Select Page
2023 Web Design and Development Trends

2023 Web Design and Development Trends

As we look back at the digital landscape of 2023, the world of web design and development continues to evolve at a rapid pace, ushering in a new era of innovation and creativity. The team at Web Professionals Global has been fortunate enough to see many of these changes up close. This year, designers and developers have pushed boundaries and redefined user experiences. In this article, we’ll explore the trends that have dominated the web design and development scene in 2023.

As a member, you have access to specific links with all thee articles (providing much more detail). Members should view this linked page for access to all those details. If you are not a member, you will be directed to the join page (members should login first).

Immersive and Interactive Experiences

Web designers are increasingly focusing on creating immersive and interactive experiences to captivate users. With advancements in WebGL and 3D graphics, websites are now offering dynamic and engaging content. From interactive storytelling to product showcases, the web is becoming a more interactive and visually stunning space.

Augmented Reality (AR) Integration

The integration of augmented reality into web design has gained momentum in 2023. AR elements enhance user engagement by overlaying digital information onto the real world. From virtual try-on experiences for e-commerce to interactive educational content, AR is reshaping how users interact with websites.

Dark Mode Dominance

Dark mode has transcended from a trend to a design standard. Offering a sleek and modern aesthetic, dark mode not only reduces eye strain but also conserves device battery life. Major websites and applications are embracing dark mode as a default or optional theme, providing users with a more personalized browsing experience.

Voice User Interface (VUI) Implementation

Voice technology has become more sophisticated, leading to the integration of voice user interfaces in web design. Websites are adopting voice search, commands, and navigation, making it more convenient for users to interact with content hands-free. This trend reflects the growing importance of accessibility and user-friendly interfaces.

Minimalistic and Functional Design

Minimalism continues to be a key design philosophy, with a focus on simplicity and functionality. Clean layouts, ample white space, and intuitive navigation are essential components of modern web design. Striking the right balance between aesthetics and usability, designers are creating seamless and clutter-free digital experiences.

AI-Powered Personalization

Artificial intelligence is playing a pivotal role in web development by enabling personalized user experiences. AI algorithms analyze user behavior and preferences to deliver tailored content, recommendations, and even dynamic website layouts. This level of personalization enhances user engagement and satisfaction.

Blockchain Integration for Security

With an increasing emphasis on cybersecurity, blockchain technology is making its mark in web development. Blockchain provides enhanced security and transparency, making it a valuable addition to websites dealing with sensitive data. This trend is particularly prevalent in e-commerce, finance, and healthcare sectors.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Progressive Web Apps continue to gain popularity due to their ability to provide a seamless user experience across devices. Combining the best of web and mobile applications, PWAs offer faster load times, offline functionality, and push notifications, enhancing user engagement and retention.

Wrap-Up

In the ever-evolving landscape of web design and development, 2023 has been a year marked by innovation, user-centric experiences, and the integration of advanced technologies. From immersive designs and augmented reality to the widespread adoption of dark mode and AI-driven personalization, these trends collectively shape the digital experiences of users worldwide. At Web Professionals Global,we are excited to continue supporting web professionals around the world and see where the industry goes in 2024. Reach out to us today to find out more about our mission of “Community, Education, Certification.”

If you want more details about any of the above information, please view this linked page (members only – be sure to login first).

December, 2023 Desktop view

December, 2023 Desktop view

As 2023 draws to a close, we thought it would be helpful to share some of the articles we have been reading. We have tried to focus on a handful of articles (covering the categories below). As we have noted on previous articles, all links will open in a new browser tab/ window.

Artificial Intelligence

As readers are well aware, the pace of change in AI is hard to fathom. This article summarizes what we should be looking for in late 2023 and early 2024. Perhaps we will look back at this article in mid-2024 and see how the predictions fared.

As you may suspect, the “featured image” accompanying this post was generated by Adobe Firefly.

Accessibility

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 were released on October 5. There are many aspects to consider. We found Craig Abbott’s analysis most helpful (this is definitely worth a read).

CSS

If you are even a little curious where CSS might be heading, we encourage you to review Eric Meyer’s article concerning Nuclear Anchored Sidenotes. Of course, you will need a fairly recent version of the Chrome browser with the “experimental web features” option enabled if you want to try out his examples.

JavaScript

JavaScript continues to evolve as well. Here is a good article concerning new features for 2023 and expectations for 2024. Some of the main features discussed including the ability to change an array by copy without mutating the original array. One can also find within an array starting at the end and working backwards.

