Future of Web Development: Top Technology Trends in 2020

Artur Shepel
on March 19, 2020
11 min read

It’s only been a couple of months into the year 2020 and already half of the online businesses are planning to improve their websites/web apps to keep pace with the changing standards in web development. Businesses that have been making an impact on the online market have always kept abreast of trending web technologies and trending frameworks. In 2020, the web development industry is predicted to present intense competition with a focus on futuristic trends, techniques such as radical improvements in search engine optimization that range from image to voice searches. Business owners and web developers are continuously working to cope with the changing environment.

Websites and web apps that deliver these updates can increase traffic, convert a significant share of the online market and generate bonus leads for their business. So, no matter your current interest, if you are a stakeholder in the web development market, it is important that you should update your knowledge about the top trends and technology stacks for web development in 2020, as listed in this article.

Top Web Development Trends and Technologies of 2020

The trends shift with research and development, favoring those which have long-term prospects. The following trending web technologies are slated to have bright futures:

1. Voice Search

Between 2008 and 2016 alone, voice the number of voice search queries increased by 35 times. It has proved to be a lasting trend as today over 40% of adults and 55% of teenagers rely on voice optimized queries for their daily search needs. We are currently witnessing the start of the voice search era making its way to SEO and web platforms. With verbal being the easiest form of communication and most smartphones already being equipped with digital voice assistants, customers have come to expect similar functionality from e-commerce platforms. Voicebot.ai reposts that around 24% of the U.S consumers search for brand and products related information through voice queries before purchase. There has been strong evidence to support the rise of voice search in online activities and an inevitable takeover in even simple home appliances. A 2016 Gartner Study forecasted that by the year 2020, 30% of all web browsing sessions will incorporate voice search. Voice speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo and have been a huge game-changer in the online shopping trend. It is expected that 62% of voice-activated speakers are likely to use them to buy something online. In the next two years, the voice shopping market is predicted to grow to 40 billion. Hence, Early adopters of this trend will not only be able to increase traffic but also maximize sales by optimizing their website/web app content for voice searches.

2. Blockchain Technology

Over the next decade, blockchain technology is predicted to grow into the mainstream for web development purposes and hit $11.7 billion by 2022. E-commerce giants like Amazon are already using blockchain blocks to predict customer needs based on buying habits and boost interactivity on their pages. On the other side of the web security industry, NASA has been using it protects data and thwart cybersecurity attacks, which means it a great tool for web solution security and ensuring safe transactions on seller websites.

3. Motion UI

Motion User Interface (UI) is at the head of web trends for 2020. Minimalist design combined with sophisticated animation and graphics can enhance usability. It can help bring digital products or services to the forefront of a page or grab the user’s attention with a page that changes and adapts as you scroll down. Web developers are using a combination of different Motion UI elements such as header transition, background animations, interactive charts, modular scrolling and hover elements to improve behavioral factors and keep users engaged. Consider the following example taken from dribble, on the registration screen the fisherman is dozing-off while waiting for a catch (symbolizing the new user account). However, when you swipe to the sign-in screen, the page changes and adapts with a cheerful wide-awake animated fisherman with a catch. The whimsical animation keeps the visitor focused and engaged.

4. PWAs or AMP

Adopting either Progressive Web App (PWA) or Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) technologies to develop your web app could drastically improve its user experience and search engine ranking, as Google itself is moving in favor of faster loading mobile apps.
Mobile users are becoming increasingly dependent on their devices to perform everyday tasks, which includes shopping. In 2019 alone, 65% of online website purchases were made via mobile devices and by 2024 that figure is expected to reach 95%. To make the most of the mobile market share, ecommerce websites are now gradually moving towards PWAs. Not only do PWAs adequately fulfill Google’s set of criteria and score well across search engine they also provide faster loading, excellent navigability, native-like user experience and offline capabilities. The latter is especially useful for customer support and maintaining a high-end browsing experience despite slower internet speed. In 2018, leading UK clothing brand George.com increased their mobile conversions to 31% just by upgrading their site to PWA. Moreover, PWAs also help cut development costs since you need to build only once, and the app works in a browser across multiple devices. There is no need to download the app from the App Store.
Page load speed performance is critical in determining the success of a business in engaging/retaining online customers and converting leads. According to a 2017 Google study, a mere 1-3 second delay can increase bounce rates by 32%. AMPs also help overcome this problem as the pages load faster than standard HTML by skipping fancy elements and only displaying the necessary text or images. It works best for static content. On average, AMP HTML coded pages load time is only 0.7 seconds in comparison to the 22 seconds of non-AMP pages.
To decide between these trending web technologies, consider the specific use of your web app. PWAs are great for developing web games, entertainment, news or ecommerce web apps. The AMP approach would be ideal if page load speed could be an issue and your app gets more traffic from mobile platforms, or SEO and app promotion are essential to your web app.

