The Hottest Web Development Trends of 2019

Originally published January 6, 2017, updated Feb. 5, 2019.

Web developers are focusing on the customer this year.

There’s been a growing emphasis on the customer journey over the last few years, and 2019 will see more focus on providing a responsive, customized experience to every visitor.

To that end, the leading web development trends for 2019 are those that help developers engage visitors and provide personalized service.

Motion UI

Visitors won’t spend much time on a site if they can’t find what they need.

Simple, interactive design keeps users engaged and makes navigation straightforward.

One of the most common ways to add this functionality in 2019 is motion UI.

The trend includes both the concept of featuring simplified motion effects in web design and a specific tool for doing so.

Motion UI is a standalone Sass library for creating CSS transitions and animations.

It offers interactive motion effects that visually guide site visitors towards popular features. Developers like Motion UI for its customizable components and flexibility.

Adding effects is simple, so it’s an easy way to add interest to a site without throwing off development schedules.

Whether it’s done using Motion UI or another tool, dynamic visual effects are showing promise as a way to improve user engagement.

Expect wider adoption as developers explore its value in an enterprise context.

Adaptive Design

The line between mobile and home computing is so faint it’s practically invisible.

Consumers own just under 4 connected devices each (including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices) and switch between them regularly during an average of 5.9 hours of daily media usage.

Companies who can provide consistent user experience regardless of how visitors reach their site will enjoy greater engagement and more return traffic.

It’s not enough for web design to be responsive anymore. Responsive design leads to awkward or unattractive sites on some devices.

Now design needs to be adaptive, able to rearrange itself to suit different device classes while providing a high-quality user experience for each.

This year, developers will explore optimized templates that translate content to a variety of device classes.

Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots

Artificial intelligence is everywhere. It’s already being used to improve search results, upsell products, power facial recognition programs on social media, and sort articles on sites like Wikipedia.

Now, it’s making a place in the customer service arena.

More than 40% of organizations worldwide plan to launch customer-facing artificial intelligence technology this year.

Chatbots are leading the charge. Within the next five years they’re set to become the most common AI application across all consumer applications.

Natural language processing (NLP) has matured enough that chatbots offer real value instead of frustrating customers.

In fact, over half of consumers like having the constant point of access to businesses chatbots provide.

Look for more chatbots, virtual agents, and NLP-based form filling tools throughout 2019.

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps are still generating excitement in 2019.

Developers view them as a serious competitor for native apps, especially as more browsers support their full suite of features.

There are a lot of benefits to using PWAs. Development is often shorter and less costly. They offer excellent performance even on poor devices and in low signal areas.

Dropping below the three seconds most users wait before leaving a slow site helps lower bounce rates and increase time spent on-site.

PWA service workers provide limited offline functionality, which is a significant benefit with 70% of world economic growth over the next over next several years coming from emerging markets, that’s a significant advantage.

There are still some problems with browser compatibility, but those will fade away as browsers catch up to the latest W3c standards.

Looking forward

Some of these trends should grow in popularity as 2019 proceeds.

Artificial intelligence, for example, is making strides in proving its worth as an enterprise tool.

It would be hard to imagine anyone abandoning it right as it begins to realize its full potential.

Others aren’t as easy to predict. Motion UI may be exciting, but there aren’t any numbers on its practical impact yet.

For now, these are all solid tools for developers looking to boost performance and improve the customer experience.

Questions? Concepta’s team stays up to date on the latest web development trends. Drop us a line to talk about which ones are best for your next project!

Request a Consultation

Download FREE AI White Paper

Creating Fast, Reliable Apps with Cache API

cache-api

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are leading the charge in providing mobile access at a relatively low price point.

They have a lot of advantages over hybrid apps and bypass the “download barrier” of native apps altogether.

PWAs operate within browsers, which imposes some limitations. One of these is the browser’s built-in cache.

Mobile apps rely on caching to stay operational in variable signal strength areas, and the browser’s native cache is too unreliable to provide the best possible service.

There is a tool smart developers use to give PWAs – and other applications- a performance edge: Cache API.

The Power of PWAs

PWAs are hosted by a website and accessed through a device’s browser. The most obvious benefit is that there’s no download required.

Users simply navigate to the app, grant permission for limited device access, and are granted full access to the app’s features.

That isn’t the only reason for their popularity. As a mobile option, PWAs offer better user experience than responsive mobile sites without the higher cost of standalone apps.

They’re fast, secure, always updated, and have the native look and feel that appeals to users. They can access a growing array of device features.

PWAs also work anywhere. After the first load, users don’t even need to be online.

The app can store information for automatic update when the connection is restored – which is why reliable caching is so important.

Introducing Cache API

Cache API is a system that securely stores requests and responses via JavaScript that can be accessed anytime. It can use service workers to cache network requests so the app is usable offline.

The API also serves as general storage, able to store almost any kind of response without worrying they’ll expire.

Caching things like this decreases traffic and network activity. It boosts the application’s performance, which is a major benefit when user experience weighs so heavily in repeat purchase decisions.

Cache API Vs Browser Cache

It might seem like using Cache API when there’s already a built-in browser cache is a waste of time, but there are good reasons to use Cache API in addition.

First and foremost is control. Developers who choose Cache API can implement custom cache control logic.

They can set priorities for what remains in the cache and what can be purged to make space. The browser cache only purges based on storage requirements.

This feeds into another benefit: reliability. Cache API adds a layer of dependable control that’s missing from even the better modern browsers.

Chrome and Firefox have been working to improve their browser caching, but it still needs improvement. A Facebook study found that only 25% of what they expected to find in the cache were actually there.

As a technical advantage, when users refresh a PWA their browser skips the HTTP cache. Service workers set up with Cache API always intercept requests.

It’s also useful that Cache API can cache multiple requests when the PWA is first run. Even those that haven’t been accessed yet can be stored.

Having these ready speeds up later requests even as the user moves through low signal areas.

Looking At Limitations

Cache API has a few notable limitations. Some browsers require use of https to access the API. Size can be a problem, too, since each browser has its own storage limits that need to be addressed.

Developers can manage this using cache quota usage estimates found through the StorageEstimate API.

Compatibility is another issue. Browser support for PWAs is growing but not consistent, and not all browsers support this feature. That does seem to be changing.

Cache API can be used in Chrome, Opera and Firefox now, and Edge and Safari have reportedly marked it as “In Development”.

Final Thoughts

With a simple API and a little javascript, applications can be given an amazingly functional caching layer that improves their performance while decreasing bandwidth usage.

It benefits users and servers alike. Given these benefits, Cache API should be on the technology short list when it comes to building PWAs.

Having a user-centric mobile presence is a critical part of modern digital strategy, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. To learn more about mobile technology that meets your company’s needs (including your budget), set up a free consultation with one of our experienced developers.

Request a Consultation