WordPress

WordCamp US concluded several months ago. However, these presentations provide an overview of many insights provided at this venue. Of course, the annual keynote address by Matt Mullenweg (State of the Word) is scheduled for December 11 (from Spain). We are definitely curious what will be covered in that keynote.

Feedback please!

It has been a few months since we have posted a “desktop view” article. Do you enjoy reading these articles? What other topics would you like to see us cover (to learn more about)? Please let us know in the comments.

New Policy in UK Prompts a Fresh Look at Remote Work

New Policy in UK Prompts a Fresh Look at Remote Work

In recent years, we have frequently discussed the rise of remote and hybrid work. As a global organization, we aim to keep members and readers updated on trends happening around the globe that affect the world of the web. Today, we are highlighting a recent development in the United Kingdom that will likely impact how people work not only in the UK but globally as well. 

In a November 22 policy announcement, the UK government said that individuals grappling with mobility and mental health challenges may soon find themselves compelled to work from home or risk losing vital benefits under the “Chance to Work Guarantee.” This program, introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is aimed at removing barriers to work for millions of people currently out of work. As part of the plan the DWP will also provide targeted help as part of its £2.5B ($3.1B) Back to Work Plan, including through an expanded program that places people into jobs and provides support to give the best chance of success in a role.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak describes this effort as encouraging people to fulfill “their duty,” as he deemed the current welfare system “unsustainable.” Under the proposed changes, hundreds of thousands of disabled people could face a reduction in benefits of £4,680 (approximately $5,910) annually unless they actively seek remote employment. 

In the past few years, the number of people working remotely in the UK has risen significantly. 40% of workers reported working from home in the winter of 2023, compared to 12% in the winter of 2019. Over 20% of 8 million online job ads between April and October 2023 were remote or flexible, up from less than 4% in 2016.

Although it is too early to tell exactly what impact this new policy will have, it is clear that in the coming months and years more people in the UK will need to be equipped with the skills and tools to work remotely. It is also likely that other countries will soon follow the UK and implement their own policies that encourage those on benefits to seek employment from their homes. 

Even if you are not disabled, learning how to successfully work on a remote and hybrid basis is extremely valuable. The landscape for work is constantly shifting, and many companies are still utilizing remote work policies that were implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Web Professionals Global offers the Certified Remote Working Professional (CRWP) course and certification to help those transitioning to the world of remote (and hybrid) work. This comprehensive program not only equips you with the skills to become an expert remote worker, but also empowers you to stand out from your peers in the competitive job market. The bonus Interview Preparation and Freelancer Preparation modules are designed to teach you remote and in-person interview skills as well as how to work as a freelancer or independent contractor. 

At the end of the course, you will have earned your Remote and Hybrid Working Certification from Web Professionals Global. This globally-recognized certification was created by industry professionals who have worked remotely and on a hybrid basis for many decades, ensuring that your newfound skills receive recognition on a global scale.

For more information on our Certified Remote Working Professional (CRWP) course and certification, or to chat with us about our work, contact us today at membership@webprofessionalsglobal.org.

April/ May, 2023 Desktop view

April/ May, 2023 Desktop view

April has been a very busy month at Web Professionals Global. In addition to running the SkillsUSA national web design and development competition, we have been helping more and more states with their statewide web design and development competitions. This year we connected with a significant number. We provided the contest assets (including a work order), a coding environment, judging rubric, and associated videos to help both competitors use the online environment and judges review the work of competitors. This means our monthly update on what is happening in the world of the web is running a bit late.

Here are some of the articles we found interesting. We hope you enjoy learning more about what is happening. As always, we are interested in learning what you are most keen to learn about. Please add a comment and let us know. Here are some categories for the articles we found interesting. As mentioned in previous posts, all links will open in a new browser window/ tab.

  • AI and current uses
  • Browsers
  • JavaScript

AI and current uses

You will note there is a featured image associated with this weblog post. In the past, this was manually generated (using tools such as Adobe Express or similar). The image this month was generate from a test entry describing to Adobe Firefly what was desired. In this example, I entered text asking for a photo of a desktop with an open laptop, an open notebook, pens and pencils on the desk and blooming orchids. The result is what you see. It was generated in under 10 seconds. Yes, AI saves time.

We have also been using AI to generate the client assets for our web competitions. Logo creation, text content, and more are all generated using AI (which saves us considerable time).

