Common accessibility issues that you can fix today

This week, WebAIM published their latest “WebAIM Million” report. It details accessibility issues they found when they tested the web's top million websites automatically. What is some low hanging fruit you could fix today?

For context, WebAIM, a non profit based out of Utah in the US, have done their ‘WebAIM Million’ project since 2019. They post an extensive analysis every year, looking at trends and improvements/decline in web accessibility over time. I find these posts very insightful and use them to inform my own workshops and outreach. It’s definitely recommended reading!

There are some caveats to be added with surveys based on automated accessibility testing. One is that ‘ease of detectability’ does not correlate with ‘impact on end users’. There are issues that are easy to detect and issues that impact end users most, these are not necessarily the same. Automated tests also cover only a small part of all accessibility, as some things aren’t detectable by machines (yet, or ever). I’m not suggesting this makes the survey less useful or good, but wanted to call it out explicitly. The ACT-Rules Community Group at the W3C works on harmonising test rules for things that are testable.

Ok, let’s look at the top issues and how developers, browsers and CMSes can take away barriers today. Some of these include ideas about what users can do (important caveat: none of this should be user responsibility, website owners should not expect users to use or know about these tools).

Low text contrast

There are cases where text colour and the background colour have a ratio lower than the threshold in WCAG (see also MDN on contrast).

Designers can check contrast manually install plugins (using a tool like Contrast Ratio) or install a plugin like Stark for Figma or Sketch.

Developers can use an automated contrast checker to make sure you avoid low contrast text. Run a checker like the one in Firefox Dev Tools Accessibility Panel or axe in CI/CD, or paste two colours into a manual tool like Contrast Ratio.

Designers and developers alike can use Polypane’s contrast checker that suggests accessible alternatives, which makes it a lot easier to not just find the issue, but also fix it while you’re at it.

Users could use a plugin like Fix Contrast to not be affected: it tweaks colours on the fly so that you don’t have to suffer low contrast text.

There are some discussions on new colour contrast algorithms for WCAG, but this is still under discussion and not ready any time soon.

Missing alternative text

When you create content, describe your images. In your CMS, on Twitter and even in GitHub issues: use that alternative text feature, so that users who can’t see the image can access the content in them. On platforms that don’t support alternative text, like Slack or mobile LinkedIn (!), you can describe images in text. If you choose a CMS or content platform, ensure it can handle alternative text or set it up to do so.

In the resulting HTML, you’ll want something like:

<!-- image with text -->
<img src="website-logo.png" alt="hiddedevries.nl" />

<!-- image with redundant content -->
<img src="hidde.png" alt="" /> 
<p>Photo of Hidde</p>

You can make your decisions on alternative text using the Alt Decision Tree, but basically the gist is that if you were to replace your image with a square, what would you write in the square for it to still be useful? Leaving it empty is an option if that’s the most useful alternative for the image. Like in the example above, there is a photo with a paragraph underneath that describes it. In this case, writing “Hidde” or “Photo of Hidde” in the alt attribute is redundant, it would be best to use an empty alt (but do leave the attribute in there, or some browsers will use the image URL as an alternative).

Users can use Microsoft Edge, which fills in missing alternatives. AI aren’t very good at intentions or context, but pretty much perfect at recognising text. Next time a news website posts an image of new covid rules with no alternatives (as the main Dutch news website used to do throughout the pandemic), users of Edge can follow along.

Empty links and buttons

When links, buttons or other interactive elements don’t have names, assistive technologies like screenreaders or voice controls have no way to uniquely refer to them. If it is to be interacted with, it needs a name.

Imagine the difference between a screenreader saying “here's 4 buttons: button, button, button and button”, versus “here's 4 buttons: publish content, delete content, change to draft, upload image”. In the first instance, you'd need to press them before you know what they do, in the second, it is clear what you're in for, with no further context needed.

Names are derived from text content, like the actual text that’s inside a button, or can be added through an attribute. See Naming things to improve accessibility for more detail or the spec that defines how controls get their names.

Developers need to ensure all controls they build (links, buttons, form fields, etc) have names, ideally that make sense out of context:

<!-- names that make sense out of context -->
<button>Submit form</button>
<button>Publish content</button>
<button>Expand filters</button>
<a href="//wikipedia.org">Wikipedia</a>
<a href="//twitter.com">Hidde on Twitter</a>

<!-- names that are confusing -->
<a href="/">click here</a><!-- avoid -->
<a href="/">read more</a><!-- avoid -->

<!-- names that are missing; avoid or add a name -->
<a href="//twitter.com/"><svg/></a><!-- avoid -->
<a href="//linkedin.com"><img src="" alt="" /></a><!-- avoid -->
<button><img/><button><!-- avoid -->

Browsers can sometimes derive names from nearby text, some do this when there is no text to derive a name from. This is not ideal, can lead to wrong and confusing guesses and be bad end user experience. The developer of this control will know best what the thing does and therefore how it should be named.

Missing form labels

Form labels kind of fall under naming things, as they name form elements specifically.

Developers can fix this by ensuring form fields have a <label> element of which the for attribute points to the id of the input/select/textarea , this also makes that clicking label moves the cursor to the input:

<!-- “for” and “id” are same, this connects them -->
<label for="field">Address</label>
<input id="field" />

They can also add an aria-label attribute to the input to name it that way (but be careful, ARIA labels don’t get translated well).

Missing languages

Proper language indication can get you a Pass on two (!) WCAG Success Criteria (3.1.1 and 3.1.2), and you only need to know one attribute for it.

Developers should ensure the <html> element has a lang attribute with the right language:

<!-- marks this document as 'in English -->
<html lang="en">

Sometimes this is forgotten as the <html> element lives in some template you never touch, but it’s not hard to do, so always double check that this attribute exists and is set to the right language.

If there is content on part the page that is in another language, mark that too, again, with a lang attribute on the relevant DOM node. When you pick a plugin for internationalisation, ensure it sets the lang s or makes it easy for you to do so.

CMSes can make sure that lang attributes are set and set correctly. Browsers can guess languages, but they aren’t always good at this, specifically when it comes to distinguishing dialects: they often matter a lot to people, less so to machines.

Wrapping up

These are some tips based on the most common issues that WebAIM Million 2022 identified. Let’s all put in the work to make sure we, our colleagues, our clients and our users avoid these issues. Like, actually. We need WCAG auditors to focus on higher hanging fruit, by fixing the lower hanging stuff for good.

If this is all new to you, hi, thanks for reading! I hope this helps and feel free to get in touch with questions. If you already knew all of this, please keep spreading the word, so that in next year’s survey, we’ll see steady improvements for the web at large.

Want to learn more about fixing low hanging fruit accessibility issues? In response to the same survey, Christian Heilmann blogged about how to fix accessibility issues using your browser

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简单的方法就能轻易解决

WebAIM已发布最新报告。通过自动检测的方法检测网站,报告针对100万个网站上出现的可用性问题进行了分析。其中哪些问题是可轻而易举改正的呢?

