Torbjorn Zetterlund

Mon 02 2017

Web Development Trends in 2017

by bernt & torsten

If you are a web developer or plan to become one in 2017, there is not a more exciting time, web technology is evolving at an ever-increasing rate, you’ll never run out of new skills to learn or ideas to explore. This is a fun time for developers who love to code, it’s also a great time to learn new things and to keep up with the latest trends.

I have put together a list of trends that I will keep an eye on and learning how I can use and add to my work. This list is based on my views. it may be of interest to you as well.

Artificial intelligence

You can not open a technology paper today without hearing about Artificial intelligence (AI), AI concept has been around as long as there were computers, it has not become mainstream. Maybe 2017 is the year, there been a lot of advances in recent years in the field of AI.

AlphaGo, a program built by Google DeepMind, became the first program to beat a professional Go player.

Google, Microsoft, and Facebook all have been releasing their AI technology to be used by the public. With easier access to the necessary tools for AI development, I believe that more developers will start using AI in new and different ways in the new year. I will definitely explore this area.

One great example of an AI web designer is The Grid,  check it out. Another great AI library to get started with is TensorFlow.

Internet of Things (IoT)

In 2017 we are going to be flooded by non-internet-connected objects that are given network connectivity in order to send and receive data. These objects can range from your toaster or fridge or kettle or your body to sensors on motors or sensors embedded in concrete to detect cracks and weaknesses.

The IoT will create a lot of data that will allow web developers to be involved in the development of applications that use, analyze and display the devices’ data. Companies such as Xively and BugLabs have already started working on APIs that can be used by developers to communicate with IoT devices.

Learn to develop

The profession of software engineers will be diluted by the emerging web developers that can learn how to code with a slew of online courses. This is great that more people get involved in the development and create experiences for the web.

The code-sharing at GitHub gives you free access to open source projects from all corners of the world. 2017 will be the year to go out there and get your hands dirty. Apart from contributing to open source projects, you could also join communities like Stack Overflow to find help to an issue that you have.

Web Layouts that let the content shine

There is a shift back toward a focus on content, it’s not all about the design elements any more – the content is the start in 2017. That’s one reason for the shift away from skeuomorphic design toward “flatter,” more minimalist design approaches, as seen in Google’s Material aesthetic, and really, across the web and our various devices.

WordPress going AI

Are you running a WordPress site, 2017 will be the year to add AI to your WordPress. Here are some plugins for your WordPress site.

  • Aimojo – Aimojo introduces new taxonomies that increase the contextual value of your content. The taxonomies are self-organizing and can learn from experience.
  • MyCurator – MyCurator enables bloggers to quickly discover interesting content customized. MyCurator’s AI relevance engine makes it possible to weed out most of the irrelevant items that you would normally find in RSS feeds or Google Alert notifications. If you teach it the algorithm, it will find more and more relevant content with time.
  • Kindred Posts – Kindred Posts place a widget on your sidebar, recommending relevant content to your visitors. Kindred Posts uses artificial intelligence to gain knowledge about the behaviour of the users and suggests content based on their interests.
  • Jetpack – Jetpack has added After The Deadline contextual spell checker After The Deadline uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to find writing errors and offer smart suggestions.
  • Live Chat + Chatbot – Live Chat + Chatbot offers customer support and online chat service which enables you to handle an unlimited number of customers, 24/7 day and night. The intelligent chatbot observes your conversations as you communicate with your customers – and it learns from the experience.
  • Did You Mean – Did You Mean helps you manage your 404 pages in an intelligent way that makes “Not Found” error pages more user-friendly.
  • Quttera Web Malware Scanner – Quttera Web Malware Scanner plugin can be a great help if Google backlisted your site. It makes it easy to find out why you got blacklisted. The plugin runs a malware scan for malware, trojans, backdoors, viruses, spyware, code injections, and many other kinds of threats.
  • The Client Relations Factory – integrates WordPress with The Client Relations Factory virtual robot platform. The Client Relations Factory allows you to publish a virtual customer service robot on your site.

