http://web.archive.org/ and look up your favourite website’s first archived version, then go to their live site and see how things have changed. Using the WayBack machine, it’s easy to see how web development trends have changed up to this point, but what’s in store for 2013?"> http://web.archive.org/ and look up your favourite website’s first archived version, then go to their live site and see how things have changed. Using the WayBack machine, it’s easy to see how web development trends have changed up to this point, but what’s in store for 2013?" /> IT-Systems - Web development has and always will be in a state of constant evolution

Warning: ./cache is not writeable. Make sure you've set the correct relative or absolute path, and that the location is server-writable. in /var/www/production/it-systems.fi/public_html/feeder/library/SimplePie.php on line 1369

Web development has and always will be in a state of constant evolution

Web development has and always will be in a state of constant evolution, it’s self-evident in the websites you visit every day. Here’s a fun experiment: head over tohttp://web.archive.org/ and look up your favourite website’s first archived version, then go to their live site and see how things have changed. Using the WayBack machine, it’s easy to see how web development trends have changed up to this point, but what’s in store for 2013?

It’s a question that many organisations and individuals have speculated on, from analytics firms to independent developers. Everybody has their own take on what’s ahead and we’re no exception. There’s a lot of voices talking on this topic and a lot of different opinions, but almost everybody (including us!) agree on a few key trends we’ll be seeing more of in 2013.

In a nutshell:

Merging & Unification of desktop and mobile development practices are going to take off in a big way. We’re going to see sites and web apps that integrate the best of desktop content and mobile UX/UI, eventually there will be little to no difference between desktop/mobile/other platforms.

More specifically, here are the key points

User Interface/Content:

Efficient delivery of content relevant to the user’s requirements is key here. Desktop web will take more of a cue from mobile interface techniques. Web apps will look more like mobile apps and this will help provide a smoother cross-platform user experience as well as generally improve the look & feel of desktop web apps.

User Experience/Design:

Focus will be on delivering a smooth experience while maximising content efficiency. Less clutter and more relevant information for the user. This will be complemented by simple designs as a vehicle for delivering content; toned down colour pallets and less clutter, along with responsive layouts will further lend websites to cross-platform compatibility. One website that dynamically configures itself to display correctly on desktop, mobile and tablet could and should emerge as the dominant development goal. Awwwards have a few interview excerpts on their site that sum this up nicely;

Bruce Lawson:

“If I go to a train website, I don't really want to see a picture of Richard Branson smiling at me, I don't want to read the Chief Exec's ambitions and life history. All I want to know is what time my train is and how much it is.”

Karen McGrane:

“Mobile is not the Lite version. You don’t get to decide which device people use to visit your website. They do.”

Simon Foster:

“I always keep it in mind that no matter how beautiful I make a website the average user only really wants to spend about 10 seconds on it.”

From these quotes and our own research, it’s clear that ease of use and clean content delivery are two of the most important things for web developers to keep in mind when developing their projects. Consider the user’s point of view!

Dynamic data:

Many websites are already using AJAX, SOAP and other systems to drive their functionality. The increased usage and proliferation of this technology will further improve the viability of the web as a platform for app & software development. The ability to save and retrieve data without navigating to a new page is a big help in providing a seamless and simplified user experience and from a development standpoint, it’s hugely satisfying to develop such a system.

Retina Compatibility:

Mobile and tablet usage has been steadily increasing since the launch of the first generation of smartphones such as the iPhone. Recently, the number of mobile/tablet users in North America reached 500 million. There are now more people using the internet from a mobile device in America than from desktops. Retina displays were introduced in recent iterations of Apple’s hardware and need to be acknowledged as a platform to cater to. Without proper optimisation, image heavy sites can suffer visually when viewed on Retina displays, with graphics appearing ‘grainy’. There are a number of ways to provide compatibility, ranging from switching to SVG or a similar vector-based format for your graphics, to using a script like retina.js to hot-swap images for their high-resolution counterparts if a retina device is detected. Either way the transition is a trivial task and results in a more satisfying user experience.

An unintended benefit of switching to vector graphics is improved accessibility; visually impaired users (such as IT-Systems’ own Richard Goodwins) often need to zoom in on websites to properly enjoy the content, and vector graphics don’t suffer from pixelation like jpeg/png files do when zoomed in. It’s a minor point to make, but it’s the little things that can make a big difference to your users.

More blog entries

“Hyvä webstrategia mahdollistaa yrityksen näyttää isommalta, puhua kovemmin ja tavoitella pidemmälle. Siinä hieman ajateltavaa.”
(1.3.2013)