As an organization, we support the recently formed Content Authenticity Intiative. We encourage readers to follow the link to learn more about this important initiative.

Browsers

It appears Google is considering updating the venerable padlock depicting SSL sites.They are considering a variant of the tune icon. Read more about it on the Chromium blog. They present a solid rationale for making this change. For example, only 11% of those surveyed really understood what the padlock meant. As they mention, even the FBI mentions the lock icon is no indication of website safety. We are curious as to your thoughts about this change. It appears this will be coming to a Chrome browser near you one of these releases. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Speaking of browsers, in case you missed it, April 30 marked the 30th anniversary of the licensing of the web for general use and at no cost. 30 years. WOW. Yes, that was a pun.

One more article you may find of interest – the calm web: a solution to our scary and divisive online world. Karolina Szczur provides many thoughtful insights. She also offers practical ways one can get started. For example, stripping away unnecessary code and removing low quality content.

JavaScript

Although this article is over a year old, it might be worth reviewing (and pointing this out to aspiring web professionals – perhaps those you teach). A web components primer seems a good introduction to the topic. For those of you teaching web technologies – do you discuss web components? Why or why not? What are your thoughts about this article?

Your turn…

That is a quick overview of some articles we found intriguing. We hope you enjoy them as well. What did you find helpful? What would you like to learn more about? Please tell us in the comments.

February, 2023, desktop view

February, 2023, desktop view

Here are some of the articles we have been reviewing during the month We hope you find them as interesting as we did. [Note: these links will all open in a new browser tab.] Don’t forget to let us know what else you would like to see in terms of current professional trends in web design and development. Here are the categories of what we encountered during February:

  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Web Development Trends

CSS

Here is an interesting read – 10 modern layouts in one line of CSS. These include sidebar says, the pancake stack, the 12 span grid and much more. Let us know what you think of these.

If you are curious where CSS is going, consider the high definition CSS color guide. With Chrome 111, there is support for CSS Color 4 gamuts ( size of something) and color spaces (this is explained in much ore detail in the linked article). This means there is 50% more colors in supporting browsers.

Native CSS nesting may also be finally arriving (in Chrome 112, for example). Bryce Wray provides a nice overview of recent experiments with this.

JavaScript

Did you get a chance to review the state of JavaScript in 2022 article? In a nutshell, JavaScript is more vibrant than ever. Of course, there are many more details to be found in the linked article.

Web Development Trends

Robin Wieruch published an interesting overview of 10 web development trends in 2023. Among the trends discussed is a movement from client side rendering to server side rendering. It is worth noting that server side rendering is now relying on JavaScript. Serverless functions continue to be a trend this year.Because of this, databases are also experiencing a renaissance. In terms of JavaScript runtimes, Deno is a successor of node. To learn more about these trends (and much more), we recommend reading the entire article.

Horror stories

As professionals, we are always working with clients. We thought it might be helpful to share a horror story or two each month. Obviously, there are lessons to be learned. However, the fact that we have been using web technologies over three decades and still see some problems repeating means we are not fully learning these lessons.

Case in point. I was helping a client with a WordPress site. They had recently purchased a plugin and were experiencing difficulty in using the enhanced features which came with the upgraded plugin (freemium model is still very popular, isn’t it). Specifically, I was asked to investigate why all the added functionality remained greyed out despite having paid for the upgrade. To keep the story short, one had to click on the greyed out item to “load” the enhancement. Took yours truly about an hour to figure that one out. Lesson we should all have learned by now – there are standard design patterns which must be followed. To show something as greyed out means it is not active and not available. Breaking a pattern which has been in use for well over a decade causes unnecessary consternation. A simple explanation that one must click on an item to activate it might have sufficed (instead of wasting the time of multiple individuals).

As if that wasn’t enough, when helping another client, I needed to contact technical support for a WordPress plugin. Believe it or not, the individual who was trying to help me quickly asked for my username and password so they could access the site as an administrator to see what the problem was. Ummm, NO. Ok, they then asked if I could create a separate administrator account for them to use so they could see the site. Ummm. NO again. Think about this from a security perspective – if you allow someone (who you don’t know) administrative access to your site, you have handed over the data and capabilities of the site to a stranger. Would you gladly hand your car key fob to a stranger who asked for a ride to the store while you were waiting for the light to change? Maybe if your car was making a strange noise? Same concept. Never, ever, provide such access no matter how severe you think the problem is with a WordPress plugin. If you need that much help, it is time to find an alternate plugin. Shame on the vendor in this case for even allowing an employee to make such a request.

