Every year introduces new trends in web development, but 2020 has been a year like no other. The “trends” this year are not necessarily based on new functionality, development techniques, or even styles or tastes. This year’s trends have evolved out of a change in the entire complexion of the internet and how it is being used.
What started as fun & games, social connectivity, and searching, has now become vital in how we conduct our everyday lives.
In lieu of “re-inventing the wheel”, I have referenced 2 articles from Google search on the topic.
From The Effects of COVID-19 on the Web Development Industry by Aaron Chichioco.
All over the world, countries are grappling with the social and economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic. While most patients (95 percent) do recover, the number of lives it has taken away in just a few months is undeniably significant. This has prompted every sector—from governments to businesses and civil society groups—to suspend, minimize, or adjust their operations.
While the world shifted even more of their lives online, the tech industry, in general, has not been left economically unscathed. But as the rise of online sellers has shown, there are opportunities to be had even in the darkest of times. The increasing need for B2B companies, for example, to offer online meetings and conferences has given a boost to custom software development companies.
In the same vein, online video conferencing services have gotten a huge shot in the arm. Zoom, already the world leader with a net income of $15.3 million in the last quarter of 2019, is set to make a massive jump in 2020. Meanwhile, a litany of tech companies and pros have launched a variety of endeavors to help fight the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
This article takes a closer look at how the pandemic has impacted the tech industry as a whole and provides tips on how web development industry professionals can keep afloat as the world continues its trudge toward the new normal.
COVID-19’s Impact on Tech
Because of the significant disruptions in the supply chain, there are sectors of the tech industry that have taken a significant hit. Apple reportedly suffered at least a 10% fall in its shares. As well, the cancellation of major tech conferences has resulted in an estimated loss of $1 billion across those involved.
However, it’s not all gloom and doom for those who can manage to stay afloat. According to Market Data Forecast, the tech industry is expected to have a boom in the next five years—from $131 billion in 2020 to $295 by 2025. This is mainly due to the heightened importance placed on remote conferencing platforms that rose to prominence during the lockdown. But of course, things like online cashless solutions and remote work platforms are also expected to figure considerably in this market boom.
Other smart solutions were also developed across the globe. In China, authorities used drones equipped with thermal sensors to identify the symptoms for Covid-19 and request immediate help. Chinese telecom company AHS also designed a 5G-powered system to better connect physicians across the country. While in Australia, the government launched a chatbot to keep citizens informed, answering their queries and preventing the spread of misinformation.
These innovations made under duress show that there are opportunities to be had. Web developers who can come up with creative and disruptive solutions similar to the above have the chance to reinvent their roles as the world takes on the challenge of placing some sense of normalcy.
6 Ways Web Developers Can Stay Resilient
The trends above suggest both losses but also opportunities for web developers to pivot their careers or businesses. Below are six ways web developers can minimize risks or continue to grow amidst this crisis.
#1. Review your Portfolio or Reprioritize your Projects
As mentioned above, the pandemic has affected industries differently. The tourism sector as well as brick and mortar stores have seen steep declines in their incomes. But other industries—such as eCommerce businesses selling essential goods—are surviving or even thriving.
As a web creator, you can position yourself to serve in industries that are doing well. If you’ve been working for travel companies, shift to helping essential businesses strengthen their online presence.
Look at your portfolio and emphasize how your past projects and engagements can translate to these thriving sectors. For example, if you find you’ve been particularly innovative in some of your projects, you can request letters from previous clients vouching for your creative solutions.
If you’re running a business, you may have to reprioritize your projects. Focus on those that are critical to responding to COVID-19 challenges. For instance, expanding your company’s delivery coverage or online payment solutions may not have been among your key projects when 2020 began. But with more consumers shopping online, you may want to put this as a top priority. Critical strategies such as these can ensure that your company can continue to earn and maintain consumer loyalty amidst the pandemic.
