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2022 Roundup of Web Research

2022 Roundup of Web Research

So, what’s in store for this year? Read on to find out.

What it found: The last two years has shows that CSS continues to contribute to overall page weight. This year was no exception, with CSS weight increasing 7% at the 90th percentile. That’s on par with past years.

What was the most popular class name in 2022? .active. But you also see a bunch of vendor-specific prefixes in the list, like .fa- for Font Awesome, and many for WordPress, such as .wp-, .has-large-font-size, and .has-pale-cyan-blue-background-color (phew!) which I guess is an indication of what the most popular background color is for WordPress sites.

There’s so much more to read in here that goes beyond CSS and is worth checking out.

What it found: It’s less about what this dashboard has found than what it is currently showing. And right now, Safari is leading the pack as far as supporting what the focus areas are for 2022, which include newer features like Cascade Layers, Container Queries, the <dialog> element, Subgrid, and viewport units. Safari scores 89% in the tests, with Firefox right on its heels at 88% and Chrome/Edge not far behind at 84%.

What it is: A survey of approximately 7,000 members of the Jamstack community that provides a snapshop of who Jamstack developers are and the sorts of things they’re working on.

What it found: This survey is interesting as heck because it offers a peek into things like job titles and employment on top of Jamstack-specific stuff. For example, four out of five developers are now working remote most of the time and half of those would quit their jobs if they had to return to the office.

Here’s another neat trend: In 2021, 32% of folks referred to themselves as “full-stack developers” in 2021 while 45% called themselves “front-end developers”. That practically swapped in 2022, with 44% of respondents calling themselves “full-stack” and 32% going with “front-end”.

What it is: A survey of 2,660 developers by the Open Source Initiative and OpenLogic that tracks the usage of open source projects and contributions to them. The survey was open for six weeks and attracted responses from 15 countries.

What it is: A survey of more than 70,000 developers to measure how they learn, which tools they’re using, and what they want in the future.

Otherwise, JavaScript is the most used language for the tenth year in a row (but Rust is the most loved) and VS Code is the overwhelmingly popular IDE at 74%.

What it is: Straight from the horse’s mouth: “An exploration of open source software including its impact on the world and companies, plus key trends shaping software development.” It draws on GitHub activity data rather than surveying a group of respondents.

Nothing new has changed on the languages front. Last year, JavaScript was the most used language and that’s true this year as well. However, TypeScript seems to have slowed down in growth after skyrocketing in popularity last year. I suspected it would jump up a few spots this year, but it’s still in fourth behind Python and Java (which is far from dead).

What it found: Can you guess it? Yep, those who use Copilot feel more productive than those who do not use it. And those who use it complete tasks ~55% faster than those who do not use it for the same tasks. What it sounds like, if I’m reading this right, is that Copilot users enjoy the way it handles all the “fiddly” things for them — like auto-closing brackets.

What it is: A survey of 3,703 developers to “see the real day-to-day perspective from [front-end] professionals of all levels and backgrounds.” What makes this survey a little different is that it also polls 19 invited experts in the field, including — you guessed it — Chris Coyier weighing in on styling tools.

What it found: You know, there’s really more findings here than a mere summary can do justice. This might be the most comprehensive set of results of the whole bunch. There’s so much to grok, from frameworks, hosting, and SSG to browser technologies, code management, and testing. And that only scratches the surface. If nothing else, it’s worth clicking through to the full report just for the analysis from the invited experts.

What it is: A survey all about design systems that’s focused on adoption, contributions, design, technical debt, and how design systems are used. This year’s results reflect the answers of 219 submissions, down from last year’s 376.

What it found: Last year, the survey found that 40% of folks consider their design systems “successful” or “very” successful. Those figures are less obvious in this year’s survey. But more interesting is what’s included in their systems. Sure, typography, colors, components, and layouts are common to most of them. But it’s the lack of things like developer-ready code (65%), accessibility guidelines (57%), and content guidelines (45%) that might be influencing the finding that only 65% of people who identify as design system subscribers say they get what they need from their systems.

What it is: The sixth edition of a survey that looks at the tooling people use for things like prototyping, UI design, design systems, and user testing. This year received 4,260 submissions.

What it found: First off, we’re dealing with a bunch of designers. 82% have “designer” somewhere in their job title, compared to a mere 6% who call themselves developers. That’s reasonable for a survey that’s all about UX tooling.

So, what tools are they using? Figma by a loooooong mile for UI design. 73% report Figma as their design software of choice, followed by a neck-and-neck race between Adode XD (6%) and Sketch (5%) for a distant second. Figma also leads the pack when it comes to basic UI protoyping and managing design systems.

Do you want to know the top tool for storing, tagging, and organizing research? It’s Notion! Funny how it comes up as both an emerging CMS and a research repository in different surveys.

What it is: A survey of HankerRank community members and their development skills, such as the languages they use and their experience with them.