扩展阅读

WebAIM,是一家总部位于美国犹他州的非营利组织。自2019年,启动WebAIM Million’项目。每年发布综合分析报告,观察互联网可用性的发展趋势和改善/下降。
报告内容很有见地。值得推荐阅读!

基于自动可用性检测而进行调查,需要加上以下警告:

一是“易于感知的问题”和“对用户造成影响的问题”,两者无关,是不一样的。自动化测试也只涵盖了所有互联网可用性中的一小部分,因为有些问题机器(现在或永远)无法检测。我并不是说这会降低调查的作用,而是想明确指出这一点。W3C的ACT-Rules 组织致力于指定合理的测试规则。

好的,让我们看看当今最热门的问题以及开发人员、浏览器和 CMS 是如何解决问题的。

低文本对比度

在某些情况下,文本颜色和背景颜色的对比度低于WCAG阈值(另请参见MDN on contrast)。

通过安装插件(如:Contrast Ratio 设计师可以检查对比度。

开发人员可以使用自动对比度检查器,来确保避免使用低对比度文本。运行一个检查器,如Firefox 开发工具辅助功能面板中的检查器或CI/CD 的ax,或者将两种颜色粘贴到一个手动工具中,如 Contrast Ratio。

设计人员和开发人员都可以使用 Polypane 的对比度检查器,它会给出替代方案建议,这不仅可以更轻松地找到问题,还可以同时修复问题。

用户可以使用像Fix Contrast这样的插件:它可以即时微调颜色,这样就不必忍受低对比度文本。

针对网页内容无障碍指南的新颜色对比度算法之一问题,人们进行诸多讨论,目前讨论仍在进行中。

缺少替代文字

当你创建内容,对图片进行描述。在使用Twitter的内容管理器,甚至在GitHub上发布帖子:使用替代文本功能,以便看不到图像的用户可以访问图片的替代文本。在不支持替代文本的平台上,例如 Slack 或移动 LinkedIn (!),可以用文本描述图像。如果您选择 CMS 或内容平台,确保它可以处理或设置使用替代文本。

生成的 HTML 如下:

<!-- image with text -->
<img src="website-logo.png" alt="hiddedevries.nl" />

<!-- image with redundant content -->
<img src="hidde.png" alt="" /> 
<p>Photo of Hidde</p>

你可根据Alt Decision Tree书写替代文本。文本内容的要点是,如果图像的位置显示出一个正方形,在正方形中写什么以使其不影响阅读?可以选择将其留空。就像上面的例子一样,有一张照片,下面有一段描述它的段落。在这种情况下,在alt属性中写“Hidde”或“Hidde 的照片”是多余的,最好使用一个空的alt(但不要将属性保留在那里,否则某些浏览器会使用图像 URL 作为替代)。

用户可以使用 Microsoft Edge,它可以填补缺失的替代文本。AI 不擅长理解意图或背景,但精通识别文本。下次新闻网站再发布新冠病毒防治新规则的图片,并不带有替代文本时(就像荷兰主要新闻网站在整个疫情期间所做的那样),Edge 的用户可以理解其内容。

空链接和按钮

当链接、按钮或其他交互元素没有名称时,屏幕阅读器或语音控制等辅助技术无法唯一识别它们。如果要与之交互,则需要给它们定义一个名称。

屏幕阅读器说“这里有 4 个按钮:按钮、按钮、按钮和按钮”与“这里有 4 个按钮:发布内容、删除内容、更改为草稿、上传图像”,想象一下两者之间的区别。在第一种情况下,需要按一下按钮才知道按钮的用处;在第二种情况下,不需要任何额外操作。

名称源自文本内容,例如按钮内的实际文本,或者可以通过属性添加。有关更多详细信息,请参阅命名以提高可访问性控件命名规范

开发人员需要确保他们构建的所有控件(链接、按钮、表单字段等)都有名称,最好是有独立意义:

<!-- names that make sense out of context -->
<button>Submit form</button>
<button>Publish content</button>
<button>Expand filters</button>
<a href="//wikipedia.org">Wikipedia</a>
<a href="//twitter.com">Hidde on Twitter</a>

<!-- names that are confusing -->
<a href="/">click here</a><!-- avoid -->
<a href="/">read more</a><!-- avoid -->

<!-- names that are missing; avoid or add a name -->
<a href="//twitter.com/"><svg/></a><!-- avoid -->
<a href="//linkedin.com"><img src="" alt="" /></a><!-- avoid -->
<button><img/><button><!-- avoid -->

浏览器有时可以从附近的文本中节选名称。这并不理想,可能会导致错误和令人困惑的猜测,导致用户体验糟糕。开发人员最清楚控件的作用并能命名它。

缺少表单标签

表单标签受命名影响,因为表单单独命名表单元素。

开发人员设置表单输入框的for属性并指向input/select/textareaid,可以解决此问题,这也使得单击标签将光标移动到输入狂

<!-- “for” and “id” are same, this connects them -->
<label for="field">Address</label>
<input id="field" />

他们还可以给输入框添加一个aria-label属性(注意,ARIA 标签解析得不好)。

缺少表格标签

开发人员应确保元素具有 lang 属性,并使用正确语言:

<!-- marks this document as 'in English -->
<html lang="en">

有时有忘记,因为<html> 元素存在于哪些从未修改过的模板中,但这并不难,因此请务必仔细检查此属性是否存在并设置为正确的语言。

如果页面的一部分内容是另一种语言的,在相应DOM节点元素上再次设置lang属性。当使用国际化的插件时,确保设置了 langs 。

CMS可以确保 lang 属性的正确设置。浏览器可以猜测语言,但也有可能出错,特别是在区分方言时:它们通常对人很重要,而对机器则不那么重要。

原文地址:https://hidde.blog/common-a11y-issues/

Common accessibility issues that you can fix today | hidde.blog hidde.blog/common-a11y-is…
Common accessibility issues that you can fix today hidde.blog/common-a11y-is… #NAGWGoodies
Appreciate this succinct #accessibility checklist from @hdv with links to plugins for designers. 👏 hidde.blog/common-a11y-is…
#Accessibility Common accessibility issues that you can fix today hidde.blog/common-a11y-is…
Interesting article on findings from a @webaim report on trends and improvements/decline in web accessibility over time. What common accessibility issues can you fix today? hidde.blog/common-a11y-is…
Does your #website follow #accessibility standards? Check out these common accessibility issues that can be fixed right now! @hdv #design hidde.blog/common-a11y-is…
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"Common accessibility issues that you can fix today” (via @hdv) #a11y Part 1: hidde.blog/common-a11y-is… Part 2: hidde.blog/more-common-a1…

@omgmog lol what a coincidence, I just finished reading both articles! One of the points in the focus paragraph made me realize I have to move my hidden rel="me" links: they are present when pressing Tab, but they don't have focus in the page and it's confusing...

thanks Hidde for sharing!
Want to address accessibility issues on your website? Try these easy-to-implement solutions 👇 hidde.blog/common-a11y-is…
Common accessibility issues that you can fix today hidde.blog/common-a11y-is…
Common accessibility issues that you can fix today hidde.blog/common-a11y-is…

The WebAIM Million report presents a sad state of where the top one million websites on the web from an accessibility perspective. Even if you’re not working on a top one million website, the lessons we can learn from the report are worth it.

