Frontend trends for 2021

Written by: Samantha Wolhuter

Frontend web development standards and trends are known to change quicker than they can be implemented, making it challenging to discern transient fads from the game-changers. It is therefore essential for developers to stay up-to-date with the latest programming languages, frameworks, and technologies to remain relevant and competitive in a constantly evolving industry.

To keep you on the cusp of frontend digital innovation, here is our list of the top frontend trends we see continuing to make a significant impact in 2021.

Programming languages

JavaScript is set to continue leading on 2021.

Unsurprisingly, JavaScript is set to continue its domination in the programming languages sphere in both popularity and usage in 2021. Offering the largest range of libraries and frameworks, developers spanning the full spectrum of experience are able to find precisely what they require to build beautiful applications and websites.

To strengthen its lead in popularity over other programming languages such as CSS and HTML, JavaScript’s already immense list of features has been boosted by the latest JavaScript ES2020 features and updates (including BigInt, Dynamic import, String#matchAll, and more) which we will see more developers utilising in 2021.

Frameworks

ReactJS is the dominant framework and library for JavaScript, making it the most popular framework used by developers around the globe. ReactJS is preferred for not only its speed and simplicity but also for its power to create rich and engaging web apps with minimal coding. This framework ensures better performance thanks to its ability to prevent updates from DOM, resulting in faster, smoother rendering of applications, boosting better user experience. These are just a few of the reasons why we see ReactJS continuing to make waves in 2021.

AngularJS is the direct competition to ReactJS in terms of popularity, and for good reason. The framework is notoriously easy to use as it requires menial coding which saves a tremendous amount of time to focus on the important details. Its Model View Controller (MVC) architecture is a highlight which allows you to string or attach application code together which, again, saves valuable time. In addition, AngularJS’s suite of features, including two-way data binding, incredible community support thanks to its Google ties, and coding modularity makes it a firm contender to take the top framework spot in 2021.

As a surprising recent competitor to framework heavyweights ReactJS and AngularJS, VueJS is gaining popularity in recent months thanks to a relatively easy learning curve, meaning developers with minimal experience can master the framework faster than most on the market. VueJS is a progressive framework for JavaScript with its core focus centred around making UI development simple and fast. With easy HTML integration, declarative rendering support, and real-time development observation, it is easy to see why VueJS is poised to challenge ReactJS and AngularJS’s framework dominance in 2021 and beyond.

Architecture

icon representing two gears

Micro frontends is a popular trend enveloping the industry recently, making it one of the most widely-used “buzzwords” in developer gatherings (aka nerd herds). Micro frontends is a relatively new architectural style where independent frontend applications are built and later added into the whole codebase. It is a way to be able to dissect and work on individual components of traditional monolithic frontend codebases. 

Breaking your frontend into smaller, independent components allows for seamless integration for different teams to work on different aspects of your app – they can develop, build, test, and deploy independently of each other while working towards the same goal. We expect to see more adoption of this new frontend architecture in 2021.

Technologies

illustraton of a smart brain and a robotic arm

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to dazzle and amaze us as the technology evolves, and the frontend space is no different. AI simplifies the most crucial steps in website and app development: it can handle the build, coding with self-learning algorithms, automated testing, and QA tasks, leaving more time for developers to focus on more high-end tasks. We predict more websites and apps being built using AI technologies. 

With AI’s evolving learning and predictive capabilities, we expect to see continued drives towards improving the customisation of user experiences through recommendations, suggestions, and relevant search engine results to improve the UX and customer journey. Despite this not being altogether ‘new’, we see the continuous improvements of AI’s capabilities for websites and mobile apps spanning the next few years.

AI-powered chatbots are the industry’s best answer to ensuring amazing customer experiences. They establish a business’ ‘humanness’ by performing important customer care endeavours 24/7, providing a proverbial ‘voice on the other end of the line’ so customers feel their needs are being met in real-time. They are intelligent and helpful tools used to provide value to customers which establish a deep relationship between customer and brand. We see more businesses adopting chatbots on their platforms in the coming years. 

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are going to see a steady rise in adoption in 2021 as businesses attempt to tap into the growing trend of mobile usage. The number of global mobile phone users is expected to hit the 7 billion mark in 2021, so developers are using PWAs to meet the demands of modern consumers using their mobiles to browse and shop. Faster load times, streamlined design and functionality, and the ability to operate with little to no internet connection, makes PWAs a trend to look out for in the coming years.

Design

icon illustration of a design interface

Motion design is the next ‘big thing’ in the UI space. It provides beautifully appealing customer experiences and brings your website or app to life in unique ways. It also assists in helping users intuitively use and navigate your platform by guiding a user’s eye to relevant information and content in ways that captivate and engage. The best user interfaces are designed with the user experience as the core focus and motion design is a great way to please and entertain your users while providing them with added value on how to use your site. 

Read our full article outlining our top 6 UX and UI design trends for 2021

Summary

There you have it, our list of the most notable frontend trend predictions we think are set to make a new or continued impact in 2021. If you are looking to implement the latest programming languages, frameworks, and technologies, architecture, and UI design into your platforms, get in touch with us today.

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Samantha Wolhuter
Author info
Samantha Wolhuter
Sam is in charge of writing a big portion of WeAreBrain’s creative content. She is a digital nomad always on the go, inspiring us with her words from some of the world's most beautiful locations.
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