Technology pushes. It pushes everything. From new data science innovations to fintech, to augmented and virtual reality, technology disrupts how we buy, how we do research, and how we experience all that the web has to offer.
And with each innovation in technology, web developers must scramble to add those innovations to the experiences that users have on websites that they design and update. In looking at 2018, there are some definite trends that are emerging. Here are a few of them.
The purpose of chatbots is to improve customer experiences and support and, in so doing, decrease the need for human intervention. Probably the most famous one right now is the Taco Bot:
It is now predicted that, by 2020, 85% of customer interactions with businesses will be through chatbots.
Chatbots will do far more than taking a food order. For example, chatbots could be used for FAQ features, where a customer can ask a question and get the answer rather than have to scroll through reading through the list. This will be especially important for mobile users who do not want to scroll and read so much. Beyond FAQ, chatbots (virtual assistants) can be used to ask all kinds of questions about a business.
Developers should be prepared for their clients to ask for chatbot technology on their sites and in their apps.
2. Progressive WebApps
Using Facebook today means that the website tracks your interests and preferences and begins to and filters ads, etc. that you see. This will become much more commonplace as businesses want to track what users do while using their sites/apps, especially on mobile devices, and generate push notifications based upon what they do while using an app. If the user responds to a request to activate push notifications, the customer will be sent information, specials, new products, etc., even when the site/app is not open. Other aspects of progressive WebApps include things such as splash screens.
The advantage to the business owner is that a long-term relationship has been established with a consumer which can pay off well over time.
Progressive WebApps also include such things as splash screens and animated page transitions, all things that work to keep a user engaged.
3. Single-Page Websites
One of the demands of consumers and web/app users is ease of use, rapid load, and navigation efficiency. Complex structures of traditional websites are just not mobile-friendly. Tapping to navigate to new pages and then trying to move back and forth is just something that mobile users just don’t want to do. Giving them a single page website to scroll will keep them with you, and keeping them with you means more engagement and, ultimately, the potential for more revenue.
4. Apps are No Longer Optional
Mobile apps now constitute 90% of the overall mobile time. Businesses no longer have an option when it comes to developing engaging, usable apps. And those apps need to supply a seamless experience. There are great tools for developers to design conversational bots, natural language processing, etc. and these will all be major trends for 2018.
5. Text Will Be Minimized
Earlier in this century, website, blog, article content, etc. was very much like writing essay assignments. Walls of text were considered valuable, and most designers and developers would contact a top writing service if they were expected to create that text. They would choose an academic writing service that had a copywriting department so that professionals with journalistic backgrounds could be employed. Current copywriting trends are minimalistic, with visuals substituting for as much text as possible.
6. Cinemagraphs Will Be Big
A cinemagraph is a cross between a still image and an actual video. These are quick little video snips created to capture attention at key points during navigation of an app, particularly at conversion options. Such snips might be a 360-degree product view, or an entertaining method of capturing attention, such an image dancing or spinning when tapped on a screen. Consider which will be more engaging – read a review of a product or see it turning and moving from all angles or customers’ testimonials in little audio-visual snippets popping up next to a product image.
Cinemagraphs are less “heavy” than full videos and give users what they want – rapid, short, engaging micro-moments.
7. Animations Triggered by Scrolling
Like cinemagraphs, these are cool little snippets that can be used to explain or describe a product, as a user scrolls. Far preferable to text descriptions and much more engaging. Look for these to gain in popularity in 2018. They make a website/app much cleaner, dispensing with buttons and menus and provide an experience, not just tasks.
8. Augmented and Virtual Reality
This is perhaps one of the biggest trends that will reach a peak in 2018. Giving potential customers a “real” experience. The biggest problem consumers have when shopping online is to figure out if a product is really “right.” Already, clothing retailers are allowing site visitors to “try on” clothing items. America’s Best eyewear allows users to try on various glasses frames virtually, to determine which ones they want, before they even go in for their eye exams.
Vacationers can place themselves in a hotel, at the pool, spa, etc. before they make their reservations.
Another concept in augmented reality is the use of labels to tell products’ stories. Looksar, a development company, is creating amazing software for product manufacturers. For exmple, when someone is considering a bottle of wine, they can use their smartphone and the bottle label, to get the complete story of how that wine was produced. Scrolling over a menu item on a restaurant website, the visitor can be taken into the kitchen to see how that item is prepared.
9. IoT Continues
Controlling everything from appliances to thermostats, to using devices to track our fitness activity, we want to be in charge of as much as possible. So do large enterprises. Health monitoring devices provide a stream of data from patients to providers, improving health care. As demand for IoT continues, so will demand developers who have the latest tech skills.
These are just a few of the trends that we will probably see in 2018, As technology continues its march, actually its marathon, forward, we have yet to see all that will be available for site and app design over the next 12 months.
Angela Baker is a self-driven specialist who is currently working as a freelance writer in BestEssay.Education review and trying to improve herself in the blogging career. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That`s why Angela develops and improves her skills throughout the writing process to help and inspire people.