Web Design Is Dead. Or Is It?
We often hear people saying there is a profound change in the way we design and build websites, most recently, it is said that web design itself is dead.
Here are a few reasons why people say that web design is dead:
Overloaded by Open Source Platforms
Most of the websites you see today is run by some Content Management System (CMS), WordPress or Magento for example. These Open Source platforms made the web development process much easier and you can spend more time updating content than worrying about the code. The designer can then focus more on the frontend UX experience than working on the basic features available to the CMS. Unless your website has many unique features/elements which has to be developed by a professional web designer, you can save a lot of time and money by using Open Source System like WordPress.
Web Design Patterns has reached a bottleneck
The latest web design innovation is probably the term “responsive web design”, yes it is probably one of the latest innovations in web designs but it actually came out more than 5 years ago.
In other words, web design has matured, which is probably good in a way because it is consistent for users and all pages should behave in roughly the same way. This makes the UX easier to design so that the users will not get lost in the navigation of the website.
Facebook Pages are the new small business homepage
In the past, getting a Wordpress website will be more than enough, today, almost every business has a Facebook page. After all, this is the best place to engage your potential customers and it is way easier and cost nothing, to start.
However, every Facebook page looks identical and there is no way to “stand-out” from your competitor. Also, it is much harder to get new leads through a Facebook page as we don’t search for businesses in Facebook. Instead, we search on Google and that’s where SEO comes in handy along with the website.
Mobile is taking over
Just how many times have you tried to access a webpage on a mobile device than a laptop recently? Probably not too many times because you probably have the app installed. There is a clear trend that more and more people are using apps on mobile devices, instead of accessing it through a web browser on laptop or PC. Websites seem to be taken over inevitably.
But don’t forget that once the user deletes your app, your business is forever not visible to that user anymore if you do not have a website to fall back to. Moreover, if the app just contains plain company information, most mobile users will prefer to have it deleted to save their precious space for other important apps they use on a daily basis. The solution to this is to have a responsive website that is able to load well on a mobile device and an app (if you have the budget) to further enhance your services through the app by providing more than just company information.
These are interesting points for discussion, and they are great for testing the boundaries of what we think is possible, and challenge how we approach our craft. However, they separate us web designers into smaller groups, they do not encourage good, quality discussion that help us develop together.
We probably all agree that web technologies are awesome, we have the most advanced tools and libraries, we also have many design templates to aid us. However the above discussion leads us to think in absolutes, whether the tools are everything. Pro-templates or anti-templates, for example. However we will like to say that tools themselves aren’t everything, it is about how we use them.
Hence, web design is not dead. What is dead is the thinking that tools are everything in web design. There has to be more human personality to every design, such as good content, good photography and good user experiences.
Proclaiming our craft to be dead is counter-productive, because we have produced so much innovation in the past 15 years, because we dare to experiment and get out of our comfort zone, if we think that there is no more to experiment, then we are limiting ourselves.