more options available for any given case:
RDBMS for transactional use cases with structured data
Wide-column database for low-latency, distributed database
Key-value store for distributed cache
Graph database for extremely relational data
Search engines for full-text and advanced search (e.g., location-based search)
Distributed SQL for low-latency, distributed databases with a transactional guarantee
OLAP database for data warehousing and analytics
The array of options effectively guarantees a match between a problem and the tools to quickly, fully resolve it.
It's good to know you're about to read this chapter. We've covered front-end and back-end trends, so it will be great to talk about the technologies we’ll see in 2022. We bet you'll see them in different industries, including your own.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Reddit have already adopted dark mode, and 95% of Polar users prefer dark over light mode even in the daytime. Why is that so? Dark mode offers key advantages:
It reduces blue light.
It saves battery life.
It makes UI content accessible and legible for everyone.
It limits the risk of eye strain even in low-light conditions.
The size of the Voice Assistant application market is expected to grow from $2.8 billion in 2021 to $11.2 billion by 2026, thanks to progress in voice-based AI technologies, the increasing use of voice-enabled devices, greater focus on customer engagement, and the emergence of low-code platforms for voice-assisted applications. It’s just easier and faster than typing a request, isn’t it?
Voice search offers advantages that benefit users and business owners alike:
It allows extra time for surfing on a web page.
It gathers information about customers’ behavioral patterns.
Artificial intelligence (AI) gets a lot of media attention, and you’ve probably seen or heard various reports on that subject. When you’re automatically tagged on someone’s Facebook photo or when you receive personalized recommendations on Netflix or Spotify, it means “a pinch of AI” was used to do it. AI helped Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov, a chess grandmaster and one of the greatest players of all time, in the iconic Deep Blue vs. Garry Kasparov chess battle of 1997. How, though, can AI benefit your company? Let's get down to business.
AI gets smarter with each new day, and that growing prowess makes interaction with chatbots a pleasant, entertaining experience for customers and clients. AI-powered chatbots also serve businesses by collecting data and learning from interactions with customers. They even have 24/7 problem-solving capability, which can save companies the cost of hiring support managers. (That doesn't mean replacing a majority of them, but it simply means the support teams can deal with more complicated issues.)
There are two types of chatbots. Text-based (1) and Voice-enabled assistance (2). We interact with both, but let us dot all the I’s to avoid any misunderstandings.
As the name suggests, text-based chatbots are the ones that interact with users through text messages. They are able to understand the customer's needs and provide them with solutions, gather feedback and keep customers engaged. However, they require typing, which requires more time and effort than using voice. That’s why voice-enabled assistance is getting popular.
When it comes to voice-enabled assistance, you probably think of Siri or Alexa that Americans use almost on a daily basis with mobile devices, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, or in the car. These chatbots can communicate using vocal input and output. However, businesses adapt voice application solutions and services that use voice search and recognition, speech synthesis, and natural language processing (NLP) too. Why? Here are just a few benefits that voice-enabled chatbots offer to companies:
They create a personalized branded experience.
They communicate with your customers in a human-like way, which enables your company to build an emotional bond with your clients. Understanding human language is a complex and continuous process, and chatbots should not only understand the speech but be good listeners, too. AI is able to “train” chatbots to be good listeners.
They handle a variety of tasks ranging in difficulty.
If you want to know more about chatbots, read this article about the various types and how to build them from scratch.
The result of this technology can, if it's expertly designed and implemented, provide the visual appeal that really grabs users' attention. More importantly, motion UI helps communicate a sequence, next step, transition, or action for a digital product thus making the navigation easier. In the process, it directs the user’s attention to the exact areas of hierarchy on a web page. And it’s simply easier and quicker to view a sequence of animated elements rather than reading text, instructions, and other static information.
Other use cases of motion UI include the following:
Welcoming users. Do you remember the iconic animation where the two hands joined the logo on Nokia phones? You can integrate the similar one to your website.
Refreshing content. Motion elements can keep your users engaged for a short period of time and let them know that the website is loading or processing the information.
Fun elements also help keep user attention and make your website different from your competitors.
