Web development is a field that was once seen as very niche, but has now become so mainstream and vital that it’s one of the fastest-growing occupations in the world. Each year, thousands of new web developers are added, and children these days now go through school wanting to get into the field because of the great potential for earnings and for creating cutting-edge technology that will be used around the world.
With that in mind, the future of web development has never been brighter, and we’ve already seen some of the great advances over the past few decades. So what exactly does the future of web development have in store for us? Let’s take a look at some of the key trends and technologies to be on the lookout for, as they could become a staple in our everyday lives.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual reality is not a new concept, as it came into existence for the first time during the late 1950s and has become more mainstream in the 21st century. However, we’ve only begun to see what VR is capable of, and that includes web development. There’s a massive push for everything on the internet to be capable of adapting to VR technology, especially with the introduction of products like the Apple Vision Pro which allows users to browse the web and get real-time updates from social media.
Because of this, web developers are working overtime to make sure everything is optimized for the VR experience. On top of that, augmented reality is quickly becoming more common, especially when it comes to mobile web development. This technology allows us to see how furniture would look in our living room before we buy it, or even show you what a burger would look like on your table before you order. Any company that doesn’t optimize for VR or AR is getting left behind these days.
Progressive Web Applications
While having a dedicated app for your company can be a good thing, it can also draw the ire of the end user. Whether you’re 18 or 80 years old, there seems to be one common complaint amongst all generations, and it’s that people are tired of downloading a dedicated app for every company that they use, especially if they aren’t regular customers. Progressive Web Applications are the remedy for that, and you’re going to be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
Essentially, a PWA is a website that operates in the same way an app would (It’s an app that isn’t an app, if that makes sense). You simply go to a company’s website (think Starbucks) and you can place an order in real-time without the need for any downloads. Many companies are switching over their ordering systems to PWAs because of how efficient they are while also being convenient for the user.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
In the same vein as PWAs are accelerated mobile pages. Web development has seen a big push for the mobile experience, and AMPs play a major role in that. When you’re browsing on your desktop or laptop, you don’t mind going to a webpage that has a sitemap that you can navigate easily. When space is limited on your mobile screen, though, you want everything streamlined, and that’s where AMPs come in.
AMPs take away a lot of the bloat that you find on desktop versions of webpages, allowing for much faster load times and better SEO performance. Users who are on an AMP are much more likely to return, as an impression is made within the first few seconds. If your page isn’t loading properly on mobile or even gives the user a chance to click on the wrong thing, they’re likely going to your competitor’s page.
Whether you’re a fan of it or not, artificial intelligence and machine learning are big parts of the future, and web developers know that. AI is being used for a wide range of tasks in web development now, including websites that are catered to a more personalized experience while also boosting security and optimizing websites for faster load times. Because of how fast AI can produce HTML code, companies are finding it more efficient than having a full team on hand.
Sometimes, it can be easy to spot when a company is using an AI in web development as the copywriting might not seem very personable, but you’re unlikely to find any spelling or grammatical errors. Still, the big push for AI usage in web development comes from that personalized experience, which you’ve likely already seen when you’re browsing through Amazon.
To add to the AI focus, there are going to be people that want to contact a company’s website on a daily basis. Customer service representatives would normally be on standby, but on slow nights, that person could be sitting there for hours waiting for a chat to come through.
That’s why so many companies are switching to AI customer service chats for some of the simpler questions. Of course, you’ll still want humans to handle the more nuanced things, but now you don’t have to waste manhours when someone simply wants to know your hours of operation.