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Custom Web Application Development: 5 Ways It Is Changing
The times, they are a-changin’- no less true today in 2021 as it was when Bob Dylan sang those words in 1964. Every industry is experiencing quite a bit of change coming off the unpredictable and shocking 2020. And this is as true in the world of custom web app development as anywhere else.
Custom web applications are an important piece of online retail, marketing, and more for so many companies. As more companies see other companies reaping the benefits of the online functionality provided by custom web apps, demand for these custom web apps will ramp up.
And as demand grows, so do the challenges that custom web app developers face amid the demands of a growing customer base. This pushes custom web app developers to change what they do, how they do it, and what they prioritize in the course of developing custom web apps. Here are five ways custom web app development is changing in 2021.
Security is more important than ever
Security has always been important but after 2020, it is more important than ever. The global COVID-19 pandemic forced more people than ever to work remotely and to employ more commerce online than ever. That means that more people than ever are engaging with custom web applications from their homes.
Unfortunately, this also became an opportunity for cybercriminals to attack people working, shopping, and interacting with custom web applications. This is why security must be ingrained at every level of the development process. The latest security best practices must be integrated into the coding process, and custom web applications must also have the capability to be updated in the future to reflect these changing threats.
If developers aren’t implementing these best practices, the custom web applications they create can become ripe targets for hackers and other cybercriminals and that can obviously have a huge negative impact on the affected business. As Liventus observes, it is critical to work with a custom web application development partner who understands security best practices.
Running on a variety of hardware
Another trend that has been a long-time coming but that is now accelerated thanks to the pandemic-fueled work from the home boom is that custom web applications are now run on a myriad of different devices. In the past, developers just had to worry about desktop browser applications. Then there was mobile. Now, there are tablets too as well as smartwatches, TVs, and more.
What future devices might custom web applications are run on? We can’t be sure but we do know that IoT technology suggests a wide swath of possibilities. This will require custom web app developers to consider screen size and resolution so apps can run and look good on multiple types of devices. There are also different speed considerations for each type of device and touchscreen capabilities offer a whole other challenge. Designing something that works on all different types of devices will be one of the biggest challenges of the 2020s.
Back in the olden days (about a decade or so ago), custom web application developers only had to create apps that were compatible with the in-house software a company was running. That was prior to the rise of SaaS. Now, a company might be using multiple types of software and even different SaaS software programs with the same function within an organization.
This increases the need for custom web applications to be able to integrate and communicate with various software programs. Application programming interfaces (APIs) are the way that custom web applications do this. In the coming years, developers will need to be able to provide a wider range of APIs with their apps so that companies can tie in any software program they choose. The developers that do this will have more long-term success because of the ease of integration.
Real-time web apps
Real-time apps have long been the domain of mobile apps but, as people get used to working in real-time on these apps, there is a growing demand for the same immediacy in custom web applications. People want to get real-time data, chat, messaging, and collaboration from the custom web applications in 2021 and beyond, and developers have to figure out the best ways to make this happen.
Custom Web Application Development: Focus on UX design
This isn’t exactly a new concept in web app design but it grows in importance all the time and, in 2021, it continues to rise towards the top of the list of considerations for web app developers. This is another situation where mobile apps and their focus on UX have dictated what users now expect from custom web applications.
Even if custom web applications perform technical and complex functions, they should still be easy and intuitive to use. That is why more projects than ever are starting with UI and UX design before anything else. The custom web applications of the future will be the ones that are the most stress-free to use.
Custom Web Application Development: Conclusion
The custom web application development process is changing in many ways in 2021. Some of it is a natural evolution of trends in the past while other changes can be traced directly to the COVID craziness of 2020. No matter the reason these changes are happening, they are happening now and need to be addressed by all custom web application developers. This means focusing more than ever on security, hardware compatibility, APIs, UX, and real-time apps. Adapting to these changes is key to success in this industry in the future.