Since the heyday of the Internet bubble in the early 2000s, the Web has evolved a lot. At the same time, all economic actors have never stopped adapting to this new communication channel. Thanks to the emergence of Web 2.0 and its new, more interactive tools, stop being an expert in web development to ensure your online presence. And since 2010, the Web has taken on a new look, characterized in particular by the meteoric rise of social media. After all these past changes, what will the Web of tomorrow look like?
Today there are almost 1.9 billion sites. Internet is everywhere. Computers, smartphones, connected objects,… At any time, we can access immeasurable amounts of information and share the smallest details of our life with the World Wide Web. All this thanks to the invention of the Internet, of course, but also thanks to the technologies that allow us to access it; Without these technologies, there is no content.
Thus, all the web services that are developed today must be able to operate in all the media used by consumers. In the late 1990s, we were developing static web pages, intended to be read simply by Internet users, without any interaction. It was Web 1.0. Currently, it is about offering dynamic and participatory sites (because they integrate content generated by users), which are displayed both on a television and on a 15-inch screen, through an Android smartphone or an iPad.
When appearance takes precedence over content
The emergence of blogs and wikis in the 2000s gradually encouraged Internet users to create their own content, marking a true turning point in the history of the Web, because users were no longer passive in front of their screen. . Likewise, the arrival and development of social media in recent years has only further encouraged contributions and information sharing (as well as its updating). Therefore, in terms of content, the Web has benefited from a real breakthrough.
Currently, according to a survey carried out by a company in the sector, it takes about 50 milliseconds for a visitor to form an opinion on a website; an excessively short period of time that will determine whether or not you will remain on the site. We also learn that in 94% of cases, first impressions are only related to the design (colors, text appearance, contextual advertising, ergonomics, etc.) and not to the content. Finally, the study also shows that almost one in two Internet users associates the credibility of a site with its aesthetics.
Therefore, in the context of website creation, it seems that appearance is crucial today to convince consumers. And this appearance involves not only purely aesthetic factors, but also technical considerations: according to the study cited above, it turns out that more than 80% of visitors will choose to abandon websites that are not displayed correctly on their computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. . Therefore, the trend is towards responsive web design, that is, the development of sites that offer the same visual comfort and the same level of ergonomics, regardless of the screen used to consult them.
Most sites have now integrated these new development rules; They make sure that most of the media are searchable and all include links to the various social networks. Turnkey content management solutions like WordPress, which currently owns 65% of the CMS market, are no exception. How will they evolve in the future to keep the interest of Internet users? What new uses will they have to adapt to?
Towards an even more immersive Internet?
For starters, only responsive websites are sure to keep their place on the web, because the development of new connected objects and devices is not about to slow down. In addition, the trend will be for unique web pages (one page sites), which are emerging more and more from young and innovative companies. Navigating these types of sites, which consists of scrolling down, is in fact more in line with the new uses of the Web and offers quick access to information. More ergonomic and generally quite refined, they also adapt perfectly to mobile stands.
So it seems clear that we will see an even more marked inclusion of artificial intelligence, for example with the generalization of chatbots, which will provide efficient 24-hour support to visitors. Experts also point to voice search, which is expected to gain momentum in the coming years.
In addition, specialists believe that web content will become more attractive from the first glance, giving pride of place to video content, but also to virtual and augmented reality technologies, which are already widely used in sectors such as education. , the media, health, marketing, etc. At the same time, loading time will remain a critical parameter (too many users prefer to leave a site that takes too long to appear), which will require the incorporation of technologies that allow even richer content to be quickly displayed.
In the age of Web 1.0, Internet users were more consumers than content creators. Then with Web 2.0, people have fully engaged with the Web (with lots of avatars, posts, photos, videos, comments, and likes). Today, some imagine an even more immersive universe for the future: the metaverse, accessible by advanced virtual reality headsets, which will offer digital experiences (video games, online shopping, video conferencing, browsing on social networks) without prior notice.
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