From the author: Happy New Year everyone! Since the publication date of this post is January 1, 2020, I think now is the time to talk about some personal web development predictions for the next 366 days! Because, yes, 2020 is a leap year!
A quick disclaimer first before we get to the actual content. Obviously, I don’t know what the real future will look like, and I also don’t have complete analytic data on which to base my assumptions. Everything written here is just my point of view, my personal thoughts on where web development is going. All of this is based on my experience and observations. If you disagree with something written here – good! Feel free to share your opinion in the comments section if you like!
Svelte is on the rise;
Cloud computing, server-side programming and JAMStack are evolving;
Pre-processing and performance improvement are the future;
WASM brings a lot of processing power to the network;
Material Design, rounded corners, gradients and dark mode are current design trends.
There is also something for those who have a different attitude to JS than I do. While JS isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future, who knows what a decade will bring us? At this point, I can only say that there may be some small changes in the main emphasis of programming languages. We will talk about it later.
UI libraries / frameworks
Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little! In fact, the main trio isn’t going anywhere. The sheer size of their ecosystems and communities simply cannot be ignored. They won’t be defeated just like that. React is pretty much the jQuery of our time (in a positive way in terms of popularity), Vue is getting great new features and improvements with v3, and Angular … well, it’s just Angular – you know what I mean.
But a new player has appeared on the field, which cannot be left unmentioned. It’s called Svelte and is currently gaining traction. Many even believe that he will compete with the “main guys” in 2020.
Personally, I think Svelte will have a hard time meeting such high expectations. I hope I’m wrong because his approach to creating interfaces is very innovative! I am talking about preprocessing the code in an extra compilation step to provide smaller and more efficient client packages. The development of JS has led to serious abuse of its capabilities. If Svelte takes off, we should see further development in preprocessing, which will be good for both developers and users.
Server side and cloud
With Svelte in mind, it’s safe to say that more and more computers will move away from the client. A concept that is already well known in the form of a cloud. We have cloud computing (like AWS), cloud gaming (like Stadia), cloud storage (like Google Drive) and many other services and tools that build on this idea. And now he’s making his way into web development!
We are already used to using cloud services and third-party APIs to speed up the development process and provide certain features. Depending on many of these APIs from trusted providers, our software is not only more secure, but potentially even more efficient (compared to anything done on the client side). As such, I think the overall dependence on cloud services will grow in the coming years.
This is all great, but static websites lack some of the functionality that dynamic websites have, and SSR usually requires a fairly powerful server to run. Added to this is the fact that client code is still required to perform many other tasks and can sometimes become a bottleneck. With that in mind, I think preprocessing, similar to what Svelte does, but on a code-wide basis, will get more attention.
Maybe you’ve heard of Facebook’s open source project called Prepack, which is for partial evaluation of JS code? In its final form, it should be able to preview your code and preprocess it, leaving highly optimized results. The project is currently in its early stages and has stalled, but I think it illustrates the general idea quite well.
Besides preprocessing and optimization on the server side, there is also room for improvement on the client side. Thanks to its rapid development, JS is now used to solve rather complex problems for which it was not originally intended. Sure, the language and its syntax are good (although sometimes cumbersome), but I want to focus more on the performance and execution side of things.
With that said, there are limits to what JS can do. This is why WebAssembly (WASM) was created. It is basically a highly efficient format for compiling languages like Rust and C ++. Depending on the application, it can be orders of magnitude faster than JS, making it an ideal choice for portable computing tasks.
It is important to know that WASM is not meant to replace JS. Instead, it will solve all the complex problems and allow JS to focus solely on the user interface. With its impressive performance, we will finally be able to create heavy applications (especially games) that will run everywhere and impress users with their responsiveness!
Since the introduction of the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) in 2017, WASM has been slowly but successfully acquiring new features. On December 5, 2019, W3C officially approved WASM as the fourth language for use on the Internet. But it can also be used outside the browser as portable modules. With all this and the growing support, it’s easy to say that WASM will receive even more attention in the future. And who knows – maybe in a few years we will be playing AAA games right in our browsers!
Finally, I would like to conclude these predictions of mine by highlighting some design trends. You should know that while the code is very interesting and important, the user pays the most attention to the design and user interface.
I don’t think there will be any dramatic changes in design trends this year. And no – skeuomorphism will not return. As in previous years, Google Material Design (MD) will lead the way. However, due to the need for customization, things will look a little different.
Rather than strictly following Google’s guidelines, different brands will use specific design techniques and apply them to shape their unique looks and stand out from the competition. However, things like rounded corners, gradients, bright colors, and dark mode will become commonplace. In addition, simplicity, user experience (UX) and mobility will be back in the spotlight.
Beyond visual material, the importance of accessibility is likely to increase (a11y). The internet is becoming more and more crowded with different people, and providing a good experience for everyone should be the main goal of designers.
Especially more versatile websites such as social media and news portals need to provide people with disabilities with ease of use. However, the a11y goes far beyond that, enhancing comfort even for casual users thanks to subtle details like keyboard button responses, touch gestures, and more. The more of these functions a website implements, the more likely it is that the user will like it.
The word is yours
So these are my top web development predictions for 2020. Whether you agree with them or not, I would love to see your constructive feedback and personal predictions in the comments section below!
A source: //areknawo.com
Editorial staff: Webformyself team.
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