The future of the web has never been brighter. But in our always-connected world, there are going to be some seismic shifts in our web experiences in the coming years and decades – which will have a huge impact on the world of web development and web design.
User experiences are going to change – for the better – and designers and developers need to begin preparing for the trends that will shape web development for
Even More Emphasis On Mobile Phones & Mobile-First Design
Mobile devices are already important to web design – with mobile devices accounting for more than half of web traffic worldwide. We think that, in the future, this emphasis will grow even more.
While it’s unlikely that laptops and desktops are going anywhere soon, the vast majority of people shop, browse the internet, and use social media on smartphones and (to a lesser extent) tablet computers. When it comes to having fun and consuming content, mobile devices are king.
Because of this, we think that mobile-first design will continue to influence web design for years and decades to come – though the standards and best practices may change, the focus on a great mobile experience won’t.
Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are similar – yet distinct – technologies that hold a lot of potential for web design. These tools are already being used in many phone apps – and it’s only a matter of time before they are integrated into websites.
Home Depot, for example, has a 3D VR and AR app that allows users to take a photo or scan of their home, and then visualize the placement of furniture, visualize paint and flooring colours, and more, allowing them to plan their projects more effectively.
Or take online eyeglasses giant Zenni Optical, which now lets users scan a 360-degree image of their head, and uses AR technology to show how a certain pair of glasses will look when they’re worn on the face. Customers are able to visualize their appearance without a home try-on – leading to a higher likelihood of purchasing a pair of glasses.
In the future, it’s likely that we will see VR and AR expand dramatically, providing new methods of human-to-machine interaction, changing user experiences, and revolutionizing the way we interact with websites through VR headsets, glasses with AR displays, and more.
Voice Input & Navigation
Voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri are used widely by consumers. 46% of Americans regularly use voice assistants to help them do things like browse the internet, purchase items online, and get information about products and companies.
This is particularly common in local businesses – according to the above roundup of statistics, 58% of users use voice search to find local business information.
We think that it’s likely that this trend will continue to grow, and that web developers will need to find new ways to optimize their websites for voice search and input. Voice navigation on websites may even become more common – allowing easier hands-free browsing.
AI-Driven User Experiences
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to be instrumental in developing the next generation of web experiences for users. When it comes to the future of web design and the web in general, AI is sure to be a powerful tool.
In particular, AI may be useful for gathering information about how users are interacting with your website – and can help guide future design decisions. For example, AI could provide you with real-time data about the position of mouse movements and button interactions – and you could use this information to refine the design of your website to enhance the user experience.
“Low-Code” & “No-Code” Development Platforms
This is becoming less true, thanks to consumer-facing platforms like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress. These allow people to create websites using drag-and-drop tools, and build out basic functionality without any technical skills.
This isn’t just limited to simple websites and storefronts, either. Professional low-code or “no-code” platforms that allow the creation of websites without coding are also quite commonplace – allowing for the creation of complex interactive websites, apps, and more. Adobe Dreamweaver is very well-known, and a lot of other low-code platforms have been developed in recent years, like Microsoft PowerApps, Zoho Creator, and Google App Maker
These tools let users build enterprise-grade apps and websites without coding – or with minimal coding. In the future, we think that these sorts of development platforms will become even more common. Coding expertise will always be necessary – but it may be used more for back-end administrative than for front-end design and web development.
New Methods Of Identity Verification
We are already seeing this happening on a wide scale with iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, most of which incorporate either facial recognition scanning or a fingerprint sensor – allowing users to access their apps and accounts without remembering passwords or PINs.
In the future, we believe it’s likely that these technologies will be implemented throughout the web, as well as on mobile phones and their apps. Weak passwords and PINs remain a primary method by which hackers can gain access to personal information such as credit card details, and are a leading cause of data breaches and identity theft.
As the importance of the online world grows, it will be even more important to develop an open-source identity verification system that can use biometrics or other information to verify identities across multiple websites.
Perhaps this future application would look similar to PayPal – allowing users to use a single biometric identifier throughout the vast majority of websites. With proper encryption and data security, this would provide more protection for users, as well as a much better user experience.
Design For Today – And The Future – With Australian Internet Advertising
At Australian Internet Advertising, we pride ourselves on using cutting-edge best practices and design strategies to build bold, future-forward websites. So don’t get left behind. Make sure you adapt and are ready for the future of web design – contact us for a consultation now, and get the assistance you need.