Web Development Predictions for 2017

Tim Hooper – equimedia

Less Intrusive Pop-ups

Intrusive popups that appear when you first load a page provide a poor user experience and can cause real issues on mobiles & tablets, with the device sometime unable to allow the user to close them and see the actual content.

Google is now cracking down on these, by introducing a new ranking signal that will take a dim view of websites that use these techniques.

Expect to see a dramatic decrease in the number Newsletter sign-up popups, and a big reduction in the size that popups occupy on the screen.
Native Mobile apps being replaced with HTML

There are increasingly less reasons to choose a mobile app over a webpage, even for highly functional purposes. HTML is now able to do many things that traditionally only an app downloaded in an app store could do. There are now standard APIs in mobile web browsers for accessing camera, speakers, vibration, battery and much more (with user’s permission).

Alongside functionality, HTML apps can be cheaper, and your product is much more likely to be discovered via Google than in a closed app store. Analytics is also easier to manage with a traditional website.

This means that many apps that would have been created as a native app are now being created as web-hosted HTML, and many existing apps are also being replaced with this technology.
Semantic Web

The Semantic Web is all about making the information on the web less ambiguous for machines & AI to understand.

By classifying knowledge into a data schema, rather than attempting to understand subjective human language, a machine can provide a much more accurate answer to a query.

This has been a long term project which is starting to yield mainstream results with devices like this year’s Amazon Echo & Google Home. Other maturing examples of this technology in action include Facebook Search, SIRI and Google’s knowledge graph.

From a practical viewpoint, website owners need to ensure that their website is machine readable by adding schema and open graph tags to their website if their content is appropriate. They also need to ensure their content is in the relevant databases where needed, a basic example being having accurate map listing for location searches.
More JS powered single page experiences

Javascript frameworks such as Angular , Ember & handlebars are now well established among web developers and are helping push a new type of web experience driven primarily by Javascript. The advantages are much faster load times and a better overall experience.

The practical reality of this is that highly functional parts of websites (such as shopping funnels, social experiences, customer areas) are increasingly being built as single page web applications – appearing much more like an iPad app than a traditional multi-page website.

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