Website application design

By Blake Holmes

Web applications are essential, helping to drive seamless user experiences online.

As with any digital tool, web applications have experienced considerable growth and innovation over recent years, with certain trends expected to drive this innovation further over the coming year. We decided to take a look at these and how they are relevant to businesses looking to improve their digital platforms or online customer experiences.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Machine learning and AI are gaining prominence as digital tools shaping online experiences from product selection to content viewing. JavaScript-based machine learning libraries are now able to be integrated with web applications, simplifying the inclusion of AI-based features that streamline and optimise the user experience. 

Machine learning can also be seen on content platforms like Youtube, which uses captured user-data to create refined channels and tailored content suggestions. Retailers like Amazon are also incorporating machine-learning into their business models, with product suggestions and purchase automation enabled by their high level understanding of preferences and consumption cycles. This trend is expected to continue as brands and businesses endeavour to create increasingly-tailored user experiences.

Single Page Websites/Applications

Single Page Applications are gaining in popularity due to their simplicity, and overall performance - crucial as Google continues to de-prioritise sites with poor user experiences and loading speeds. By displaying relevant content SPA’s don’t load all content at once, but dynamically rewrite the current page instead of loading new pages from a server. SPA’s are based on Javascript, with the development process based on Angular and React frameworks. For the ux and ui efficiency they offer and as a low cost solution, they will continue to grow in popularity. 

Progressive Web Applications

Progressive Web Applications are web apps that use contemporary technology for providing an app-like experience on a web browser, giving it the UX and feel of a mobile or tablet application. By combining the development tech of web and native applications, users can experience apps or app content without downloading or installing one. This is great as it adopts the key benefits of mobile apps (engagement, push notification click-throughs) while minimising the download times which act as a barrier to app downloads. Forbes, Twitter and Alibaba are all examples of brands who have incorporated PWA’s, with Alibaba seeing a 76% increase in mobile conversions as a result. These are expected to become more commonplace as consumers demand efficiency in web application design and attention is increasingly fragmented by the abundance of content and digital platforms. 

Chatbots

Chatbots are website applications that are increasing in popularity and will continue to do so as AI develops and becomes more effective. With e-commerce the sale of goods and services, customer support and a streamlined user experience is of benefit to both buyer and seller. As a tool to provide quick support, guide user-experiences, push product suggestions, make orders and deal with complaints, chatbots save time for both parties and create a user friendly, interactive experience. Brands like Dominos have incorporated chatbots into their ordering process as well as communication and social media apps like Facebook Messenger and Slack to streamline communications. Chatbots are expected to become increasingly commonplace and are always beneficial for businesses entering the e-commerce space. 

These are just a few of the web app design and development trends shaping the way consumers and businesses operate online. They are of increasing necessity for brands wishing to modernise and remain at the forefront of expected technological proficiency. By partnering with clients to better understand their businesses and consumers, we can suggest and tailor website application integration in the design process to optimise theirs and their customer’s digital experiences for brand growth and long-term success. 

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