In the table below, we see the most common accessibility issues and what percentage of the top one million websites exhibit the issue.

WCAG Failure Type % of home pages in 2022 % of home pages in 2021 % of home pages in 2020 % of home pages in 2019 Low contrast text 83.9% 86.4% 86.3% 85.3% Missing alternative text for images 55.4% 60.6% 66.0% 68.0% Empty links 50.1% 51.3% 59.9% 58.1% Missing form input labels 46.1% 54.4% 53.8% 52.8% Empty buttons 27.2% 26.9% 28.7% 25.0% Missing document language 22.3% 28.9% 28.0% 33.1%

To me this is appalling. These are not complicated things to fix or automate a solution for.

This post will look at some of the problems and how to fix them manually. In a future post, we’ll look at tooling to automate a11y testing.

Manual fixes

The manual fixes require working with CSS and HTML. It also requires external tools and built-in browser developer tools.

Low contrast text

The problem is that the lower contrast the harder it is to read. This is mostly a design decision… developers have less influence in the design of a page or app than designers do.

That said we can manually check the contrast of foreground over background text using tools like the Contrast Checker or Deque’s Deque Color Contrast Analyzer.

The goal is to reach the following levels under the following conditions:

Specification Level Normal Text Large Text WCAG 2.0 AA 4.5:1 3:1 WCAG 2.0 AAA 7:1 3:1 WCAG 2.1 AA 4.5:1 3:1 WCAG 2.1 AAA 7:1 4.5:1

WCAG 2.1 AAA requires a contrast level of 3:1 for graphics and user interface components such as form input borders.

Large text is defined as 14 point (typically 18.66px) and bold or larger, or 18 point (typically 24px) or larger.

You can extract colors from the page you’re viewing using extensions like Colorzilla (available for Chrome and Firefox).

Since version 89, Chrome has a different algorithm for calculating contrast. In New color contrast calculation – Advanced Perceptual Contrast Algorithm (APCA) (part of what’s new in DevTools for Chrome 89), the DevTools team explains what APCA is and how it works.

Since this is an experimental feature, I would hold off on using it until it’s available in other browsers or becomes part of WCAG 3.0 or later.

Missing alternative text for images

This one is another low-hanging fruit that can easily be fixed manually just by being careful.

When writing the code for an image, whether it’s a standalone figure or a responsive image with multiple srcsets, add the alt attribute to the image, whether it’s the default image for a responsive set or a standalone image.

  <img 
    src="https://assets.codepen.io/32795/santiago002.jpg"
    alt="View of the mountains from the northern part of Santiago, Chile" >

The following responsive image shows the inclusion of the alt attribute as a normal image would:

<img srcset="safari-photo-480w.jpg 480w,
             safari-photo-800w.jpg 800w"
     sizes="(max-width: 600px) 480px, 800px"
     src="safari-photo-800w.jpg"
     alt="Safari photo of a male lion approaching">

This is as easy as it gets. There is no excuse why we can’t add this when adding the tags, if we’re writing HTML or templates for our CMS content, or when entering data into a CMS.

TO check that the alt attribute is present, you can do a global search for the images on the page and check that the alt attribute is present and has a meaningful value.

If you use figure elements with the optional figcaption child, you should still use the alt attribute in the img child. Figure and figcaption – extended alternate text for screen readers? shows how different screen readers handle the figcaption attribute. the TL;DR is that the figcaption attribute is not a substitute for the alt attribute.

Empty links

A lot of times when I see a link with no text, either because the author forgot it or because it includes an icon or an image like a social media icon.

<a href="https://facebook.com" id="myLink"></a>

or

<a 
  href="https://facebook.com"
  id="myLink">
    <img 
      width="24"
      height="96"
      src="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/51/Facebook_f_logo_%282019%29.svg"
      alt=""></a>

The problem with this is that screen readers and assistive technologies don’t have a way to derive context from the link alone. They use the content of the alt attribute as the content that they’ll show the user.

According to Hidde de Vries:

If you were to replace your image with a square, what would you write in the square for it to still be useful?

Source: Common accessibility issues that you can fix today

Leaving it empty is an option if that’s the most useful alternative for the image.

Missing form input labels

39% of the 4.4 million form inputs identified were not properly labeled either via <label> child element, aria-label, aria-labelledby, or title.

<form action="" method="get">
  <div class="form-example">
    <label for="name">
      Enter your name:
    </label>
    <input type="text"
      name="name"
      id="name"
      required>
  </div>
  <div class="form-example">
    <label for="email">
      Enter your email:
    </label>
    <input type="email" 
      name="email"
      id="email"
      required>
  </div>
  <div class="form-example">
    <input type="submit"    
      value="Subscribe!">
  </div>
</form>

To me, this is just a design and development decision. You should make this part of your reviews: all form fields should have a label and indicate what element the labels are intended for.

We can also use aria-label to indicate the label for the form element or aria-labelledby to indicate the element that describes the form element.

Headings

The number of headings and the sequence of headings matter.

Headings are the primary mechanism used by screen reader users to navigate content so their proper implementation is important.

According to the WebAIM

19.6% of home pages had more than one <h1> – an increase from 18.4% in 2021. There were 1,092,097 instances of skipped heading levels (e.g., jumping from <h2> to <h4>) and 1 in every 21 headings was improperly structured. Skipped headings were present on 40.4% of all pages (up from 38.4% in 2021), and 9.9% of pages had no headings present at all (down from 10.6% in 2021).

Source: WebAIM One Million

Here are a few tips on how to use headings in an accessible way.

  • Only use one <h1> element per page. This will usually be the site title
  • Use headings sequentially. If the first element is a <h1> it’s children should be <h2>, its children should be a <h3> and so on
  • Don’t skip levels. Don’t go from <h2 to <h4>. Use the sequence as it was intended

Empty buttons

Just like links, not having content between the button opening and closing tags hurts accessibility. By default, a button’s accessible name is the content between the opening and closing <button> tags so not having any content or having content that can’t be read by assistive technology makes the button inaccessible.

Even though this button is perfectly usable as a search button for abled users, it won’t work with screen readers.

