B2B Web Development in the Year 2018

Proper b2b web development is an integral cornerstone to a great user experience (UX). Likewise, as with most technologies and technological advances, b2b web development has continued to change and grow and 2018 was certainly no exception to this.

Due to the inherently chaotic nature of web design, there is a focus on yet more new trends in 2018. These trends utilize even more lightweight technologies and a laundry list of best practices in order to create a good UX. This focus on UX is the foundation of modern design trends in both b2c and b2b websites. As companies continue to evolve, their marketing practices will too, and along with them, so too will their site designs.

Our goal here is to explain what b2b web development in 2018 is like, the types of technologies being utilized in web designs, how designs are being built, best practices in design and finally, the timeline to completion.

Well what is b2b web development like in 2018?

So what are the hallmarks of web development in 2018? Well, for starters, content is still king and site design is catered to an increasingly personalized UX. Designs also increasingly incorporate time-saving features for simplicity. Furthermore, cost is a prime driver, as businesses will definitely get what they pay for when it comes to design. Sites are expected to be the following:
  • Fast Loading
  • Mobile Ready
  • Tracking Enabled
  • SEO Savvy
  • CMS Enabled
  • Conversion Optimized
  • Utilize Email Marketing
  • Uses Social Media/Links to Social Media
  • Have Strong Security
  • Use Progressive Web Apps (more on this soon)
  • Use Machine Learning/AI (more on this soon)
Remember, simple and functional beats grand and flashy. Denis Pinksy is an expert in this kind of thing, after all.

So what tech is used to spur on this development?

The only constant in the world of tech is change, and 2018 is no different. New programming languages and frameworks take center stage this year with 7 in particular to keep an eye out for.

According to usersnap those are:

  1. Vue.Js
  2. Functional programming that benefits from Javascript Improvement. These include: ES6 and ES7, arrow functions, object/array spread and async/await. 
  3. The rise of more compatible browser extensions. These snippets of code interact with browsers in a way that modifies their functionality. 
  4. The use of real-time apps. The use of these apps based on websockets is on the rise. The intent is to leave a connection between a client and server open with the server pushing new data once it arrives. The trend to real-time apps has spread rapidly to many languages and frameworks from its humble beginnings in Node.js. 
  5. Progressive web apps, which are web apps with the function and design of mobile apps. The meteoric rise of mobile web development. A mastery of the mobile experience has become mandatory due to an exponential increase in mobile user traffic. Smartphones are now the main way many people access information. 
  6. Material design, an attempt by Google to combine visual material and motion. It utilizes Materialize CSS based on a language designed by Google. It is compatible with all modern browsers and considered to create very pleasant UX.
  7. These new technological advances and functionality boosts have drastically improved the UX in 2018. 

Furthermore, new apps and programmatic changes are going to continue to drive the UX landscape for the rest of the year and beyond.

All these advances, but how does this affect b2b web development?

All the new technology in the world is not enough without good design practice. Fortunately, these technological advances have empowered smooth design trends and a more pleasant UX. According to Northwoodsoft there are ten trends that have influenced web design in 2018, some of which were prominent in the previous year.
These ten trends to look out for are:
  1. Negative Space – Put your important message at the top and then use the “negative space’ below for storytelling and to guide the reader’s eyes farther down the page as they read your story.
  2. Long Scrolling Pages – This is one of those trends that carried over from 2017. Long scrolling pages are user friendly ways to keep readers from getting lost and help them to click-through to what they need. They also rank better in search engine results.
  3. Security – Chrome now flags sites as “not secure” as part of its standard. Having “not secure” in front of your URL may scare people away and drives down search engine rankings.
  4. Page Speed – Again, many individuals are using mobile devices via Wi-FI. A fast loading experience, optimized for smaller devices and slower connection speed is crucial.
  5. Shapes and Patterns – CSS advances have enabled designers to get creative and flashy with shapes, lines and patterns.
  6. Accent Colors – Modern programming allows for incredibly advanced color schemes. Great web design will include vivid colors that match a business’ brand image and are pleasant to behold. The colorful design will also aid in drawing attention to your call-to-action (CTA).
  7. Professional Photography – Great imagery is moving to the senses and the emotions and aids in storytelling. Custom photos are preferable to stock images for one obvious reason: your competition might also be using the same stock images. You could be seen as boring or unoriginal.
  8. Typography – Fonts have played a major role in design in sites for as long as anyone can remember. This is is true in 2018 as well. Beautiful typography in line with your brand really sends the message home. Be careful about readability. Make sure that, regardless of the typography trend you follow, that your font is clearly readable.
  9. The Hamburger Menu – No, nobody means McDonald’s here. It’s the small button with three lines especially prominent in mobile or tablet website views. A click on it opens your main navigation menu. The experience is so clean that it has spread to desktops in 2018. It helps reduce clutter on your page and dedicate more valuable space to your story.
  10. Animation – Animations are a wonderful addition to a site when done correctly. Just be careful it isn’t ugly or distracting, and don’t go overboard or you’ll distract users and create an ugly experience.

What are some best practices to make full use of these design trends and technologies?

It’s important not to get lost in the glitz and glamor of trendy and beautiful design or emerging technology however. The crux of a great UX is, after all, the end user.
This is where the best design practices come into the picture. The best designs remember the principles of a good UX while taking full advantage of advances in code and changes in design trends. Utkarsh Srivastava, a web designer and computer scientist reminds us not to forget our focus on the user with 6 best practices: Never forget the focus on your target audience. This should be obvious but bears repeating, as many times designers/firms forget about the UX somewhere mid-way into design.

  • Keep your branding consistent.
  • Keep your website and content layouts simplified.
  • Don’t forget to utilize strong CTAs.
  • Make use of high quality images and videos consistent with your branding and message. However less is more. Try not to go overboard, which will lead to clutter and a distracted attention span.
  • Follow SEO best practices at all times. What use is your gorgeous website or awesome blog if nobody sees it? The greatest websites lead to much coveted conversions, after all.

However, the best b2b web development takes time! Unfortunately, you can’t just wave a magic wand and have a stunning UX appear into being! If only it were that easy, right? Designing a new website (or redesigning an older one) and creating content takes time. How much time? Well, it varies depending on the nature of the website and the tasks at hand. Time just happens to be one of those “hidden costs” that is hard to predict an exact number for. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. A poor website can affect your brand negatively, while a great UX with proper SEO and content can do wonders for conversions.

Quality web development and design are key to your conversions. While the amount of time it may take to create a fulfilling UX, complete with conversions, takes an indefinite time, the good news is that quality can be seen and measured. Here at Superlative Creative Inc., we take pride in our work. We are design agency with years of experience in web design and web development with a portfolio of happy current customers.

While it certainly may seem that great work comes quickly, rest assured we meticulously toil over every aspect of our clients’ websites and end UX to provide only the best experience. So if you’re looking for the best search engine rankings, a beautiful end UX and design, and a helpful, friendly and knowledgeable expert to take your company to new heights, check out our portfolio and then stop by or give us a call.