Static website generators

Static website built by generators such as Jekyll, allow for some advantages, such as increased speed, security, ease of deployment and their handling of traffic surges. However, they have no real-time content or user content.

Separating the templates and markup from the “full-stack” way of thinking might just make static site generators the “it” thing again.

Better collaboration

Better collaboration between web developers and web designers will be a focus in 2017, the web and mobile apps we’re building these days requires better collaboration and better communication.

All kinds of tools have surfaced to help facilitate that collaboration, from the shared templates and dashboards in Webflow’s Team plan to the real-time, shared canvas of Figma – and you can bet 2017 will bring both improvements to those platforms, and all-new options.

On the designer-developer collaboration front, lots of attention has been focused on the all-important handoff stage. Where designers used to hand off massive packages of static images and specs, they’re now sharing dynamic visualizations enabled by tools like InVision, Marvel App, and UXPin – or doing one better by exporting real, production-ready code from Webflow.

Content delivery, personalization, and conversion

Delivering content to the right person at the right time will be important in 2017. The goal of personalization of content is to serve up content based on characteristics like:

  • Demographics: Who is the visitor (professionally and/or personally) and where are they coming from?
  • Behavior: What is the visitor doing now? What have they done on your site in the past?
  • Context: What device and browser is the visitor using? How did they arrive at your site? Are they logged in or logged out?

Angular 2

Angular 2 is here, a complete rework of Google’s browser and mobile application framework. Angular 2 comes with everything you need for robust data management, HTTP services, as well as non-code-dependent development features. For example, Angular 2’s interface allows you to easily create and manage animation timelines with little coding.

Angular 2 can help you deliver engaging experiences for end-users.

More focus on conversation

2017 is going to see a lot more bots popping up across your life. Bots are really an idea: that conversation is an interface. And we are likely to see that idea shapes a lot of 2017 top design work.

What this might mean, exactly, we don’t know yet, we’ll have to wait and see. But possible impacts include:

  • An even greater interest in “human” language and more conversational/natural-language forms
  • Increased capacities for writers and content strategists to act as UX designers and bot developers
  • Even more investment in so-called “user-generated content,” creative communities, fora, etc.
  • Attempts to transform the comment section from the internet’s sewer into fonts of “engagement” and new content – an effort already kicked off by the Coral Project

The fight against disinformation

Disinformation is fast, easy, and cheap to produce; super-profitable; and capable of severely impacting public perception. Something we who create and distribute web content was excited to see revealed.

But every problem represents an opportunity to fix this particular broken window. Here’s just a small sampling:

  • Google and Facebook have both stated that they’ll limit the flow of ad dollars to fake news sites via their advertising tools.
  • A group of university students has built a Chrome plugin called FiB that labels news stories as “verified” or “unverified” right inside the Facebook UI.
  • Popular Twitter account Saved You A Click launched a spinoff called Saved You A Trick to identify fake news stories.

Because as with any attempt to control the flow of information, there’s always the possibility of control being exercised the wrong way. And that means it’s ultimately up to us to stop the creation and spread of misinformation.

Virtual reality … on the web

Given our already firmly founded tendency to think of the web as a kind of an alternate reality, this is a bit inception-y. But there’s no denying that VR is going to affect the web in a big way in 2017 — even if browsers won’t be ready to support it. If you’re eager to try it, check out the Web VR site.

Complex CSS grid layouts

Newer and better CSS layout grid, css grid is the very first CSS module created specifically to solve the layout problems. Grid isn’t yet ready for use in the wild, but that just gives you some time to familiarize yourself with the spec.

If you want to start playing with CSS grid today, here’s how:

  • In Chrome, go to chrome://flags and enable “experimental web platform features”
  • In Opera, go to opera://flags and enable “experimental web platform features”
  • In Firefox, enable the layout.css.grid.enabled (or install Firefox Nightly)

As always if you have any comments, you can add them below.