OK, readers, that is enough on the horror stories for this month. Do you have something you would like to share which tops these horror stories. Please let us know in the comments (or send us an email to our membership email at the top of the page). We are always interested in what you liked and would like to see in future articles. Just let us know that as well.

In case you missed these…

We recently published additional information about the proposed Websites and Software Applications Accessibility Act. We encourage you to review this post to keep up to date with what is happening regarding website accessibility.

Curious about security (especially passwords), please review our passwords and psychology article.

We also announced our 2023 web design and development competitions (including that we are recognized as a SkillsUSA Official Partner.

Your turn

We are always what you find interesting and what you would like to learn more about. Please provide comments below so we can better address what you find most interesting.

October, 2022 Desktop View

It has been some time since I posted some thoughts on the current state of web technologies. A lot has happened during recent months. Let’s focus on several key areas:

  • web accessibility,
  • security,
  • JavaScript,
  • and CSS.

More areas may be the focus of subsequent articles. Stay tuned. As always, we at Web Professionals Global are interested in what you think. Let us know in the comments or contact us directly.

Web Accessibility

WCAG 3 has been released as a draft (published in December, 2021). Latest editors draft updated as of July, 2022. The approach is iterative with content ranging from temporary (just a placeholder for future content) to mature (ready for publication). This version is somewhat evolutionary in that it will be easy to understand and provide guidance. A key differentiator is that this version has a broader scope (beyond web content). I encourage you to view the above links and consider helping develop the next version of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Of course, there is also a new ARIA authoring practices guide website. Lots of patterns and resources. Check it out.

Security

This is a bit beyond web security, but definitely something readers should be aware of – ransomware attacks which target home PCs (delivered by fake Windows 10 or anti-virus updates). This is called Magniber (details can also be found at this ZDNet article). Essentially, a visitor is directed to a website (although it looks legitimate, it is controlled by malicious individuals). That site informs the visitor their computer operating system or software is out of date and they need to update it as soon as possible. The visitor is tricked into downloading a malicious JavaScript file which contains the malware payload. Once installed (via as technique called DotNetToJscript) the individual’s hard drive is encrypted. They are directed to a link to negotiate payment to recover their contents. More details can be found in the above article.

As web professionals, we should remind ourselves (and our clients of some fundamental tactics which help mitigate these sorts of attacks.

At a minimum, never act on anything that purports to have an extreme sense of urgency. That is what malicious individuals want. Act before you have a chance to think about the implications. It is also good practice to never click on links in emails or text messages. Instead, open a browser and type the site directly (or use a reliable search engine). Lastly, only install updates from trusted sources (and use the traditional channels where those updates are distributed).

JavaScript

The creator of JSON made an interesting comment about JavaScript a couple months ago. Douglas Crockford stated that “The best thing we can do today to JavaScript is to retire it.” Yes, JavaScript is the world’s most popular programming language (used by over 65% of developers according to a StackOverflow survey). Yes, it is bloated (and is becoming more so over time. However, it powers the majority of web sites. Of course, JavaScript is supported in every browser so making a change to something else would be a monumental undertaking. We are curious what your thoughts are about JavaScript. Is Douglas Crockford correct? Please discuss in the comments below.

CSS

Remember the days of aural style sheets (yes, they were a thing). Of course, no browsers supported them. However, a recent article (October, 2022) has raised some hope for me again. Why we need CSS speech is the article. What are your thoughts about CSS speech? Again, reach out to us in the comments.

Of course, there are many enhancements in the works for CSS. These include items such as:

  • The ability to nest selectors is presently in the works. This is possible a good way to organize your CSS code. Of course, no browsers yet support this.
  • Cascade layers (which give authors the ability to group their CSS and affect how the cascade applies). The linked article should give you a much better understanding. This is like nesting selectors, but much more. Is this feature ready for prime time? No, but you might want to start learning about them.
  • CSS subgrid allows for styling on a page to inherit the parent’s grid styling. MDN has a nice overview with examples. That is the reference linked at the start of this bullet.

Now you know a little more about what is happening with respect to web accessibility, security, JavaScript, and CSS. Please let us know if you find this information helpful and provide more thoughts in the comments below.

Best always,
Mark DuBois, Executive Director
Web Professionals Global (a.k.a. World Organization of Webmasters)