You will find that many of these trends already exist on the web — but they are expected to become even more widespread in the coming years. Let’s take a look.
1. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
Though not a new trend of 2022, progressive web apps (PWAs) in their latest iteration are going to replace web apps for good. PWAs help websites to load in no time and can also work offline in apps like Google Maps. Companies like Starbucks, Uber, Pinterest, and Twitter have already been using PWAs for a better user experience.
At the start of 2021, mobile devices accounted for 54% of global internet traffic. With the increased usage of smartphones and tablets to perform various online tasks, it is essential to revamp web applications into PWAs. In addition to providing an unmatched user experience, PWAs offer other benefits, including reduced development costs and seamless maintenance for the provider.
2. AI Chatbots
In 2022, AI chatbots are expected to become even more sophisticated in meeting the needs of and matching the behavior of users by leveraging machine learning, natural language processing, and information retrieval techniques.
Besides assisting companies in performing faster operations using voice or text chats, AI-enabled chatbots also help improve the customer experience. They can collect data, answer frequently asked questions, and solve other issues, thereby providing customers with seamless digital experiences with a company.
Many prominent B2C companies already serve their customers with AI chatbots. According to Forbes, marketers’ use of AI increased by 190% between 2018 and 2020, many functioning within Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and Skype, instead of standard chatbots. We can expect more companies to embrace AI chatbots in 2022.
3. Accelerated Mobile Pages
First launched by Google in 2015, accelerated mobile page — or AMP — was designed to provide mobile users with lightning-fast digital experiences. In addition to providing seamless user experiences and decreasing bounce rate, Google’s AMP can help improve core business metrics, such as the number of conversions on web pages.
Although AMP usage has been trending slightly down since 2020, it remains the most popular mobile technology used worldwide, used on 35% of websites that implement mobile technologies and over half of the most popular 10,000 websites.
4. Single-Page Applications
Besides being cost-effective and relatively easy to create thanks to the popular AngularJS framework, SPAs consume less space on servers and provide information to users efficiently on a single page without the need to navigate around. These benefits make SPAs a win-win for developers and site visitors alike.
As online consumers expect faster and simpler app experiences, we can expect the SPA trend to continue into 2022.
5. Optimized Voice Search
First introduced by Google in 2011, voice search is rapidly rising in popularity. Intelligent virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri showed unprecedented market growth in 2019 and are forecasted to continue to grow rapidly, according to an analysis by Grand View Research.
More tech giants are entering the market or creating new products, like Google Home and Apple HomePod, to meet consumer demand. Data by Juniper Research predicts that as many as 55% of all households in the world will have voice assistants by 2022. As a result, voice search will be more relevant than ever.
Consumers are not just using smart speakers to conduct voice searches either — they’re also using their smartphones and IoT devices for voice search. As a result, voice search results will start ranking higher, and more frequently, on search engine results pages. So, companies will be working on optimizing their products — as well as their content strategy — for voice search in 2022.
6. WordPress Development
The WordPress CMS powers over 40% of all websites, and a presence that large demands attention. An open-souce platform, WordPress continually adds more features to meet users’ needs. WordPress devlopers should be aware of how WordPress evolves over time.
As for 2022, Gravity Forms CEO Carl Hancock notes the arrival of Full Site editing, which will extend block editing functionality to the entire website, not just posts and pages: “2022 will be a pivotal year for the CMS as it introduces the biggest change to theming in the history of the open-source project: Full Site Editing. Scheduled to be introduced in WordPress v5.9, Full Site Editing is poised to introduce major sea change in how web sites are created and managed with WordPress going forward.”
7. Motion UI
Today, consumers not only expect faster and mobile-friendly digital experiences — they also expect richer and more interactive experiences.
That’s one reason Motion UI has become so popular. Motion UI is a front-end framework that enables developers to build fully responsive websites and mobile applications and to use predefined motions within a native app setting. Using this framework, you can make an element slide, spin, bounce, transition, and more.
Because it’s compatible with all web technologies and can be added anywhere on a website, like the header, footer, and menus, Motion UI has been widely used since 2018. However, it has become more accessible thanks to the SASS libraries’ technology, making it one of the leading web development trends in 2022.
8. Serverless Architecture
There has been an ongoing search for technology that helps to reduce system overloading, data loss, and development costs. This search has resulted in serverless technology.
Serverless architecture runs on cloud technology, allowing users to run code for virtually any type of application or backend service with zero administration. No provisioning, managing, or upgrading servers is necessary. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are the leading examples of companies using and providing serverless architecture.
The global serverless architecture market is predicted to grow from $7.6 billion in 2020 to $21.1 billion by 2025. That means we can expect more companies to enter this market in 2021 and beyond.
We’ll also see more products — including chatbots, IoT apps, and APIs — using serverless functions to perform tasks like downloading file backups, delivering notifications, and exporting objects.
9. Mobile-friendly Development
As mentioned, mobile devices account for over half of web traffic worldwide. Plus, nearly three-quarters of global ecommerce sales are completed on mobile. From these stats, it’s clear that taking a mobile-first approach to web development has become essential.
Many developers have taken this approach for years. But being “mobile-friendly” is constantly fluctuating. In 2022, it means using geolocation data to deliver highly personalized experiences to users, offering one-click ordering on ecommerce apps, and incorporating biometric authentication like fingerprint scanning or voice recognition, among other trends.
10. Dark Mode Standardization
In recent years, dark and low-light websites have gained popularity. 2022 will continue to see websites and apps offering dark mode user interfaces (UIs), as studies have found that at least 8 in 10 users prefer to use dark mode whenever possible.
Facebook and Twitter have already implemented this feature. These apps provide an easy option to toggle between the two modes, depending on the reader’s preference or system settings.
As more web developers provide a similar built-in feature to switch between light and dark modes, this will become the standard in 2022 and beyond. It may even become the de facto default for applications.
11. Improved Native Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity — the practice of securing data, networks, and computers from misuse — is one of the most critical concerns of 2022. Every company, no matter its size, is vulnerable. For example, in June 2021, hackers were able to scrape the accounts of 700 million LinkedIn users to acquire personal information including full names, emails, and phone numbers.
According to CDN provider Cloudflare, the number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks nearly doubled each quarter in 2020. Hours of downtime, significant loss of revenue, and a damaged reputation are just a few effects of DDoS attacks.
With such an alarming increase in cybercrimes, website development has adapted to make it easier to protect company and customer data. There’s already been a shift toward application-based multi-factor authentication like Google Authenticator, patch management, and Security Operation Centers (SOC).
We’ll be seeing a continuing rise in non-traditional methods to improve cybersecurity as well, beyond monitoring tools and analytics checkpoints. Danny Wajcman, Co-Founder and COO of the heatmapping and live chat software company Lucky Orange, notes the importance of human monitoring in addition to automation: “We firmly believe session recordings can help identify security issues like a DDoS attack or extreme bot traffic…Having a feel for your daily traffic trends and regularly following visitor journeys builds your ability to recognize when something isn’t quite right.”