The world of web development is in constant flux, and 2018 will be no different. According to Rani Arsanios, entrepreneur and managing director of SAVV Digital, the most significant growth this year will be in user expectations – content needs to be available anywhere and should aim to provide unrivalled customer experience. Users want to see real time content on their mobile and web development will need to supply this demand. Having great functionality and a nice design will no longer be enough. Websites need to be on the cutting-edge, drawing users in with great visuals and then wowing them with dazzling functionality. Here are the top 7 ways that you can stay ahead of the curve:
1. Shake up traditional layouts – make your visuals count
Traditional layouts are moving aside to make way for broken grid and asymmetry. The eye-catching trend helps build depth into the design and can create an exciting user experience. Meanwhile, web developers are no longer stuck with web-safe colour palettes. New bold, vibrant and saturated colour schemes are on the rise. And, to add even more personality, many sites are turning to graphic artists to create bespoke illustrations. Flat, straightforward design is a thing of the past.
2. Optimise for voice search
Using speech as a search tool is becoming ever more popular thanks to devices like Alexa and Google Home. Rani Arsanios explains that what this means for search is that people are using full sentences instead of keywords. Websites need to be optimised for speech to get ahead of the evolving world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Meanwhile, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has allowed the implementation of chatbots to handle customer queries. Natural language processing technology developed by AI can, in turn, help voice search. Hubspot’s SEO statistics report that 20% of search queries on Google’s mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches. Voice search is due to rise exponentially this year, ensure your site is ready.
3. Get animated and interactive
4. Polish your web apps
Web apps have really taken off due to users requirements for real-time interactions. Progressive web apps have the functionality and design of mobile apps. They can work offline, information is stored, and they load instantly. Web apps are spreading to a more diverse range of languages and frameworks. According to Rebecca Vogels of Usersnap, the ability to deliver an amazing user experience helped AliExpress improve conversions for new users across all browsers by 104% and on iOS by 82%.
5. Be more than just mobile first
Mobile first has been front of mind for developers for some time, but it is now more than this. Mobile is not only first, but it needs to be mastered. Rani Arsanios explains that we need to consider how content can best be consumed on smaller devices. We need to think about how users navigate with one hand as they multi-task. Navigation needs to be adapted so the thumb can reach the whole screen. This is a big challenge for developers but one that has the potential to reap great rewards.
Web development needs to focus on meeting customers expectations. We live in a world where we are always on the go; using mobile devices, yet expect ing a seamless link between our devices and experiences. Websites need to deliver eye-catching design whilst being fast loading and interactive. Rani Arsanios gives us his 3 top tips to focus on to help watch the users roll in:
- Get creative with design; embrace new fonts, bold colour schemes and illustrations. But, make sure your design is still clean.
- Offer your users a great interactive experience. Let the micro-interactions on your site keep users engaged. More time on your site will increase conversions.
- Optimise your site for voice searches. These will account for a more significant percentage of search this year, it’s wise to get ahead of the game.