While responding to current challenges, don’t lose sight of your long-term goals. While cutting costs is essential to weather this crisis, continue to pursue innovations and projects that will put you in a better position once the economy bounces back.
Businesses and managers can learn from the experience of many companies during the Great Recession of 2007. Companies that combined defensive approaches (either boosting business efficiency, foregoing some staff or both) with offensive measures (opening up new markets; carefully investing in new assets, or both) outperformed businesses that focused solely on shrinking costs or increasing investments and promotions.
#2. Ensure that Websites (yours or your Clients’) Are Ready for Increased Traffic
web development covid-19As many consumers are confined in their homes, they have nowhere else to turn but online. Make sure that your clients’ websites are running and their buyers or subscribers can use the web pages and complete their online transactions smoothly.
Aside from your current clients, reach out to businesses and institutions who may need to build or strengthen their online presence. Religious organizations, for instance, may need help setting up online giving mechanisms or using live streaming to stay in touch with the people they serve.
When reviewing websites, take note of the following considerations:
Availability and Stability
You may have noticed spikes in your online traffic since the pandemic began. Find ways to avert potential problems, such as by optimizing HTTP caching, deleting videos, and offloading your static assets to content delivery networks.
User Experience (UX)
Keep in mind that some users may be visiting your clients’ sites for the first time and using functions they have not been used before the pandemic. As such, it’s important to review these websites to ensure that they are intuitive, easy to use, and mobile-friendly.
With the surge in home internet use, some of your online visitors may experience slow website loading speeds. Implement solutions to speed up your site’s performance such as enabling text compression, optimizing image files, using lazy loading, or disabling non-critical third-party code.
Given existing travel and health restrictions, many customers will be looking up products and services online. As such, you must carry out search engine optimization (SEO) audits or improvements to ensure that your clients’ websites or content are showing up in buyers’ online searches.
#3. Confirm the Status of Current Projects and Secure Future Work
Instead of worrying incessantly that your regular clients will suddenly drop retainer arrangements or pause your projects, be proactive and initiate a discussion. Ask them whether they plan to continue with your current work arrangements or projects. If they assure you that they are pushing through with these, you can save yourself from unnecessary stress. Otherwise, you can at least start planning your next steps and finding new clients as soon as possible.
#4. Clean up your Code
With tech events and projects either rescheduled or canceled, you or your team have more time to work on tasks that have been pushed on the back burner. This includes cleaning up codes and fixing bugs in your mobile platforms. Doing so can help deliver a smoother user experience, which is more critical now that many are relying heavily on their devices to shop, stay in touch, or do business
#5. Start Projects that can Make things Easier for Shoppers or Online Customers
The COVID-19 pandemic created a host of problems and restrictions, but it also provided more opportunities for tech to step in and provide solutions. The website Quarantin.io, for instance, enables shoppers to check if the items they need are available in a store. This way, shoppers will only leave the house if they know the supplies they need are in stock. And instead of hopping from one store to the next, they can directly go to the shop where the products they need are available.
Brainstorm ways to use tech to better serve customers during this pandemic. If your clients are in the food business, for instance, help them find ways to expand delivery service coverage or give buyers the option to substitute orders in case items run out of stock.
Aside from allowing you to secure new projects, these initiatives can help keep small businesses afloat and save more jobs while keeping shopping convenient and safe for customers.
#6. Pick Up In-Demand Skills
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing companies to speed up innovations not just to adapt to current realities but to shield businesses in future crises. Given this trend, individuals who possess tech skills and can help companies implement these changes may find themselves highly employable. If you’ve recently lost projects, use this downtime to acquire new skills or further train yourself in areas that will be needed in the future, including web development, data literacy, coding, and digital marketing. You can improve your knowledge by taking online courses and certifications, joining virtual events, or even following influential web developers.