<button type="submit">
   <svg id="search" viewBox="0 0 16 16.9">
      <path d="M16, 15.7L11.3,11C12.4,9.8,13, 8.2,13,6.5C13"></path>
   </svg>
</button>

The first way to fix this is to save the SVG as an image and load it like a typical image with an alt attribute.

<button type="submit">
   <img src="/search-icon.svg" alt="Search"/>
</button>

Depending on what your SVG does, it may not work in browsers.

If this is the case then the second option is to keep it as an inline SVG and modify it with accessibility attributes.

We add aria-describedby to the SVG element pointing to the element that describes the button, search in this case.

Then, we add the title element as a child of SVG and with an ID attribute that matches the name we used in the aria-describedby attribute of the parent SVG element.

<button type="submit">
  <svg id="search" role="img" aria-describedby="searchIcon" viewBox="0 0 16 16.9">
    <title id="searchIcon">Search</title>
    <path d="M16, 15.7L11.3,11C12.4,9.8,13, 8.2,13,6.5C13"></path>
  </svg>
</button>

You can read about possible strategies and really go in-depth on proper markup in images and SVG graphics in Contextually Marking up accessible images and SVGs by Scott O’Hara.

Naming things to improve accessibility gives pointers on how to name things to make them more accessible.

Accessible Name and Description Computation 1.1 is the specification that explains how browsers compute the accessible name and description of elements.

Missing document language

This one was interesting to me. The html root element needs to have a language attribute.

Unless it’s overridden. Setting the lang attribute in the html element will set the default language for the page.

<html lang="en">

This will help screen readers load language-appropriate pronunciation and other rules that will help present content in different languages.

If a page uses multiple languages you can set the lang attribute for each part that uses a different language.

<html lang="en">
  <head>
    <title>My Page</title>
  </head>
  <body>
    <h1>Hello World</h1>

    <aside lang="es">
      <h2>Información para hispanohablantes</h2>
    </aside>

    <aside lang="fr">
      <h2>Informations pour les francophones</h2>
    </aside>
  </body>

Links and resources

Common accessibility issues that you can fix today hidde.blog/common-a11y-is…
Common accessibility issues that you can fix today: hidde.blog/common-a11y-is… by @hdv #a11y #webdev
Common accessibility issues that you can fix today hidde.blog/common-a11y-is… #webdev #webdesign #accessibility #a11y
Si tu t'en sors bien en anglais, tu as ces ressources : w3.org/WAI/test-evalu… et hidde.blog/common-a11y-is…
Common accessibility issues, and how to solve them (hidde.blog/common-a11y-is… + hidde.blog/more-common-a1…), an overview of simple things we can do today to improve most common accessibility issues right away. By @hdv. #accessibility
Good to see you're working on improving the Lighthouse score, but note that web accessibility is about a lot more (WCAG has 50 success criteria on A/AA, and then there's a lot beyond WCAG). Here's 5 things you can fix: hidde.blog/common-a11y-is… And 5 more: hidde.blog/more-common-a1…
Common accessibility issues that you can fix today | hidde.blog hidde.blog/common-a11y-is…

2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research
2022 Roundup of Web Research

We’ve started making a tradition of rounding up the latest front-end research at the end of each year. We did it in 2020 and again in 2021. Reports are released throughout the year by a bunch of different companies and organizations researching everything from web design trends to developer skills to popular coding languages and so many other things.

Last year, it seemed the overarching trend was around remote work and its impact on developer productivity and workplace environments. We also saw TailwindCSS continue to explode in usage, dismal accessibility on the top 1 million websites, and a massive growth in API usage, among other findings.

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

Table of contents

HTTP Archive Annual State of the Web

What it is: A study that looks at 8.3 million websites sourced from the Chrome UX Report that analyzes how the sites were made, breaking things up into sections that include page content, user experience, content publishing, and content distribution. The CSS chapter is written by Rachel Andrew (so you know it’s good) and reviewed by folks that include Chris Lilley and CSS-Tricks contributor Jens Oliver Meiert.

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.

The report also shows pixels as the most commonly used CSS unit for the font-size property. Maybe we’ll see that number trend down next year after Josh Collinsworth published why that’s not a great idea.

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

Read Report

The WebAIM Million 2022

What it is: An evaluation of the accessibility of the top one million as evaulated by the WAVE stand-alone API. That group of sites consists of domains pulled from from the Majestic Millions list, the Alexa Top 1,000,000 web sites, and the DomCop top 10 million domains.

What it found: Well, hey, look at that! The number of distinct accessibility errors has decreased 1.1% since February 2021. That’s modest improvement, but we’re still looking at a grand total of 50,829,406 errors — or an average of 50.8 errors per site — and those are just the ones that could be detected! I think we’d all do well taking time to read Hidde de Vries’s post on how to fix the common accessibility issues outlined in the report.

Read Report

State of CSS 2022 Survey

What it is: This survey pokes at CSS usage each year, surveying developers on the features they use, as well as their understanding of and satisfaction with them. Co-creator Sacha Greif openly wondered if there is too much CSS in a post he wrote right here on CSS-Tricks and a good part of that was based on the rising number of CSS features in recent years. This year’s survey garnered 8,714 responses from developers around the world.

What it found: Some really neat stuff this year. With all of the new CSS stuff that’s shipped in the past couple of years, there are still plenty of them that have yet to gain traction, whether it’s an awareness thing or the lack of browser support. For example, a whopping 46.7% of folks are only aware of 40% or less of the features covered in the survey. Container queries are a good example of a feature with awareness (58% have heard of it) but little use (12.6% have used it). The :has() selector is a glaring success with 54% knowing about it and 34.8% already using it.

There’s a lot more in here, like CSS-in-JS trends (interest is downward), accessibility features (needs more awareness), and which blogs y’all read (thanks for making CSS-Tricks #1!).

Oh, and don’t miss Lea Verou’s conclusion, which predicts that CSS nesting and color manipulation will rule in 2023. I agree. Nesting would be a game-changer that could put a dent in CSS preprocessor usage. And there are so many new color features today and in the works that are sure to impact the way we define and use colors. But I also suspect that @container becomes a much bigger deal as browser support catches on and we find ourselves writing more container queries where we may have reached for media queries in the past.

See Results

Interop 2022 Dashboard

What it is: This is more of a live dashboard than a report. It analyzes data from a fixed point in time, displaying results from the web-platform-tests which are a group of test suites for many web platform specifications that run daily. The idea is that we can see which web features are broadly supported, which ones aren’t, and how browsers rank in terms of supporting them.

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%.

If you look at the scores for the experimental versions of those browsers, Safari Technology Preview jumps way up to 94% while Firefox and Chrome/Edge sit at 88%. It’s really tough to make the whole “Safari is the new Internet Explorer” point these days, at least when it comes to these focus areas. There are other legitimate criticisms of it for way different reasons that are tied to iOS.

Open Dashboard

Jamstack Community Survey 2022

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”.

