Top 10 web development trends and predictions for 2015

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With new powerful development tools, super cool new technology and tidal changes in the tech world, this year looks set to be a very exciting year for web developers. Here are our top 10 trends and predictions for the web development world in 2015.

1. Motion UI

An emerging trend we will see a lot more of in the new year, Foundation for Apps already implemented strong visual feedback using animation. Along with Motion UI, Google’s Material Design is an emerging trend which we’ll no doubt see a lot more of, probably helped along by frameworks like the Polymer Project.

A screenshot of the Polymer Project's material design examples

2. New challenges for responsive design


While wearable technology continues to grow in popularity, we can expect new design challenges presented by devices like the Apple Watch, Google Glass and Oculus Rift. Supporting every screen regardless of size or shape is what responsive design is all about. ZURB’s Foundation is evolving into “Foundation for Sites” and continues to evolve. Semantic UI is a new design framework which is looking really promising, particularly for app design.

A screenshot of some of the Semantic UI features

3. Foundation for Apps

Foundation’s first foray into the app space, the new framework introduces app templates, an integrated JavaScript development environment with AngularJS and Gulp. New design components including Motion UI and the flexbox grid. It’s still early days for the framework, but we expect big things.

illustration of super yeti with desktop, tablet and mobile device, representing foundation for apps

4. The rise of Node.js

I think we’ll see a shift in web application development to Node.js and probably other JavaScript server-side frameworks. Teams will shift towards using a single language on web projects. Node will help to push this transition along, as both front and back end developers are generally competent in JavaScript.

Node JS logo on a green background

5. Web UI components

Polymer and ReactJS will grow in popularity as developers move towards more reusable dynamic components. Facebook’s ReactJS library is framework-agnostic and uses some fancy new techniques to quickly build user interfaces. The Polymer project is a larger framework which allows you to create client-side applications and incorporates mobile-ready design.

6. New JavaScript features

  • WebGL 3D will become increasingly popular as browsers continue to increase in speed and capability. Powered by frameworks like three.js, we hope to see more applications of this awesome technology in-browser.
  • HTML5 JavaScript APIs will have increased support in iOS and Android browsers
  • ServiceWorker magic for offline web-app use
  • Object.observe – revolutionising two-way data binding in JavaScript MV* frameworks

A screenshot of some of the work done using the three JS library

7. Web API

More app developers will build web APIs, utilised by their web app and their native apps. This is already starting to happen, and will almost certainly increase in popularity as a single codebase is a lot easier to maintain.

8. Single page applications

Following the growth in popularity of the above-mentioned technologies, I expect we’ll see more single page applications being produced. In the new year I hope to see more solutions to some of the challenges which building these apps present.

A screenshot of a quiz game called Topeka, which was built using the Polymer Project

9. The rise of Instagram

Instagram recently passed Twitter in their number of users, does this mean a movement away from micro-blogging and an increase in the popularity of image sharing applications? We hope to see more creative ways to share images and videos as new technology becomes available. We should also keep an eye out for developments and trends within other image-based sharing applications like Pinterest and SnapChat.

Instagram logo text on a multi-coloured background

10. The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects that contains embedded technology in order for them to communicate and interact with their environments and each other. More devices are becoming network-accessible, so as web developers, we’ll be tasked with coming up with new solutions to help users control and communicate with their cars, heat pumps, ovens, toasters and plants.

Many companies such as Smart Things and LittleBits already have kits that make your house appliances smart so in 2015, we predict that IoT software platforms will continue to displace hardware. Although much of the early hype has been about high-tech wearables and wireless technologies, this year we predict that we will see an increased focus on the software and especially the cloud services to make all these sensors connect, upload data, and drive analytics that generate insights and enable efficiencies and communications across the business.

The IoT movement is so huge that recently Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt predicted that internet will “simply disappear in the future” as it becomes “part of your presence all the time”.