The web is about 25 years old now and is under constant evolution since the day of its invention. We see new web design trends keep popping up now and then, but the question is: Are we really aware of these changes?
Let us discuss some of the web design trends that are worthy of our attention in 2015. These trends might not make us obsolete, but they will surely change our job forever.
The shift towards in-house teams
Earlier taken as another marketing channel, the web now is treated as business critical for a lot of organizations. As a fact, many companies think it is better to build in-house teams instead of relying on the outside suppliers for business critical operations. This is not only strategically wise, but also results in significant cost savings in the long run. This, in turn, is impacting our sector as organizations compete for a shrinking number of opportunities at the high end of the market.
Of course, in-house team cannot possess all those skills that are needed to operate in a fully functional manner and there will still be work for the specialist; but, specialist agencies are sustainable or not, is also unpredictable. Instead we are witnessing a new trend of specialist contractors being hired for short term contracts with in-house teams.
This directly means that professionals who are working in high-end agencies will have to think about our long term position, giving rise to the possibility that agencies will close their doors in the coming years; and the change will not only be seen by the ones working at the top end of the market, it’s going to affect all of us.
Rise of software as a service
The rise of software as a service is affecting the lower end of almost all the sectors, and web design is not an exception. Those times of self employed web designers developing cheap websites from home and earning a reasonable income are gone. It’s becoming really hard today with services like Web 2.0 enabling people to build their own websites.
But this doesn’t just apply to Web 2.0 services, it’s equally applicable to building custom content management systems and ecommerce websites when there are online services to build shopping carts, meaning the times of building shopping portals for most are over now.
Automation of coding
Earlier, coding a good quality HTML and CSS was sufficient, but that’s not the case now. There are a number of coders available for the task now. In fact, the need to code is disappearing.
There a number of tools available in the market that enables the designers to do much of the work of front-end coders. Though these tools generate a terrible CSS, they are a sign of things to come. These tools will grow more sophisticated gradually and will fully eliminate the need to hand code HTML and CSS. Though these tools might never produce code as effective as a person, it will be good enough.
Talking in terms of ROI, for many ‘quick to market code’, ‘good enough’ will be a much better investment than the hand-coded.
If we even consider that this does not happen, these tools are already creating an impact. They have turned the process of generating working prototypes quite simpler.
Decline of website
The web world is witnessing a gradual decline in the role of the website. For example, suppose you want to watch a movie but you are not aware of the theatre and the show timings. Earlier, what you used to do was visit each movie theatre website to check if they were showing the movie you wanted. Each of these websites was different, developed by a busy team of web designers.
This practice is changed now. This is not how you look up for the movies anymore. A better option is to go to a single app that aggregates movie listings from multiple sources or just Google it. This eliminates the need to deal with different interfaces, and unfortunately it also starts to undermine the role of the designer developing these different websites.
The above facts might leave you feeling melancholy about your future prospects, but it shouldn’t. As long as you are able to adapt to the changes, there is nothing to worry about. It might change the role of web designers, but they won’t find themselves homeless.