What it found: I don’t know! I tried several times to download the report, but got nothing more than a spinning wheel. The link to the report takes you to a sneak peek with some basic findings, like the top five used languages — Java, Python, SQL, C++, and JavaScript, in that order — make up the overwhelming majority of all reported languages. There’s also findings on the fastest growing languages, which is where TypeScript (182%), PHP (172%), and Go (125%) are dominant. Swift usage fell hard at -42% which is interesting considering the findings in the next survey we’re going to look at.

What it is: A survey of 2,506 developers (down from last year’s 4,072) working on the MacOS platform with the goal of understanding the profile of this specific developer niche.

What it found: Last year’s takeaway was the age of this crowd trending younger, suggesting a growth in Mac-related development. And lots of them really wanted to learn Swift. What changed? Not a whole lot! Most developer are still in the 30-44 age range (40.9%) even though that’s significantly down from 54.8% last year. And the largest age group (19.5%) is in the 35-39 range. They still work with JavaScript most (52.7%) and still want to learn Swift the most (28.2%).

What it is: A report is based on a global online developer survey designed, produced, and carried out by SlashData over ten weeks between December 2021 and February 2022 to measure developer trends, technology preferences, and emerging technology patterns.

What it found: I like that this report breaks down its demographics by gender. And while the result is unsurprising — there are way more men (81%) than women (17%) — it’s still a confirmation of the almost tangible dismal gender equality in the development industry as a whole.

What it is: A survey of more than 37,000 developers (up from 28,000 last year and 13,500 in 2020!) that measures who is developing with APIs, what sort of work they’re doing with them, and how APIs are evolving.

67% of developers say they’ve adopted an API-first philosophy and 94% say they believe their companies will either invest more or the same in APIs in the next year. We’ll see when those results roll in next year!

What it is: A survey all about WordPress hosting that polls people who read the CodeinWP blog. They received 3,400 submissions this year. They’ve apparently been doing this survey since 2016 but it’s slipped under my radar until this year.

What it found: GoDaddy is the hosting provider of choice for this group, which was the story in 2019 and 2020 as well. But it only represents 11.8% of survey participants. The market is pretty crowded with Bluehost (8.4%), Hostinger (4.8%), and HostGator (3.4%) trailing behind. LOLzzz for GoDaddy also falling dead last in hosting satisfaction with 6.3/10 satisfaction rate. WP Engine got the top rating score (9.2/10) but that’s based on just 21 survey participants, compared to GoDaddy’s 377. Plus, the survey notes that many specified “WordPress” as their host… which could either mean they use WordPress.com or are simply confused between WordPress.com and a self-hosted WordPress site. 🤷‍♂️

What it is: Let’s look at another WordPress-centric survey while we’re at it. This one is run by a group called Sell Courses Online, which is a dead giveaway that it’s focused on learning management systems (LMS) in the WordPress ecosystem.

What it found: I admit I’m super interested in this report because I teach web development in higher education and have played with a bunch of LMSs. WordPress is ripe software for for it, too, with quite a few plugin options. It’s super affordable as well, with most folks (41.3%) spending less than $50/month on their tech stack, and 76.2% spending less than $250. Most of those low-spend sites rely on a freemium-based LMS model.

And what’s included in that stack? 65.3% rely on WooCommerce for selling courses, 57.5% use Elementor as a page builder, 19% use the Astra theme (while 66% specify others), and 13.5% use Paid Memberships Pro for user accounts.

Hey, what about the actual LMS functionality? LearnDash is is the most popular LMS plugin with 34%, followed by LearnPress (31%) and Tutor LMS (19%). I’ve worked with LearnDash and love it, especially the number of add-ons to extend the functionality with more features as needed.

What it is: It’s funny, but I have a degree in Economics that I clearly haven’t used in my professional career, and there’s a bunch of stuff in here that’s way over my head. What it boils down to, if I’m understanding correctly, is that this report measures the online development of governments across United Nations member states, drawing on a composite of three different indices.

Has the United States progressed in its digital infrastructure and strategies? That’s the sort of thing this report looks at, taking in factors like what online services a country provides, how it approaches cybersecurity, efforts to increase digital proficiencies, and even how technology has been used to address crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first survey was published in 2001. This 2022 survey is the eleventh edition of this biennial publication.

What it is: The name of the report sorta says it all — LinkedIn looks at the state of the professional learning landscape in workplaces. This is the sixth edition, surveying 1,444 learning and development professionals (L&D), and 610 learners in November 2021.

A lot of this year’s report is written around the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on learning in the workplace, like how learning has been affected by layoffs and remote work arrangements.

That, in turn, has led to a rise in demand for workplace learning programs and profressionals. L&D professionals are in higher demand and make more money than they did before. And only 8% expect their L&D budget to decrease in the coming year.

What sorts of learning programs have top priority? Diversity, equity, and inclusion (45%), leading through change programs (42%), in-person training (41%, up from 25%!), upskilling and reskilling (41%), and digital fluency (30%). A lot of soft skills in there!

What it is: While we’re on the topic of changing workplace environments, let’s look at this one that investigates the workplace trends that are changing perspectives on when, where, and how people work — and how businesses are adapting to those changing perspectives.

