Data science has been a growing field in the last few years, thanks to the burst in data generation. Now, the field is having a tremendous impact on web development. Up until now, developers have created websites and apps using approaches such as surveys, focus groups, and even guesswork. Obviously, all this is done to gain a clearer picture of what the average user wants.
But, needless to say, these methods, though useful, have not provided accurate results. They are often biased and do not offer inputs from users who are statistically significant.
That’s where data is changing things. As stated earlier, we produce an infinite amount of data today and it’s only increasing with new technological changes, such as the Internet of Things (IoT). All of this can now be leveraged and used to extract valuable information about user preferences.
That’s exactly what web development firms are now doing. They’re leveraging AI (Artificial Intelligence) to collect, analyze, and make sense out of every data point. What they learn is being incorporated into websites and apps right from the design stage.
Naturally, there are tremendous benefits to using this approach. To begin with, it offers tremendous savings in terms of cost and time by narrowing down the preferences and specific behavioral traits of the target user group.
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Design Through Data
Data is helping developers and designers determine whether or not a certain number of visitors will visit their site. There is a lot of thought that goes into a data-driven approach in terms of how it is arranged and presented in order to be as useful as possible to the targeted user. Web design plays a key role here. Developers simply call it “data-driven design”.
There are tremendous benefits in using data to influence how a website is designed. It can help developers improve iterative design and provide them with instant information on how the user interacts with the overall design and content presented to him/her.
In fact, the data kept for future reference can also help with the automation of web development. For example, let’s look at the healthcare sector. Here, user data is mainly found in the form of residential information, employment records, and medical history etc. All this information plays a key role in improving patient care and even determine the best course of action for the patient.
This is the same principle that is now being used for data-driven web design.
Customers visit websites to help solve a specific problem. The website’s goal is to capture the attention of such users and convert them into clients or customers. Therefore, it is important to monitor the behavior of such prospective customers and come up with design solutions that motivate the behavior website owners are looking for.
One way to do it is by assessing the purchase process. What are the pages being looked at and which of them are causing the users to drop off? What kind of CTAs are effective and are they A/B tested? A data-driven approach can answer all these questions and come up with designs that boost the conversion rate.
We are gradually moving towards an era where even web upgrades will be determined through data analysis rather than intuition or focus groups. Users provide all the insights developers need by interacting with the website or app. In some cases, they state their demands and expectations directly through feedback systems. All of this is viable and valuable data that developers can collect and turn into actionable insights.
According to Jim Mchugh, CP and GM for NVIDIA, data will become so significant that upgrades will no longer be handled by a strategic team. Instead, they will grow organically via data. Machine learning algorithms become smarter as they continue processing more and more data. When this happens, newer versions of upgrades will appear more easily.
For instance, a chatbot that serves customers on the website will see itself being constantly updated and improved as more and more user-generated data is fed to it. This will make the chatbot more capable in terms of providing answers to questions or queries that were once too complicated or hard to decipher. The role of developers here will be minimal since the chatbot will evolve organically via user-generated data.
A Demand for Unique Skill Sets
The way developers approach web development is changing drastically and this will create a demand for unique skillsets. Programmers and coders will continue to play an integral role in this area, but they will also need to upgrade their skills by venturing into the field of data science.
The future of web development is no longer limited to coding. It will include learning to structure data, cleaning it and curating it to ensure that it is ready to influence the development of algorithms. This is significantly different from web programming of the past.
AI systems will soon have a repository of abundant code to refer to and they will also learn how to leverage this code towards creating a functional program.
What Data-Driven Web Development Can Offer
To put it simply, a data-driven approach to web development provides businesses with a competitive advantage. In fact, it will soon be the most basic requirement. Other than that, a data-driven approach will also have an impact on areas such as efficiency, productivity, and personalization.
Websites and applications that can remember preferences can save time and effort. By learning how a particular user uses a website, AI can upgrade certain aspects of the site to deliver highly personalized experiences.
For instance, e-commerce sites already save certain types of data to streamline the checkout process. We may start to see this with other aspects of an e-shopping experience. For instance, soon, e-commerce sites may be able to predict exact purchases based on the assessment of purchase patterns in the past.
Basically, the websites we visit will already have a good idea of what we’re looking for and provide it in an instant, saving us time and energy.