5. Single Page Applications

Single Page Applications (SPAs) may not be a new trend, but they will continue to make an impact on web development environment in 2020. SPAs constitute only one HTML page that is dynamically reloaded to provide all the required information, instead of loading multiple pages from the server every time. This provides for a smooth, user-friendly experience, with easy navigation. Studies found that SPAs account for a 37.5 percent increased conversion rate in comparison to multi-page apps

6. Chatbots

Chatbots that employ AI and work across omnichannel have revolutionized customer interactions as well as how businesses operate. Chatbots are taking over the landscape of AI-integration and are predicted to manage around 85% of customer interactions with businesses by the end of this year, according to Gartner. Businesses can decrease costs by replacing humans with chatbots for customer support. They are already heavily favored by customers, with 57% online buyers choosing them over their human counterparts for their quick-responsiveness and 24/7 customer service. Chatbots are slowly finding their way in other areas of business such as marketing and analytics as well.

7. Low-code development

Low-code development allows developers of varying experience levels to build web and mobile applications in a faster and easier manner. It is essentially a visual design approach that facilitates rapid development by providing developers with a graphical user interface to drag-and-drop components and a model-driven logic base to quickly build applications even with minimal coding knowledge. It has become a necessity in this digital age where the competition is tough in terms of how quickly, efficiently, easily and economically enterprises can connect data, people, as well as digital processes. The industry has been supporting that trend, with the global low-code development market expected to grow to $ 53 million by 2024. Low-code development tools like G Suite, Appian, Mendix, and DWKit have become a hit with developers as well as small/medium enterprises. Some of the top reasons why an enterprise may opt for a low-code development platform are as follows:

  • Streamline processes – To automate critical and complex business processes by using a graphical interface to build over pre-existing data and infrastructure.
  • Satisfy customer needs – by focusing on functionality with customized code for a more flexible design.
  • A user-friendly interface – to enable faster and quicker implementation of changes and fast deployment of end-product.
  • Digital transformation – reduce cost and time spent on development by the enterprise.

8. WebAssembly

When developing web apps, JavaScript limitations in computationally complex code can lead to slower app performance, negatively impacting the user experience. This problem can be countered by WebAssembly, which allows developers to code performance-critical pieces for client-side web apps in any suitable programming language (e.g. C#, Rust, Kotlin) of their choice. The targeted code is then compiled to bytecode which can be executed within the browser, allowing higher-level languages to run natively in the browser. It provides access to a wider range of use while delivering a similar performance in a web environment without additional development cost. WebAssembly offers significantly faster execution speed than JavaScript, with native-like performance, which makes it an excellent tool for building web games, online image, and video editing, streaming and interactive 3D mapping apps. WASM is already supported by the major browsers like WebKit, Firefox, Chrome, and Edge, but the next agenda is to provide outside browser support possible for the following scenarios:

  • Creating hybrid native apps that run across different OS on mobile devices.
  • Cloud applications that entail performing serverless computations without the Cold start problem.
  • When running untrusted code (server-side), WASM guarantees safety by checking all instructions, efficiently separating code, ensuring implicit bound checks for memory access, as well as providing well-defined interfaces for interaction between programs and host environment.

9. AI

According to Gartner, the AI market share will reach $3.9 trillion by 2022. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the fastest-growing industries, with broad-spectrum applications in fields like healthcare, customer service, and e-commerce. It has revolutionized how site visitors interact with web apps and use search engines. AI is also being increasingly used by companies for automating the process of web development. This relieves the developers from redundant web development tasks so they can instead focus on web design approaches to improve UX. AI is also being used to curate content according to customer preference on many popular websites. This effectively removes unappealing or unwanted content from the user’s browsing experience, instead bring content they would be interested in the forefront during interactions on the website. AI and machine learning play a huge role in Amazon’s recommendation engine, as the ecommerce giant’s custom combination of customer-based/product-based filtration algorithms helped pave way for 35% percent of the company’s revenue. Amazon can successfully generate a personalized list of products of interest for each customer based on their browsing history, preferences/buying habits and related items. AI has also been used by businesses like Post Intelligence to detect trends in social media and forecast the level of engagement of followers so content creators can strategize posts for maximum engagement.

10. Trending Frameworks

Frameworks have become a key component of web development, and developers are constantly debating about the best framework to develop web apps. In the past, developers were obligated to write numerous pages of code, JavaScript frameworks have reduced the burden of writing redundant code by optimizing reusability. Developers need to code a function only once and can reuse it as many times as required. This makes JavaScript frameworks developer-friendly and saves a significant amount of their time while enabling them to make beautiful websites.
JavaScript frameworks enhance the development experience in more than one way, which is why they are included in the top trending frameworks for web development in 2020. Over 10,400 enterprises globally are using JavaScript in their technology stack, including 16 of 25 most renowned U.S privately-owned startups (valued at $1 trillion each). There are numerous JavaScript frameworks available in the market right now, which allows developers to pick any framework they are most comfortable with. Around 70% of developers have some experience with JavaScript; while JavaScript frameworks React (21.5%), Vue (16.1%), and Angular (12.2%) were listed as the top 3 development frameworks by developers on Stack Overflow

Knowing the Trends

Knowing the above trending web technologies and trending frameworks can help developers create an even better website/web app. Developers can offer bleeding-edge solutions by integrating these technologies and trends in the web development process. These recommendations will help build an overall better performance, relevant and faster web solution, which will increase traffic boost market growth of the web app/site.

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