As statistics show, people prefer mobile devices over desktops. In 2019, 63.3% of all website visits came from mobile devices—and almost 70% in the next year, and the rate is expected to grow further.
Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) is an open-sourced project powered by Google that is designed to speed up web pages for people using smartphones or tablets. In 2016, Google wrote in a blog post: “We want webpages with rich content like video, animations, and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously”.
For “light-weight” mobile pages, AMP uses a stripped-down version of HTML and a lightweight version of CSS.
It’s worth mentioning that a desktop version, a mobile version, and an AMP version are three different versions of a website and cannot replace one another.
A PWA is basically a website that looks like an app. Examples include Tinder, Pinterest, YouTube Music, and Trivago Hotel Booking. They're built with a certain set of technologies (we’ll talk about that a bit later) and are delivered via the web. PWAs are intended to work on any platform that uses a standards-compliant browser, whether it's a desktop computer or a mobile device. Progressive web apps can do most things that native apps can do:
They can operate offline.
They can use hardware features, such as by accessing your camera and microphone or even GPS.
They install reliably for the owner, and they load quickly for the visitor.
So, how are progressive web apps built? The tech stack consists of HTML, JS, and CSS. As for technologies, PWAs are made of Service Worker, HTTPS, App Shell, Web App Manifest, and Push notifications. Let’s talk about each of them:
Service Worker is the heart of a PWA and a game changer for the web development industry. Service Worker works as a proxy between the network and the app running in the background, enabling the website to store the information so that users could access it offline.
HTTPS maintains a high level of progressive web app security which prevents them from cyber-attacks.
App Shell serves as a skeleton for app pages. It is called a shell because it represents a layout without the content and dynamic elements. To put it simply, this is a virtual framework that will be filled with the content later when the app will load it.
Web App Manifest is a JSON file containing the name of the app, description, icon, start URL, background, and theme colors.
Push Notifications are simply those notifications users get from the website.
Google’s official introduction says that PWAs are fast—load instantly even in uncertain network conditions, reliable—respond quickly to user interactions with silky smooth animations and no janky scrolling, and engaging—feel like a natural app on the device, with immersive user experience.
You may also find useful information in our guide to SaaS app development.
Statista predicts that the global market for AR, VR, and MR will grow from $30.7 billion to $300 billion by 2024. After all, it has penetrated our lives already. Think of all the filters and cute masks you see on Instagram and Snapchat. Augmented reality (AR) makes them possible.
Business owners from the manufacturing, tourism, architecture, and beauty sectors can benefit from these technologies, which enhance the customer's experience and help establish an emotional bond with the product or service. Take Ikea as an example: the technology lets you virtually place true-to-scale 3D models in your very own space. Or Wanna Kicks that allows you virtually wear your chosen footwear. Those are mobile apps but the technology can be implemented into your websites.
This is a free, open-source web application framework for Node.js. We love Express.js because it helps build beautiful web applications fast and easily.
Inspired by Angular, this framework is widely used for web application design. Scalability is a particular benefit.
We at Yellow Systems are big fans of Next.js. It lets us deliver the highly scalable, data-intensive, real-time backend services needed to power fast, responsive websites and apps.
Nuxt is inspired by Next.js, which is in turn inspired by React.js. It's a great way to manage complicated aspects such as asynchronous data, middleware, and routing. It’s also extremely helpful if SEO is a must for the design of a website because Nuxt.js optimization makes it easy to generate a number of SEO-friendly HTML pages.
The first web page was created more than 30 years ago, and that's a very long time in the context of IT. In 2022, the industry will continue to grow as more businesses realize they’ve made a huge mistake by not going online.
Every business needs a website. Assuming that many of them have something unique to offer, their websites could be unique even in highly competitive niches. Thankfully, the industry offers many ways to achieve that uniqueness. From frameworks to design trends, you can choose the right tools to create a web page that will engage users, immerse them in your topic and drive sales. We hope that this guide to web development trends has been useful to your website development needs. If you need the help of a dedicated team to carry out website development for your business, we’d be happy to discuss your idea.
🌐 What suits my project best?
🌐 Are AR, VR and AI talked about too much?
🌐 What are the most important factors to consider when building a website in 2022?
🌐 How can I keep up with the industry trends?
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