Excellence in Software Engineering
Web Trends in 2017
03 May 2017

Author: Mehmet ERGÜL, Senior Software Engineer – Web Applications Group

Web has changed a lot over the last decade, and as in technology general, ever changing. The concept of traditional web design is fading away. Flash based websites, site intros, applets are almost gone. Some new technologies like canvas, SVG, CSS3, WebRTC are born. Let’s try to predict the trends of 2017.

1. Using AI to Create Websites

2017 will be the year of artificial intelligence. We see a lot of advancements in this area with Google’s, Facebook’s and other big companies’ efforts. Creating websites using AI is a new field and we already have some very good examples. One of them is The Grid which allows us to create pretty click websites using an AI program named Molly.

Image source: https://twitter.com/FiredropAI/status/815622871493922816
https://firedrop.ai/ – Your personal A.I. web designer

2. Bots

New websites are a lot more interactive. Now bots become quite popular and this is just the beginning. Popping up online helpers, chat bots and AI tools for better user experience are increasing. The messaging platform, Slack, is a good example with its bot users.

Image source: https://api.slack.com/bot-users

3. Conversational UI

We’re entering a promising new era of computing. Advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence are creating a resurgence of interest in voice interfaces and natural language processing. We are now on a path that could make interaction with digital services more intuitive, more accessible and more efficient through conversational interfaces.

Image source: https://azumbrunnen.me/

For example; KLM, the Dutch airlines, uses a Facebook Messenger plugin to provide customers the travel information. Customers receive text messages providing boarding passes, reminding check-in time.

4. Virtual Reality

VR technology is progressively penetrating to all areas of life, gaming industry to tours of hotels, and the web is no exception. Many designer are already working on VR experience on their websites. There is no doubt that we will see more websites with VR experience in 2017 even though browsers are not fully support it yet.

Image source: https://blog.mozvr.com/quick-vr-prototypes

5. Mobile First Design

The traffic from the mobile browsers are increasing each year. Responsive web design has great importance now and if your website is not supporting mobile browsers you are missing a great potential user base.

6. Single Page Applications

With the help of the Angular JS single page application design has a significant role in frontend and gaining huge popularity. Why do we want to write single page apps? The main reason is that they allow us to offer a more-native-app-like experience to the user. Single page apps are distinguished by their ability to redraw any part of the UI without requiring a server roundtrip to retrieve HTML. This is achieved by separating the data from the presentation of data by having a model layer that handles data and a view layer that reads from the models. I think we will see more single page websites in 2017.

Image source: http://www.workit.biz/

7. Parallax Effect

Parallax scrolling is an old technique popularized in 2d computer graphics and video games. Web designers began incorporating parallax scrolling in 2011, using HTML5 and CSS3. It’s still a hot trend and there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of it – as long as you don’t overuse it and know when to apply it.

Image source: https://www.spaceneedle.com/home/

8. Video Backgrounds

Video backgrounds are maybe not for every website, but it is still a hot trend when it is done right, they may give a unique experience to the visitors. Sounds are complementary but proceed with caution and always include an option to toggle sound off.

9. Infinite Scrolling

We do see more and more infinite scrolling websites with the success of the bottomless websites like Facebook, Twitter, Quora. This technique is trending for a few years and we are now used to scroll for hours, constantly seeing new content.

Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/

10. Javascript Everywhere

Javascript is the language of the web. It is on high demand and will be for a while in frontend. We have seen some improvements overtime like coffescript, typescript, flowtype but they’re all compiled to the Javascript. We have Javascript in other domains too. It is on the mobile in the form of React Native. It is on the server in the form of Node JS, even though some node users are moving to Google’s Go language, I don’t think it will fade away soon.

Image source: Google images

Honorable Mention

Web Assembly

Web assembly is basically a bytecode that run on browsers. Many languages including C++ can be compiled to Web Assembly. It is still in-progress, so 2017 probably will not be the year of web assembly but it looks so promising and the developers are looking forward for it. It is a must watch technology and we are really wondering what will happen to Javascript?

[1] https://api.slack.com/bot-users
[2] http://singlepageappbook.com/goal.html
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax_scrolling
[4] http://www.inc.com/molly-reynolds/2017-is-the-year-of-artificial-intelligence.html
[5] https://webvr.info/
[6] https://developers.google.com/actions/design/get-started
[7] http://inspiredm.com/how-web-design-has-changed-over-the-last-10-years/
[8] http://trendwatching.com/
[9] https://material.io/
[10] http://webassembly.org/



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