You’ve gotta look at the full set of results to get even more insights on what Jamstack developers are building and how they are building those things. Like, WordPress is still the most widely-used CMS at 59% of respondents (22% of which is headless WordPress), but surprisingly, Notion is quickly gaining traction in the Jamstack CMS space, at 26%. I’ve been interested in Notion as a CMS ever since Chris wrote about it 2020.

See Results

2022 State of Open Source

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 found: The Open Source Initiative published their 10 takeaways from the report. Among those? 79% say they sponsor open source organizations (which might be expected from this audience). Deeper in the report, jQuery (31%) is still ranked as the top technology for app development. React (27%) clocks in at second, and Angular (26%) comes in at third.

Download PDF

StackOverflow 2022 Developer Survey

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.

What it found: I love this survey because it always affirms the amount of time I spend looking things up. 87% of folks spend at least 30 minutes searching for answers to problems, 25% of which spend an hour or more. The survey found that a team of 50 developers spends between 333-651 hours of time looking up answers per week.

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%.

Survey Results

GitHub’s 2022 State of the Octoverse

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.

What it found: Whew, 94 million developers used GitHub in 2022! That’s a whole lot more than the 2.8 million who used it in 2012. 20.5 million newbies joined this year alone. Also, there was a 20% year-over-year growth in the number of repos hosted on GitHub, and more than 3.5 billion contributions to GitHub projects over the year. Interestingly, only 20% of all GitHub repos are public, perhaps due to private repos becoming a free feature in 2019.

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).

Read Report

GitHub Copilot’s impact on developer productivity and happiness

What it is: GitHub published a report on GitHub Copilot, its AI-flavored development assistant. Is Copilot making developers’ lives easier? Is it making them more productive? Those are the sorts of things covered in this report, drawing on survey results they published in an academic paper, and external research on development productivity. There’s good qualitiative feedback in there as well.

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.

Dave’s thoughts on Copilot seem to jive with the report’s description of Copilot being like a pair programmer with a calculator attached. Maybe not the best pair programmer in the world, but one in which your mental model shifts from writing code to checking code.

Read report

The Software House State of Frontend 2022

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.

Read Report

Sparkbox 2022 Design Systems Survey

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.

See Results

UXTools.co 2022 Design Tools Survey

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.

See Results

2023 HackerRank Developer Skills Report

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.

Read Report

Tower Git Mac Dev Survey 2022

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%).

See Results

Developer Nation 2022 Q1 Pulse Report

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.

Wanna know this survey’s top five programming languages? It’s exactly the same as HackerRank’s top five, with one exception: C# knocked JavaScript off the list. I also find it interesting that the top emerging area of interest for this group is artificial intelligence software, beating out augmented reality, robotics, cryptocurrency, and blockchain. Maybe some of these folks are the ones influencing GitHub’s Copilot research findings?

Read Report

Postman 2022 State of the API Report

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.

What it found: Last year, I reported this:

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!

The same data point this year says that number is down to 89% — and with a larger pool of survey participants. That said, Postman API requests skyrocketed from 855 million last year to 1.13 billion this year. Wow. I’d say last year’s prediction that more companies would investment in API usage this year is spot on.

The most popular APIs? That group includes known entities like Salesforce and Twitter, but welcomes Notion to the list — it’s really been a banner year for Notion according to many of the surveys in this roundup.

Get Report

CodeinWP WordPress Hosting Survey 2022

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. 🤷‍♂️

See Results

WordPress LMS Websites: A Data Study

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.

View Research

UN E-Government Survey 2022

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 found: Honestly, you’d do better reading the press release (PDF) than relying on my uneducated insights. But at a super high level, Denmark, Finland and the Republic of Korea lead the 2022 digital government rankings, “scoring the highest when it comes to the scope and quality of online services, status of telecommunication infrastructure and existing human capacity.”

See Results

LinkedIn 2022 Workplace Learning Report

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.

What it found: Learning continues despite The Great Reshuffle/Great Resignation or whatever you want to call the relatively new trend of quitting jobs and changing careers. For example, 46% of L&D professionals say there is a wider technological skill gap on their teams, and 49% say execs are concerned that employees do not have the right skills to meet business strategies. That suggests the post-pandemic technological landscape has created higher expectations as far as employees having relevant technical skills, particularly when it comes to what’s needed for successful remote work.

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!

View Report

UpWork: The Great Work Teardown

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.

Get Report

UpWork 2022 Labor Market Trends and Insights

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.

Get this: 60% of managers at mid-sized companies report higher turnover since pre-pandemic levels, while only 25% of small companies report the same. And roughly 45% of all hiring managers say they plan to combat turnover by offering more learning programs, confirming LinkedIn’s workplace learning report.

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.

See Trends

Reblaze 2022 State of Web Security Survey

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.)

Also neat: 90% of participants say they are using a public cloud, making cloud-based security more of a thing. (AWS tops the list at 67%. DigitalOcean (4%), the home for CSS-Tricks, is sandwiched between Oracle (7%) and IBM (3%) as an interesting aside.)

API security is tops as far as priority goes. With Postman’s State of the API report showing a year-over-year increase in API requests that goes from 855 million last year to 1.13 billion this year, it’s clear why that is.

See Results

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

Trend Micro 2022 Midyear Cybersecurity Report

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.

What it found: A good chunk of folks (62%) say they have blindspots in their defense strategies and 43% belive that that their exposure to threats is out of control. That’s in line with the Reblaze survey above that reported 50% of folks saying they have no certainty as far as how many bots account for overall traffic. This report notes that 37% of participants cite cloud assets as the area they have the least insight into.

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.

Get Report

1Password: The realities of parenting and growing up online

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.

Download PDF

The Eclipse Foundation 2022 IoT & Edge Developer Survey

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.

What it found: Last year, I called Microsoft’s IoT findings “mostly nice trivia for cocktail chatter.” This report is a lot more granular and is probably most helpful for those working in the space, as there’s so much information on the stacks that developers use and overarching concerns about them. I mean, I don’t particularly care that “64-bit ARM architectures are gaining ground with gateway and edge node suppliers.” But I bet that’s super important to some of you reading this.

Download PDF

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

CampaignMonitor Ultimate Email Marketing Benchmarks for 2022

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.

See Benchmarks

Wrapping up

We looked at 27 different reports on front-end and front-end-adjacent topics! That’s more than the 25 we covered last year and the fitting number of 20 we looked at in 2020.

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.

There are more reports on the way! In fact, you can take the 2022 State of JavaScript survey and the 2022 WordPress Annual Survey as this is being written. Have at ’em!

2022 Roundup of Web Research originally published on CSS-Tricks, which is part of the DigitalOcean family. You should get the newsletter.