For example, work from home arrangements will continue to figure prominently in the foreseeable future. As such, web developers should look into how their skills can translate to SaaS software development that fills demand gaps. You can also learn skills that have more immediate returns, i.e., those that enable businesses to meet their short-term goals. For instance, SEO services can help struggling companies generate income amidst the pandemic, while eCommerce conversion rate optimization (CRO) figures to be in demand as the online selling space becomes even more competitive.
Additionally, you can expect more companies to explore robotics, artificial intelligence, big data, and other technologies to help ensure safeguards are placed should a similar crisis emerge in the future.
As Doors Close, Explore New Opportunities
web development covid-19The COVID-19 crisis has undeniably impacted many sectors, including the web development industry.
At the same time, many tech professionals have found themselves in a position to make a difference. They are introducing innovations, helping track the spread of the virus, and assisting businesses that are doubling down on their online presence. They are helping connect companies with consumers who need their services. They are creating safer environments for web users and remote teams.
As a web developer or tech professional, consider pivoting your career or business direction toward industries where your skills are in demand in the short-term and the near future.
Merely cutting costs won’t help you weather this crisis or bounce back faster. Reprioritize your portfolio and projects, invest in new skills or technologies, find emerging opportunities, and build new connections. Doing these can help you survive—and even thrive—in a post-pandemic world.
The world has been hit in a devastating way by the Covid-19 pandemic. All areas of life have been affected. For the most part, businesses are experiencing a time of struggle right now, but one area that has seen a bit of a boost is web traffic and e-commerce. Your website may be experiencing a surge in traffic, and you need to know how to capitalize on this and make web design work for you.
Web design, in general, is seeing a substantial increase in demand during this time as the population is mostly stuck at home. Many people are seeing this as the perfect time to tackle a new website or redesign an existing web presence. People with existing businesses are also seeing this as a time to pursue e-commerce, and new shops are opening up regularly as a way to gain revenue during this trying period. Covid-19 has bumped up internet use by a massive 70%, and this really cannot be ignored.
Nobody knows how long this pandemic will last, and businesses will likely need to adjust to a new reality built around isolation and distancing in the near and foreseeable future. People are relying on e-commerce shops for many of their supplies and goods while storefronts remain closed. These new circumstances are leading to a higher demand for web designers, especially those who specialize in e-commerce facilitation.
E-commerce Web Design
Online shopping is becoming a new norm. Ordering groceries and supplies are one thing, but now people are looking for online services and technologies for everything. Communication options and networking capabilities offered for schools and businesses such as Zoom meetings have taken off since the lockdowns have in place.
All of this increased demand means an increased need for web designers with a vast array of skills at their disposal. Designers with coding skills and cybersecurity experience will be in very high demand. Customer interfaces and relationship management is incredibly valuable, and online shopping portals rely tremendously on cybersecurity and customer service help.
It is crucial for businesses to understand the factors that are responsible for this rising growth in demand for goods and services online, and determine the relationship to what is demanded from talented top web design agencies.
People stock up in times of crisis. This preparation can lead to supply shortages even when supply lines are running smoothly. It is just simply very difficult to keep up the population all trying to stock up at once. Hoarding and overstocking can become a severe issue, but despite people’s fears of supply shortages, consumption rates have also increased quite a bit. Even in times of crisis, if it’s there, it’ll be used. As a whole, people do not typically deal well with having and not consuming. Being stuck at home and having to accomplish increasingly more in life from home is going to be a game-changer for everything and everyone.
UI/UX Web Design
This new boost is not only localized to e-commerce web designers. UI/UX design will likely also see a significant increase. Even before the pandemic, the economy was changing. The add-to-cart age has been choking out mom-and-pop businesses for a while now, and Covid-19 is possibly just the catalyst that will enact this virtually overnight. Under quarantine, many products and conveniences have become essential, and many struggling services have taken off. This doesn’t truly outway the devastating impact on our economy and way of life, but for many businesses, it can perhaps be a silver lining. That silver lining may shine the brightest when it comes to skilled web design demand. With a newly evolving workplace that has been transitioning rapidly from storefront to home office, new requirements for innovative UI/UX solutions have appeared. The definition of a desirable and successful user experience has changed overnight, and web design will be in increasingly high demand to satisfy the needs of this quickly changing landscape.
