Website development. DevOps. WebOps. No matter what you call it, one thing is for sure — your development team is crucial to your clients' success. With continuous improvement top of mind, they ensure that every website, app, and platform you launch is optimized for performance, security, and, most importantly, change.
Want to stay ahead of the curve? Our experts are here to keep you in the loop with their rundown of the top 5 DevOps trends and tactics for 2022. From dark mode UI to the rise of API-first development, this list has it covered. Let's dive right in.
1. Dark Mode UI Standardization
Dark mode is an increasingly popular option for viewing digital content on dark backgrounds — on devices like mobile. Dark mode has been gaining popularity because it delivers better readability in low-light conditions, less eye strain, and lowered energy consumption for devices.
With all modern operating systems and devices now offering dark mode, more users are taking advantage of this display option. To ensure a consistent user experience, it’s essential your websites and email campaigns are designed and tested for compatibility with dark mode UI.
2. Progressive Web Applications
Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) use a “progressive” design approach to allow websites to behave more like a native mobile app, instead of, well… a website. These web applications are trending thanks to the increased time users are spend on mobile phones vs. desktops. As time spent on mobile increases, so will the demand for more lightweight and fast experiences in web applications.
A progressive design approach comprises a few essential parts that keep the user experience as smooth as possible. For example, Web App Manifest files tell the browser about your PWA and how it should behave when the user installs it.
Then there are Service Workers. These are scripts that run in the background of your PWA. They respond to events (like app installation and push notifications) and help support offline caching to achieve fast and reliable performance. In other words, a Service Worker allows your app to work — and work well — offline.
Top Benefits of PWAs
We touched on install-ability and offline availability, but there are plenty of other benefits from building a Progressive Web Application.
First up is platform independence. Because PWAs are browser-based, they can run on any operating system — unlike native mobile apps. Your clients will also appreciate that PWAs are quicker to develop and launch.
Want more info on how to get started with PWAs? Google has an article for that.
3. Creating Small-Footprint Web Applications
A small-footprint web application is one built to minimize the load on your development resources, which, in turn, makes for an optimal user experience. This is only possible when you tighten your front-end, back-end, and IT infrastructure. Let’s break down a few strategies for each:
Front-end development (also known as “client-side development”) pertains to everything users visually see on a site or app. To minimize strain on your front-end, our experts recommend only including a framework/library if it’s absolutely needed to meet your client’s business goals. Minimizing frameworks and libraries will ensure optimal app performance and speed.
Our development team also recommends optimizing assets for quicker delivery. Techniques include delivery through CDNs, bundling CSS/JS files, using modern image formats like WEBP, and more.
Your back-end is the server side of an application. Everything your users don’t see goes there. Think of back-end development as handling what goes on behind the scenes. It’s responsible for how the app functions. To lighten the load on your back-end, our experts recommend shifting to modern development frameworks, like ASP.NET Core MVC. It’s lightweight, open-source, and highly testable. The lighter the framework, the better.
IT Infrastructure Strategies
So, what exactly is an IT infrastructure? It’s everything that’s required to operate and manage your IT system. That’s hardware, software, servers, VPNs — you get the idea. You can’t talk infrastructure without talking about IT architecture or how you scale your technology. You can go horizontally, which means adding more machines. Or vertically, which means adding more power to your existing machines.
4. The Rise of API-first Development
Before we dig in, let’s do a quick refresher on APIs. Also known as Application Programming Interface, an API is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. With that said, an API-first approach to development projects focuses on designing the application around the API, instead of treating it as an afterthought. Why is this method trending? One word: benefits.
Top Benefits of API-first Development
Developers love this approach because it allows them to create components that they can use over and over again, across mobile apps, websites, dashboards, and more. Not only does this save money, but it makes for easy maintenance, as all updates are automatically shared to all consumers of that API.
Another plus of APIs: parallel development. Because an API defines a contract between the data provider and data consumer, dev teams working on both sides can develop in tandem. This makes for speedier development.
We have more good news about API-first development: It allows you to break your app’s components into easy-to-deploy microservices built upon the data that your API provides. So, instead of one monolithic app, you get a suite of services powered by the same API.
5. Rapid Application Development
Developers everywhere are feeling the mounting pressure to create solid applications quickly. Rapid Application Development, also known as RAD, delivers. RAD is a trending development approach that relies on rapid prototyping, frequent iterations, and continuous feedback to deliver working products faster. Because, as we all know — clients included — time is money. With benefits like a shortened planning stage and optimal prototype development, RAD really is rad. Want to make the most of this approach? Our experts recommend sticking to the four phases of Rapid Application Development:
- Planning: Determine the goals, expectations and outline the requirements.
- User Design: Develop the design using various prototype iterations.
- Construction: Use the prototype from the previous step to develop and code the working model.
- Cutover: The finishing touches happen in this step. These include testing, defect resolution, and switching to the new system.
Here for You: Red Door
Need a hand implementing these development trends? With expertise in redesigning and managing continuous improvements, Red Door can make it happen. Contact us today.