* This article was originally published here

2022 Roundup of Web Research
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2022 Roundup of Web Research

We’ve started making a tradition of rounding up the latest front-end research at the end of each year. We did it in 2020 and again in 2021. Reports are released throughout the year by a bunch of different companies and organizations researching everything from web design trends to developer skills to popular coding languages and so many other things.

Last year, it seemed the overarching trend was around remote work and its impact on developer productivity and workplace environments. We also saw TailwindCSS continue to explode in usage, dismal accessibility on the top 1 million websites, and a massive growth in API usage, among other findings.

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

Table of contents

HTTP Archive Annual State of the Web

What it is: A study that looks at 8.3 million websites sourced from the Chrome UX Report that analyzes how the sites were made, breaking things up into sections that include page content, user experience, content publishing, and content distribution. The CSS chapter is written by Rachel Andrew (so you know it’s good) and reviewed by folks that include Chris Lilley and CSS-Tricks contributor Jens Oliver Meiert.

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.

The report also shows pixels as the most commonly used CSS unit for the font-size property. Maybe we’ll see that number trend down next year after Josh Collinsworth published why that’s not a great idea.

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

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The WebAIM Million 2022

What it is: An evaluation of the accessibility of the top one million as evaulated by the WAVE stand-alone API. That group of sites consists of domains pulled from from the Majestic Millions list, the Alexa Top 1,000,000 web sites, and the DomCop top 10 million domains.

What it found: Well, hey, look at that! The number of distinct accessibility errors has decreased 1.1% since February 2021. That’s modest improvement, but we’re still looking at a grand total of 50,829,406 errors — or an average of 50.8 errors per site — and those are just the ones that could be detected! I think we’d all do well taking time to read Hidde de Vries’s post on how to fix the common accessibility issues outlined in the report.

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State of CSS 2022 Survey

What it is: This survey pokes at CSS usage each year, surveying developers on the features they use, as well as their understanding of and satisfaction with them. Co-creator Sacha Greif openly wondered if there is too much CSS in a post he wrote right here on CSS-Tricks and a good part of that was based on the rising number of CSS features in recent years. This year’s survey garnered 8,714 responses from developers around the world.

What it found: Some really neat stuff this year. With all of the new CSS stuff that’s shipped in the past couple of years, there are still plenty of them that have yet to gain traction, whether it’s an awareness thing or the lack of browser support. For example, a whopping 46.7% of folks are only aware of 40% or less of the features covered in the survey. Container queries are a good example of a feature with awareness (58% have heard of it) but little use (12.6% have used it). The :has() selector is a glaring success with 54% knowing about it and 34.8% already using it.

There’s a lot more in here, like CSS-in-JS trends (interest is downward), accessibility features (needs more awareness), and which blogs y’all read (thanks for making CSS-Tricks #1!).

Oh, and don’t miss Lea Verou’s conclusion, which predicts that CSS nesting and color manipulation will rule in 2023. I agree. Nesting would be a game-changer that could put a dent in CSS preprocessor usage. And there are so many new color features today and in the works that are sure to impact the way we define and use colors. But I also suspect that @container becomes a much bigger deal as browser support catches on and we find ourselves writing more container queries where we may have reached for media queries in the past.

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Interop 2022 Dashboard

What it is: This is more of a live dashboard than a report. It analyzes data from a fixed point in time, displaying results from the web-platform-tests which are a group of test suites for many web platform specifications that run daily. The idea is that we can see which web features are broadly supported, which ones aren’t, and how browsers rank in terms of supporting them.

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%.

If you look at the scores for the experimental versions of those browsers, Safari Technology Preview jumps way up to 94% while Firefox and Chrome/Edge sit at 88%. It’s really tough to make the whole “Safari is the new Internet Explorer” point these days, at least when it comes to these focus areas. There are other legitimate criticisms of it for way different reasons that are tied to iOS.

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Jamstack Community Survey 2022

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”.

You’ve gotta look at the full set of results to get even more insights on what Jamstack developers are building and how they are building those things. Like, WordPress is still the most widely-used CMS at 59% of respondents (22% of which is headless WordPress), but surprisingly, Notion is quickly gaining traction in the Jamstack CMS space, at 26%. I’ve been interested in Notion as a CMS ever since Chris wrote about it 2020.

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2022 State of Open Source

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 found: The Open Source Initiative published their 10 takeaways from the report. Among those? 79% say they sponsor open source organizations (which might be expected from this audience). Deeper in the report, jQuery (31%) is still ranked as the top technology for app development. React (27%) clocks in at second, and Angular (26%) comes in at third.

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StackOverflow 2022 Developer Survey

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.

What it found: I love this survey because it always affirms the amount of time I spend looking things up. 87% of folks spend at least 30 minutes searching for answers to problems, 25% of which spend an hour or more. The survey found that a team of 50 developers spends between 333-651 hours of time looking up answers per week.

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%.

Survey Results

GitHub’s 2022 State of the Octoverse

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.

What it found: Whew, 94 million developers used GitHub in 2022! That’s a whole lot more than the 2.8 million who used it in 2012. 20.5 million newbies joined this year alone. Also, there was a 20% year-over-year growth in the number of repos hosted on GitHub, and more than 3.5 billion contributions to GitHub projects over the year. Interestingly, only 20% of all GitHub repos are public, perhaps due to private repos becoming a free feature in 2019.

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).

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GitHub Copilot’s impact on developer productivity and happiness

What it is: GitHub published a report on GitHub Copilot, its AI-flavored development assistant. Is Copilot making developers’ lives easier? Is it making them more productive? Those are the sorts of things covered in this report, drawing on survey results they published in an academic paper, and external research on development productivity. There’s good qualitiative feedback in there as well.

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.

Dave’s thoughts on Copilot seem to jive with the report’s description of Copilot being like a pair programmer with a calculator attached. Maybe not the best pair programmer in the world, but one in which your mental model shifts from writing code to checking code.

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The Software House State of Frontend 2022

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.

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Sparkbox 2022 Design Systems Survey

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.

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UXTools.co 2022 Design Tools Survey

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.

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2023 HackerRank Developer Skills Report

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.

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Tower Git Mac Dev Survey 2022

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%).

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Developer Nation 2022 Q1 Pulse Report

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.

Wanna know this survey’s top five programming languages? It’s exactly the same as HackerRank’s top five, with one exception: C# knocked JavaScript off the list. I also find it interesting that the top emerging area of interest for this group is artificial intelligence software, beating out augmented reality, robotics, cryptocurrency, and blockchain. Maybe some of these folks are the ones influencing GitHub’s Copilot research findings?

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Postman 2022 State of the API Report

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.

What it found: Last year, I reported this:

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!

The same data point this year says that number is down to 89% — and with a larger pool of survey participants. That said, Postman API requests skyrocketed from 855 million last year to 1.13 billion this year. Wow. I’d say last year’s prediction that more companies would investment in API usage this year is spot on.