What it found: The stats are super interesting, but I couldn’t find any information on the methodology it used to get them. Like 50% of businesses have reported higher turnover compared to pre-pandemic times, 38% plan to spend more on independent remote freelancers, and 37% are fully remote today with 28% expecting to go fully remote in a year. What’s going to happen to all those empty office buildings?!

On the employee side of things, 61% say they are more productive when they work remote. 45% of business also report an increase in productivity as a result of remote work and a whopping 63% reduction in unscheduled work absences.

There are other interesting stats on how other things are changing, like traditional work hours, where people choose to work, and the perception of workplace culture.

What it is: Another one from UpWork! This time it’s looking at the overall labor market. And there’s a documented methodology this time, saying that numbers are based on survey results of 1,000 hiring professionals from a third-party as well as findings from a separate study from a separate firm that surveyed 6,000 working professionals.

What it found: Well, UpWork’s “Great Work Teardown” report found that there’s big growth in business relying on remote freelancers. This report confirms that 78% of hiring pros saying they’ve used remote freelancers and 52% saying they are using more of them today than they have in previous years.

And, hey, if you’re looking for a higher salary or more perks, this might be the time to to strike because around 50% of managers are considering higher salaries and bigger benefit packages to retain staff.

What it is: This survey is new to the collection! It asked 300 web security pros what they consider to be their biggest online threats and how they plan on defending against them.

What it found: The most common attacks were DDoS, with half of the survey’s participants saying they’ve dealt with them in the past year. Next up is SQL injections (38%) and ransomware (29%), where ransomware is considered the most severe threat. (The report also cites a U.S. Treasury finding that U.S. firms paid out $590 million in ransomware attacks in the first half of 2021 alone. Geez.)

(Linking directly to the PDF to save you the registration effort.)

What it is: Let’s keep talking cybersecurity. This report polls 6,297 IT security decision-makers from 29 countries about their thoughts on the cybersecurity risks they face.

The report gets into a bunch of specific attacks that I had no idea were even a thing. It’s unnerving how attacks seem to get smarter and smarter each year while the businesses continue to increase their exposure to them. This report provides a lot of excellent detail on those threats, including a section devoted to cybersecurity efforts in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

What it is: Let’s heap more on the cybersecurity research pile will this report from the folks behind the 1Password app. This one hits pretty close to home for me because it looks at parenting in the always-online era, which is something pinned to the back of my mind since I have two young daughters who love their screens.

1Password teamed up with Malwarebytes to produce this report, which is based on a survey of 1,000 parents and 1,000 children that were born between 1997-2009 that was prepared by another firm, Method Research. The data is fresh having been collected in August this year.

What it found: A bunch of stats I wish I could unsee. Like 74% of parents think they’re keeping their kids safe, while only 51% agree. And 74% of kids have ways to workaround being monitored by their parents (where 9% claim to have a secret device their parents don’t know about). Cyberbullying is the top concern for both parents (73%) and kids (66%).

Parents also need to be more responsible. 73% of kids wish their parents would ask for permission to post photos of them while only 34% of parents actually ask (and — eek! — 39% don’t believe they need to ask permission). The importance here is that 11% of kids say they’ve been stalked or bullied because of something posted by their parents, and 12% report being harmed in some way, whether its hacked accounts, stolen identities, or tarnished credit cores.

What it is: A survey of 910 global developers, committers, architects, and decision-makers that took place between April and June 2022 to spot trends in the Internet of Things (IoT) space. You know, like that smart fridge in your kitchen and voice-controlled curtains that shade your living room. That and more serious stuff like trends in artificial intelligence and edge computing.

(Linking directly to the PDF to save you the registration effort.)

What it is: A study of benchmarks related to email marketing based on 100 billion emails delivered on CampaignMonitor’s platform in 2021. It looks at things like open and click rates, and breaks them down by industry to help folks get the most out of their email marketing campaigns and know how to gauge success.

What it found: It’s probably better for you to see their table of results by industry rather than having me regurgitate the results of all 19 industries they identified. But on a global level, a 21.5% open rate is quite average across all industries, as is a 2.3% click-through rate. It appears Monday produces the highest open rate (22% on average) while Sunday produces the lowest (20.3%), so not a whole lot of variance there. Same deal with click-through rates, where Tuesday is highest (2.4%) and Saturday and Sunday share the lowest rate (2.1%). Again, not a lot of difference but it could be helpful knowing this stuff if you’re trying to milk every last drop out of a campaign.

If there’s one BIG takeaway from all these takeaways, it’s to remember this is all in good fun. Many of the studies lack the scientific methods we’d want to base decisions on, and the sample sizes are far too small to accurately reflect reality. But they sure are interesting, right?!

Some reports are annual, some are one-off, and others seemingly happen whenever the heck they wanna do it. So, if I missed any from previous years, it’s probably because they aren’t annual or just aren’t available as I’m writing this. As always, let me know if there’s a report I missed and I’ll try to work it in.


If you need help creating a digital marketing strategy for your business, don’t hesitate to contact one of Digidude’s consultants.

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