I recently read this blog post on click-bait king, Mashable claiming web design is dead. Every good thing gets this ‘.. is dead title.’ Punk rock is dead, Rock is dead, Rap is dead, SEO is dead and Disco is dead… Oh wait.
Well, I’ll be the Kanye West of Web Design. Web Design isn’t dead motha-fuckas. First of all.. I get paid all the time to do this. I cannot keep up with enquiries to create bad-ass websites for people. I feel great about it. Why? Because they appreciate having someone take their business ideas and translate them into something they can be proud of and direct people to online.
Reasons you might think web design is dead:
- I get it… You are involved with SAAS (Software as a service) or another segment of the industry and you assume that because you’ve moved onto this realm of the market that web design is less in-demand now.
- Perhaps some people have come across web designers who are simply modifying templates without thinking about marketing goals and figuring out ways to cut through the clutter and show what makes the business special.
- You’ve stopped calling web design, web design and now refer to yourself and peers as ‘UX architects,’ ‘Solutions engineers’, ‘Chief Happiness officers,’ or ‘Code Pigs.’
Things about web design that can’t die:
- People need to get the word out about their product or service. If you think a fuckin’ Facebook page gives them the flexibility to do everything they need, you’re off track. Of course Facebook owns that interaction, where-as if they have their own site, they could be collecting an e-mail address, having a direct connection to the visitor and moving on to the next step.
- I agree.. not everyone needs a website for every venture they think up, and just by having a website out there in the world doesn’t mean we have to bask in the sunshine of your glory, Sir. But hello? What about the people who dedicate their website to sharing knowledge? To creating value… to making something epic to share. Can they share this with the same emphasis and experience on Twitter in 140 characters, Facebook to their mom (or to the audience they bought for their page with Facebook’s super-targeted ads), Medium.com, UX Magazine (through the filter of their editors) or Mashable? No they can’t.
Who killed web design?
- Social networking? Hell no… I want your status update to tell me where I can get the value, it’s not going to actually provide anything of substance.
- Smart Devices? The internet of things may allow me to access bing while my google car is driving me to get my new apple watch, but we’re still a long way off from not looking at a screen. Personally, when I do.. I want it to look pretty. To have visual heirarchy and emphasis so that I can find what I want quickly, and to give me a branded, individual and unique experience. These all feed the epic and infinite needs of designers. SAAS designers, Social Network Designers (Apps AND websites mind you,) and straight up good ol corporate websites, mom and pop shops, hospitals, and veterinary websites. The article I started at the beginning referencing says that ‘Push Consumption’ will give us the content we want without even requesting it (For instance, Google Now.) Once again, ‘look ma, no screen.’ I love that kind of stuff, but still don’t see how this will kill web design, perhaps the author just wanted to work that in there to show his ability to stay up on current trends.
- UX – As in “I’m a UX Ninja, way better that you silly Web Designers.” You’re redesigning a digital product, or designing one for the first time. So you’re a UX Guy now, huh Steve? I love UX. I give a Major Fuck about Usability and designing so as many people don’t get confused.. and hopefully never even think about the fact something was designed in the first place. But see… web design requires that too. Tools like The Grid are said to be able to intuitively construct a website for you. TheGrid.IO isn’t going to suddenly slap your your cat photos in the right place, because literally not even I can do that. I have to slap them there, have someone else look at them for me and give me feedback. I might even need to test with other non web-designers and see if they know where to click to see more cat photos.. and if while viewing cat photos on their phone, they know how to quickly swipe through the cat photos.
Point being I need to be there, human and present to adapt the technology to meet the humans needs. Technology will grow.. probably surpass what I can imagine it being able to anticipate, and then we as web designers will need to grow our understanding of our role wielding and most effectively using that technology to create the best experiences possible.
Check this other article on the topic – Web Design Isn’t Dead – on Smashing Magazine