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Beyond trendspotting: the web-build innovation really coming your way this year

Our digital team cast aside the crystal ball to identify real-world innovation
for 2024 

Nasa Q1p7bh3shj8 Unsplash

And, just like that, January is a distant memory. 


Like the rest of the world, we couldn’t help but spend time in and around the New Year gathering inspiration on the latest ideas and technologies set to redefine the digital world. We gave ourselves the space to compare and contrast a swathe of industry trend pieces with our own hunches and cast ahead, imagining the future of website build projects, communications more generally and even the world around us. 


Experience tells us not all trends are created equal, however. Some are closer than others to fruition, and others won’t bear fruit at all. 


We’re now one month into the new year and firmly back in the rhythm of solving problems for clients. So, with the dust settled on New Year trendspotting, what bright ideas and technologies really will find their way into the norm in 2024? We asked the team what they’ll be embracing over the coming months.


Practical AI and the Bento Box
Graeme Kendrew, Digital and Creative Director

While it often feels like Generative AI is the only thing communicators are talking about, putting it into practice right now still feels that there’s a few obstacles to overcome. At RY, utilising AI tools in our work has been as much about supporting faster web processes, as actually generating content. 


There’s an art (and science) to using these kinds of tools, but right now we’d still recommend a good dose of human oversight to make sure it’s accurate. Like all great client briefs to an agency – the better the prompts you provide, the more engaging, inspiring and on-the-money your content/product will be.


But beyond the perennial AI ‘trend’, I’m excited to see even more use of the modular Bento Box layout. Apple, Microsoft (or whoever lays claim to it) – at its heart is simplicity, and that alone gets my vote.


In the corporate website space (where information overload is an ongoing challenge), modular layouts continue to provide users with a more intuitive, engaging and dare I say it… a more rewarding experience.


The Internet of Behaviours

Filipa Rolo, Senior UX/UI Designer


We’ve all heard of the Internet of Things (IoT), but there’s a new trend on the block: the Internet of Behaviours (IoB). Already used in healthcare, retail, finance and education, IoB offers a revolutionary way to monitor, analyse and predict human behaviour.


An IoB system is created by combining AI, machine learning, data analytics, cloud computing, mobile apps, AR/VR or any other platform capable of collecting behavioural data. In the corporate website space, we can use it to understand and create patterns in how website visitors use our sites. 


Many technologies that are predicted to flip how we do or see things fall short of that ambition, but I suspect the IoB will begin revolutionising the corporate website space this year. From speeding up what is currently a manual data collection process and using predictive analytics to solve human-centred web problems to using the technology to identify security threats and creating an extra safety layer, we’re playing with the principle already.


Kubernetes’ impact on containerized hosting

Harry Spyrou, Senior Back-End Developer


There are so many innovative back-end technologies on the market in 2024 but the one I’m looking forward to testing this year is Kubernetes - Google's new containerised hosting manager. 

If you’re wondering what the hell ‘containerised hosting’ is: long-gone are the days of running applications on physical servers. Instead we’ve moved to virtual servers, where information is stored in the cloud as a cluster of copies of a physical server. Containerised hosting is a new iteration of this that’s now in play - it means these servers are more loosely coupled and therefore ‘lightweight’. 


But this new technology comes with its own security issues, which is where Kubernetes comes in. Kubernetes houses and manages these servers for us to make sure they run resiliently at scale and provide failsafe deployment patterns. This means technology can run at much faster speeds than if it was manually managed. There’s security backup, too. This means faster load times and better managed downtime for corporate sites, all improving user engagement and retention.


Creating 3D visuals with Three.js

Matt Clark, Lead Front-End Developer


There’s always new front-end tech to try out, but one we’re having fun working with already is Three.js. Three.js is a WebGL tool that allows you to integrate 3D graphics easily. This includes the use of pop-ups to describe the graphic, which adheres to accessibility standards.


We created a 3D interactive animation with our motion team for Tesco plc using 360 degree photos of their stores with ‘hot spots’ explaining the supermarket giant’s sustainable practices. Using technology like this in the corporate space is still relatively rare, but we believe corporate communicators will benefit from the ability to build deeper, more engaging stories and drive interactivity with their diverse audiences.  


To find out more about how we can help integrate new technology into your corporate site, drop us a line - we’d love to chat.


Want more?

Check out our Head of Film’s presentation on unleashing creativity with AI