Looking back at 2017, it was a year of technological advancements. Massive strides were made in the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. Passenger drones, domestic robots, cell phones with facial recognition technology and headphones that double as a personal translator made the headlines. But what does that mean for your business? Does that really change anything for your website development plans for 2018?
While all these technological developments may seem unrelated to your business, there’s one thing in common. These advancements have changed people’s expectations and altered the way they perceive anything they’re interacting with. Your website must keep pace with these changing expectations and perceptions of your target audience, in order to grab their attention and keep them engaged.
Here’s a look at some simple web development trends that will rule in 2018.
Faster Websites for Shorter Attention Spans
With so much happening in the digital world, it’s only natural that visitors to your website will have increasingly shorter attention spans. In 2018, it’ll be even more important than before to ensure the website is super-fast.
If your website doesn’t load in under 2 seconds, you’ll have to contend with lost traffic, lost conversions and lost sales, says a blog post by SEMGeeks. The post goes on to mention simple ways to ensure this, like choosing a minimal design, optimizing your servers, simplifying navigation, ensuring fast loading web forms and using easy-to-read fonts.
Chatbots: Your Own Online Customer Support
Since 2016, we’ve all come across chat-boxes that pop up asking if you need any help. Chatbots are written or oral conversation software that gives a visitor the feeling of interacting with a human. This allows businesses to stay connected with visitors and maintain continuous customer support. These chatbots are able to answer the most frequently asked questions, helping visitors complete a transition or redirecting them to a webpage with the required information.
Advancements in artificial intelligence and the increasing use of messaging apps have fueled the development of chatbots, says an article by Business Insider. According to a survey conducted by Oracle, nearly 80% of the respondents would be using chatbots by 2020.
Rise of Visual Content
We’re just not accustomed to simply reading content anymore. We prefer Siri to tell us where to take the next turn, rather than look at a physical map. We absorb data better when it’s in the form of charts or an infographic. We like to learn to do stuff by watching “How To” videos. Your website needs to have smooth graphics and animation to explain your offering to the target audience. In 2017, GIF animation became popular. In 2018, we may see Motion UI gaining traction.
Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, are web applications that are also regular web pages or websites, but offer an immersive full-screen experience, while also re-engaging users with push notifications. PWAs bring native app functionalities to the web experience, says a report by Gartner. They are faster than mobile apps, as they bring app features to websites without users having to download the app.
Users are already scrolling one very long page to navigate it. These single page websites are gaining immense popularity due to their simple format. This one-page format works best for smartphone users who find it difficult to navigate a regular website, getting frustrated by multi-level menus and endless text. This trend will rule in 2018 since an increasing number of people will use their phones for browsing sites.
These are only a few trends that would likely be popular in 2018. Companies will leverage these features, while web developers will continue to innovate to attract and engage more visitors.