With competition in the digital marketplace being higher than ever, the ability of a business to differentiate itself through the services it provides to its customers is key to its success. Digital CMS platforms present business owners with a great opportunity to innovate on their service offerings and create a compelling competitive advantage. In this blog, we’ll look at four trends in digital platform development to keep an eye out for in 2017.
Building websites with Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has progressed in leaps and bounds over the past year. We’ve seen everything from Google’s AlphaGO AI beating the world champion Go player to self-driving cars approaching the point of being a viable consumer technology. But AI is also being applied to web design: TheGrid.io uses an AI helper named Molly to ask some key questions about how you would like to design your site, and generates one for you once you’ve provided it with enough information. TheGrid is aimed at amateur web developers and includes a relatively simple set of features, but it isn’t hard to imagine more powerful versions of this technology becoming the norm in years to come. Combined with tools like Google’s QuickDraw, it looks like we might be outsourcing the entire web design process to AI bots before long.
Responsive design is non-negotiable
It shouldn’t come as news to anyone that internet users in 2017 are accessing websites and apps through an increasingly diverse number of devices. As multi-device culture becomes increasingly entrenched, it’s also becoming more common for users to begin the buying journey on one device and complete it on another. For this reason, it’s vital that websites deliver a consistent User Experience (UX) no matter how the user interacts with them. This will become more of a challenge with the increasing ubiquity of video content, and developers and designers will have to ensure that they take this into account. Responsive design has been an important part of user experience design over the past few years, but as we go into an increasingly device-heavy future, it’s becoming a non-negotiable design requirement. Failing to build mobile responsiveness into your platforms could cause your business to lose out on market share or even close its doors for good before long, so make sure you address this proactively.
Single page website design is becoming increasingly popular as it minimises loading times between pages, requires less complex sitemaps to be designed, and creates a faster, more responsive user experience that is more consistent with desktop and mobile apps. Single page apps use Ajax to load asynchronously, which allows other services to continue
uninterrupted in the background. Consider streaming providers like Tidal, for example, who need to ensure that the user’s song plays uninterrupted regardless of how they navigate around the app. As this Creative Bloq article points out, this is more of a fundamental restructuring of the way the web works than a quick fix, so designers and developers will need to be acutely aware of how to implement this effectively.
‘Conversational’ UI and chatbot helpers
AI isn’t just being used to assist in the creation of websites – an increasing number of websites are using chatbots to make the support features of their website more meaningful. Chatbots are a great way of providing customer support at scale, since they can respond to any number of requests instantly and have all the data they need at hand. Chatbots also help customers feel that they have access to one-on-one live support at any time, and go a long way towards creating a good UX.
RXP keeps up with the latest digital platform development trends at all times, and we’ll make sure you’re getting as much value as possible from your digital platforms. For a more in-depth look at current digital platform trends and advice on how to get as much as possible from your customer management software, download our free guide to CMS trends in 2017 below.