The conveniences of online shopping were ramping up before this pandemic. Prime two-day shipping was once this unimaginable speed, but people were demanding faster and faster and looking for more convenience than ever. Now today, these delivery services are largely backlogged and booked solid, and companies are having trouble keeping up with demand. Walmart’s contact-less delivery service is currently booking a week in advance. Companies offering online ordering for delivery are running into supply problems. Even if a customer manages to land a delivery spot, they may find some of the items removed from their cart. These shortages aren’t just limited to hand sanitizer, cleaning products, and toilet paper, but extend to many popular food items and essentials. Peanut butter, Nutella, breakfast cereal, and canned goods are all running low. Delivery is the current user experience of choice, and so much of it is reliant on well-functioning web development fundamentals.
There is a new dawn for products of all kinds that can facilitate some of the unique needs in this world of social distancing. Many products that address physical contact issues have seen a new life. Products such as contact-less locks, auto-flushing toilets, and hands-free technology for electronics have taken off. Anything that limits what you need to touch can be quite appealing. Many of these products and systems rely on web portals and applications to manage their functionality, and web design is at the crux of these new possibilities.
Social networks have also seen a surge in user numbers in the past months as people are looking for ways to stay in touch within these new physical limitations. Before Coronavirus, social networks such as Facebook were beginning to see a decline in growth rates as people were making a move to limit screen time and preserve their mental health by resisting the continuous pull of social media interactions. Though now we are seeing a growth of 50% in facebook use within countries experiencing the pandemic. More traffic requires new functionalities and potential is foreshadowing new endeavors into the social networking sector. The UX for social media platforms is incredibly important, and this latest surge in users opens the door for new innovations in UX design.
Media and Entertainment
Stuck indoors? What a perfect time for content binging. Even at the beginning of quarantine measures were implemented, it was easy to see a massive rise in media and entertainment consumption online. Within the first weeks, while Covid-19 dominated discussion worldwide, it was very notable that perhaps the second most talked about thing on the planet was Netflix’s Tiger King. How people were consuming media was already changing, but this quarantine has pushed things much further towards internet entertainment supremacy.
Web design plays a key role in how online entertainment and media are delivered, and design roles related to media delivery and streaming services are going to be experiencing a much higher demand as well.
Another changing landscape in our world today in response to many of these changes is advertising. Many high impact advertising platforms such as professional sports, large events, and traditional entertainment sectors have experienced a significant drop in ROI. Marketers across the board are reducing advertising expenditures. But advertisement is still a very crucial part of all business, and the key to much of the business sector making it through these changing times will be found in advertising innovation online and will require a web design company.
Predicting the Future of Things to Come
Therein lies one of the biggest challenges. Predicting what could come next. We just can’t know, and this presents some serious challenges for what will be needed as we move forward. But one thing is for sure; whatever happens in the future of our new reality and the changing surface of the world economy, the internet is going to play a massive role. It is tough to imagine just what the impact of this pandemic would look like 30 years ago, compared to today. The modern state of the internet in the lives of the population is so vital to how we will overcome this very trying time in human history.
How things progress and the true scope of new demands for web applications and online service provision will be determined by careful analysis of consumer behavior. This can be quite challenging when the world has changed so quickly. We simply do not have the data to make accurate predictions. This can be unsettling, but for the world of web design, this can be quite exciting too. We can’t know precisely the right direction to move in, but we do know that innovation and development in web design will be essential. This allows for a unique opportunity for great value in trying new things and exploring new innovation. But much of this new innovation will rely on competent monitoring of statistics and information user habits and customer needs.
Times are changing very quickly, and our way of life is forced to evolve very rapidly. The key to success in these uncertain times will surely be found in innovation. Wherever innovation is required, it is certain to be found in internet applications, and internet application required web design.