The most popular APIs? That group includes known entities like Salesforce and Twitter, but welcomes Notion to the list — it’s really been a banner year for Notion according to many of the surveys in this roundup.

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CodeinWP WordPress Hosting Survey 2022

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. 🤷‍♂️

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WordPress LMS Websites: A Data Study

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.

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UN E-Government Survey 2022

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 found: Honestly, you’d do better reading the press release (PDF) than relying on my uneducated insights. But at a super high level, Denmark, Finland and the Republic of Korea lead the 2022 digital government rankings, “scoring the highest when it comes to the scope and quality of online services, status of telecommunication infrastructure and existing human capacity.”

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LinkedIn 2022 Workplace Learning Report

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.

What it found: Learning continues despite The Great Reshuffle/Great Resignation or whatever you want to call the relatively new trend of quitting jobs and changing careers. For example, 46% of L&D professionals say there is a wider technological skill gap on their teams, and 49% say execs are concerned that employees do not have the right skills to meet business strategies. That suggests the post-pandemic technological landscape has created higher expectations as far as employees having relevant technical skills, particularly when it comes to what’s needed for successful remote work.

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!

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UpWork: The Great Work Teardown

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.

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UpWork 2022 Labor Market Trends and Insights

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.

Get this: 60% of managers at mid-sized companies report higher turnover since pre-pandemic levels, while only 25% of small companies report the same. And roughly 45% of all hiring managers say they plan to combat turnover by offering more learning programs, confirming LinkedIn’s workplace learning report.

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.

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Reblaze 2022 State of Web Security Survey

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.)

Also neat: 90% of participants say they are using a public cloud, making cloud-based security more of a thing. (AWS tops the list at 67%. DigitalOcean (4%), the home for CSS-Tricks, is sandwiched between Oracle (7%) and IBM (3%) as an interesting aside.)

API security is tops as far as priority goes. With Postman’s State of the API report showing a year-over-year increase in API requests that goes from 855 million last year to 1.13 billion this year, it’s clear why that is.

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

Trend Micro 2022 Midyear Cybersecurity Report

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.

What it found: A good chunk of folks (62%) say they have blindspots in their defense strategies and 43% belive that that their exposure to threats is out of control. That’s in line with the Reblaze survey above that reported 50% of folks saying they have no certainty as far as how many bots account for overall traffic. This report notes that 37% of participants cite cloud assets as the area they have the least insight into.

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.

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1Password: The realities of parenting and growing up online

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.

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The Eclipse Foundation 2022 IoT & Edge Developer Survey

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.

What it found: Last year, I called Microsoft’s IoT findings “mostly nice trivia for cocktail chatter.” This report is a lot more granular and is probably most helpful for those working in the space, as there’s so much information on the stacks that developers use and overarching concerns about them. I mean, I don’t particularly care that “64-bit ARM architectures are gaining ground with gateway and edge node suppliers.” But I bet that’s super important to some of you reading this.

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

CampaignMonitor Ultimate Email Marketing Benchmarks for 2022

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.

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Wrapping up

We looked at 27 different reports on front-end and front-end-adjacent topics! That’s more than the 25 we covered last year and the fitting number of 20 we looked at in 2020.

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.

There are more reports on the way! In fact, you can take the 2022 State of JavaScript survey and the 2022 WordPress Annual Survey as this is being written. Have at ’em!

2022 Roundup of Web Research originally published on CSS-Tricks, which is part of the DigitalOcean family. You should get the newsletter.

* This article was originally published here

We’ve started making a tradition of rounding up the latest front-end research at the end of each year. We did it in 2020 and again in 2021. Reports are released throughout the year by a bunch of different companies and organizations researching everything from web design trends to developer skills to popular coding languages and so many other things.

Last year, it seemed the overarching trend was around remote work and its impact on developer productivity and workplace environments. We also saw TailwindCSS continue to explode in usage, dismal accessibility on the top 1 million websites, and a massive growth in API usage, among other findings.

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

Table of contents

HTTP Archive Annual State of the Web

What it is: A study that looks at 8.3 million websites sourced from the Chrome UX Report that analyzes how the sites were made, breaking things up into sections that include page content, user experience, content publishing, and content distribution. The CSS chapter is written by Rachel Andrew (so you know it’s good) and reviewed by folks that include Chris Lilley and CSS-Tricks contributor Jens Oliver Meiert.

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.

The report also shows pixels as the most commonly used CSS unit for the font-size property. Maybe we’ll see that number trend down next year after Josh Collinsworth published why that’s not a great idea.

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

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The WebAIM Million 2022

What it is: An evaluation of the accessibility of the top one million as evaulated by the WAVE stand-alone API. That group of sites consists of domains pulled from from the Majestic Millions list, the Alexa Top 1,000,000 web sites, and the DomCop top 10 million domains.

What it found: Well, hey, look at that! The number of distinct accessibility errors has decreased 1.1% since February 2021. That’s modest improvement, but we’re still looking at a grand total of 50,829,406 errors — or an average of 50.8 errors per site — and those are just the ones that could be detected! I think we’d all do well taking time to read Hidde de Vries’s post on how to fix the common accessibility issues outlined in the report.

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State of CSS 2022 Survey

What it is: This survey pokes at CSS usage each year, surveying developers on the features they use, as well as their understanding of and satisfaction with them. Co-creator Sacha Greif openly wondered if there is too much CSS in a post he wrote right here on CSS-Tricks and a good part of that was based on the rising number of CSS features in recent years. This year’s survey garnered 8,714 responses from developers around the world.

What it found: Some really neat stuff this year. With all of the new CSS stuff that’s shipped in the past couple of years, there are still plenty of them that have yet to gain traction, whether it’s an awareness thing or the lack of browser support. For example, a whopping 46.7% of folks are only aware of 40% or less of the features covered in the survey. Container queries are a good example of a feature with awareness (58% have heard of it) but little use (12.6% have used it). The :has() selector is a glaring success with 54% knowing about it and 34.8% already using it.

There’s a lot more in here, like CSS-in-JS trends (interest is downward), accessibility features (needs more awareness), and which blogs y’all read (thanks for making CSS-Tricks #1!).

Oh, and don’t miss Lea Verou’s conclusion, which predicts that CSS nesting and color manipulation will rule in 2023. I agree. Nesting would be a game-changer that could put a dent in CSS preprocessor usage. And there are so many new color features today and in the works that are sure to impact the way we define and use colors. But I also suspect that @container becomes a much bigger deal as browser support catches on and we find ourselves writing more container queries where we may have reached for media queries in the past.

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Interop 2022 Dashboard

What it is: This is more of a live dashboard than a report. It analyzes data from a fixed point in time, displaying results from the web-platform-tests which are a group of test suites for many web platform specifications that run daily. The idea is that we can see which web features are broadly supported, which ones aren’t, and how browsers rank in terms of supporting them.

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%.

