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What is front-end development and what to expect from it in 2018

I can bet my salary that you’ve seen a website, but have you taken notice of the way it’s presented, how different parts act when you interact with them (buttons when clicked) or how the site overall feels? For sure some pages hooked you up immediately due to the way they looked and acted. These’re the websites that had good front-end developers (also known as web developers). These touchy souls that live for the user experience are actually responsible for implementing the design into the web. That’s precisely where the name comes from – these are the people whose work users see and interfere with directly. Whereas, the work of the back-ends stays hidden behind a mesmerizing facade and ensures the functionality.

The “must-know” before you start

Front-end developers use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to turn the designs of web designers into a code for a website or a web app. Because the main traffic towards web pages nowadays is primary from mobile, web developers need to think and work in a mobile-friendly manner. Almost all websites today are responsive, their layouts’ size, functionality and sometimes even content changes to fit the device you’re accessing them through. If you visit a webpage from your PC, it should overall be displayed in a higher resolution with multi-column design and have interactions for keyboard and mouse. Whereas, if you are on your smartphone, the page uses the same base files, but changes to a single-column view and is friendlier towards touch interactions.

Another essential thing is that your website should be accessible from virtually anywhere. Browsers today display the sites pretty consistently, but there’re still significant differences in the way each of them interprets the code behind the scenes. This means that until browsers get their higher education and start working properly with web standards, front-ends need to adapt to the situation and keep their development cross-browser (accessible through many browsers).

Ever-changing world

Tendencies in the field of web development tend to change rapidly and consistently. New technologies arise every day, and some of them give new ways to attract customers and interfere with them. Such tech inventions need to be implemented ASAP if you want to answer the needs of the market. There’re also design trends, and some require additional competencies to be turned into code. Last but by no means least, comes the marketing part – you have to know what drives the sales so you could offer it on your website. The only way to orient in this whirl of changes and innovation is to read a lot on as many topics as you can. Or there might be an easier course to take, just follow the info the crew of Infoleven already dug out for you and see the tendencies for 2018:

Learn Material Design

Material design is basically a set of user-friendly standards. It’s also a must-have aesthetics in a website for two consecutive years. It’s characterized as a “trendy, bold, minimalistic user interface and responsive scaling designs across multiple screen sizes”. In other words, that’s the hipster of front-end development and design. It’s also the looks that will get you conversions and users. Basically, that’s the hot chick in town, and you want her on your party if you need more than just a few friends to show up.

Give them an imaginary friend

Technology trends in the latest years have made competitors so providing when it comes to digital experience that consumers expect more and more each day. To assure a brilliant service, you need to have an outstanding support that will help anyone who has any problem. Fast response is of the essence as it takes less than a few minutes to lose a potential client online. People crave for effective help and love to be heard. AI (Artificial Intelligence) gives you the whole arsenal you need to do this. Chatbots are becoming smarter with each day and ensure a 24/7 support. They’re even useful for having a conversation with when you are alone with boredom or just had enough of people for the day. Thus more and more companies are introducing this extremely easy to contact basic level of support that ensures a 24/7 fast response mechanism. Bots today can help you find useful links, explain what the idea of a product/service is, tell you how to complete a transaction and even contact you when the time for a retargeting campaign comes. Just provide your users with a smart friend that can help when with most issues and go to bed with one less thing to worry about.

Be like an App

Mobile Apps today are like the cool kids in school – they’re famous, have lots of friends, and everyone wants to be like them. And how could it be otherwise? Mobile apps account for 89% of total mobile time spent by users. That means that if you want to be noticed in the web buzz, you need to be an app or at least have one. It makes sense then that web pages should be made in a similar format to mobile applications, right? Luckily for websites, there’s a thing called progressive web apps. That’s a mobile application that appears as an app but is actually a website. Such are used by many companies, especially media like BBC, NY Times, Washington Post, The Telegraph, etc. Progressive web apps come with many advantages as well. They can work offline and have near instant loading because they’re being stored in the cache memory. They allow push notifications and work for any user. Probably their best quality for the business is their cost. Progressive mobile apps take less time to build and are much easier to deploy and maintain. When we take into account that they’re what users want, making one becomes a no-brainer.

Push like a maniac

Talking about progressive web apps, it’s vital to note that websites could also use push notifications to reach users. This is important as it’s an effortless way to maintain high traffic and keep the audience’s interest. They’re also an efficient way to run campaigns and get information to clients as soon as possible. The best news is that the only thing they require from the user’s side is to “enable push notifications”. So, let the push begin!

Single web page

It might sound like an interesting phenomenon, but it’s really simple to explain. Users sometimes get disoriented in a website, could search for hours before finding the information they need that’s hidden in the darkest corner of the page, or merely wish to skim through everything and understand it briefly. Single web pages are here to ensure simplicity, making it easier for users to navigate around the website, get the information they need and put your page in their “Favorites” tab.

Flash-OUT!

Flash is dead, so you need to start phasing it out. Even Adobe has already said they’re not going to update or distribute the software product after 2020. This is due mainly to the mobile-age as Flash is incompatible with most mobile devices. This turns an old hero into the company’s misfit, and as much as I like the black ship, Flash is more like the dead one, and there’s no cheering for someone who isn’t even in the race. It’s time to Flash-OUT and start using HTML5, as that’s the new girl in town or, as of the moment, the only one.

Are you already imagining how your website should look and what will your chatbot reply to clients once they ask it “Who are you?” Good. Then you are already on the right track. Now the only thing you need is the tech savvies who’ll be able to implement your ideas and become your long-term partner on the digital road. Just contact us, and you’ll be texting with your own chatbot in no time!

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