If you look at the scores for the experimental versions of those browsers, Safari Technology Preview jumps way up to 94% while Firefox and Chrome/Edge sit at 88%. It’s really tough to make the whole “Safari is the new Internet Explorer” point these days, at least when it comes to these focus areas. There are other legitimate criticisms of it for way different reasons that are tied to iOS.

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Jamstack Community Survey 2022

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”.

You’ve gotta look at the full set of results to get even more insights on what Jamstack developers are building and how they are building those things. Like, WordPress is still the most widely-used CMS at 59% of respondents (22% of which is headless WordPress), but surprisingly, Notion is quickly gaining traction in the Jamstack CMS space, at 26%. I’ve been interested in Notion as a CMS ever since Chris wrote about it 2020.

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2022 State of Open Source

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 found: The Open Source Initiative published their 10 takeaways from the report. Among those? 79% say they sponsor open source organizations (which might be expected from this audience). Deeper in the report, jQuery (31%) is still ranked as the top technology for app development. React (27%) clocks in at second, and Angular (26%) comes in at third.

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StackOverflow 2022 Developer Survey

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.

What it found: I love this survey because it always affirms the amount of time I spend looking things up. 87% of folks spend at least 30 minutes searching for answers to problems, 25% of which spend an hour or more. The survey found that a team of 50 developers spends between 333-651 hours of time looking up answers per week.

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%.

Survey Results

GitHub’s 2022 State of the Octoverse

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.

What it found: Whew, 94 million developers used GitHub in 2022! That’s a whole lot more than the 2.8 million who used it in 2012. 20.5 million newbies joined this year alone. Also, there was a 20% year-over-year growth in the number of repos hosted on GitHub, and more than 3.5 billion contributions to GitHub projects over the year. Interestingly, only 20% of all GitHub repos are public, perhaps due to private repos becoming a free feature in 2019.

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).

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GitHub Copilot’s impact on developer productivity and happiness

What it is: GitHub published a report on GitHub Copilot, its AI-flavored development assistant. Is Copilot making developers’ lives easier? Is it making them more productive? Those are the sorts of things covered in this report, drawing on survey results they published in an academic paper, and external research on development productivity. There’s good qualitiative feedback in there as well.

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.

Dave’s thoughts on Copilot seem to jive with the report’s description of Copilot being like a pair programmer with a calculator attached. Maybe not the best pair programmer in the world, but one in which your mental model shifts from writing code to checking code.

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The Software House State of Frontend 2022

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.

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Sparkbox 2022 Design Systems Survey

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.

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UXTools.co 2022 Design Tools Survey

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.

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2023 HackerRank Developer Skills Report

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.

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Tower Git Mac Dev Survey 2022

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%).

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Developer Nation 2022 Q1 Pulse Report

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.

Wanna know this survey’s top five programming languages? It’s exactly the same as HackerRank’s top five, with one exception: C# knocked JavaScript off the list. I also find it interesting that the top emerging area of interest for this group is artificial intelligence software, beating out augmented reality, robotics, cryptocurrency, and blockchain. Maybe some of these folks are the ones influencing GitHub’s Copilot research findings?

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Postman 2022 State of the API Report

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.

What it found: Last year, I reported this:

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!

The same data point this year says that number is down to 89% — and with a larger pool of survey participants. That said, Postman API requests skyrocketed from 855 million last year to 1.13 billion this year. Wow. I’d say last year’s prediction that more companies would investment in API usage this year is spot on.

The most popular APIs? That group includes known entities like Salesforce and Twitter, but welcomes Notion to the list — it’s really been a banner year for Notion according to many of the surveys in this roundup.

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CodeinWP WordPress Hosting Survey 2022

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. 🤷‍♂️

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WordPress LMS Websites: A Data Study

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.

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UN E-Government Survey 2022

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 found: Honestly, you’d do better reading the press release (PDF) than relying on my uneducated insights. But at a super high level, Denmark, Finland and the Republic of Korea lead the 2022 digital government rankings, “scoring the highest when it comes to the scope and quality of online services, status of telecommunication infrastructure and existing human capacity.”

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LinkedIn 2022 Workplace Learning Report

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.

What it found: Learning continues despite The Great Reshuffle/Great Resignation or whatever you want to call the relatively new trend of quitting jobs and changing careers. For example, 46% of L&D professionals say there is a wider technological skill gap on their teams, and 49% say execs are concerned that employees do not have the right skills to meet business strategies. That suggests the post-pandemic technological landscape has created higher expectations as far as employees having relevant technical skills, particularly when it comes to what’s needed for successful remote work.

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!

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UpWork: The Great Work Teardown

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.

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UpWork 2022 Labor Market Trends and Insights

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.

Get this: 60% of managers at mid-sized companies report higher turnover since pre-pandemic levels, while only 25% of small companies report the same. And roughly 45% of all hiring managers say they plan to combat turnover by offering more learning programs, confirming LinkedIn’s workplace learning report.

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.

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Reblaze 2022 State of Web Security Survey

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.)

Also neat: 90% of participants say they are using a public cloud, making cloud-based security more of a thing. (AWS tops the list at 67%. DigitalOcean (4%), the home for CSS-Tricks, is sandwiched between Oracle (7%) and IBM (3%) as an interesting aside.)

API security is tops as far as priority goes. With Postman’s State of the API report showing a year-over-year increase in API requests that goes from 855 million last year to 1.13 billion this year, it’s clear why that is.

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

Trend Micro 2022 Midyear Cybersecurity Report

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.

What it found: A good chunk of folks (62%) say they have blindspots in their defense strategies and 43% belive that that their exposure to threats is out of control. That’s in line with the Reblaze survey above that reported 50% of folks saying they have no certainty as far as how many bots account for overall traffic. This report notes that 37% of participants cite cloud assets as the area they have the least insight into.

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.

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1Password: The realities of parenting and growing up online

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.

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The Eclipse Foundation 2022 IoT & Edge Developer Survey

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.

What it found: Last year, I called Microsoft’s IoT findings “mostly nice trivia for cocktail chatter.” This report is a lot more granular and is probably most helpful for those working in the space, as there’s so much information on the stacks that developers use and overarching concerns about them. I mean, I don’t particularly care that “64-bit ARM architectures are gaining ground with gateway and edge node suppliers.” But I bet that’s super important to some of you reading this.

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

CampaignMonitor Ultimate Email Marketing Benchmarks for 2022

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.

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Wrapping up

We looked at 27 different reports on front-end and front-end-adjacent topics! That’s more than the 25 we covered last year and the fitting number of 20 we looked at in 2020.

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.

There are more reports on the way! In fact, you can take the 2022 State of JavaScript survey and the 2022 WordPress Annual Survey as this is being written. Have at ’em!

2022 Roundup of Web Research originally published on CSS-Tricks, which is part of the DigitalOcean family. You should get the newsletter.