Web Design is Dead

Dead, yes but don’t worry! Most freelancers and designers on small teams should not be in fear of job loss.  You just have your terms a little wrong.  A web designer is someone who creates the images for websites and the basic idea for interaction. They do not code (html and css) the design at all. That is your most basic definition of a web designer – they do nothing more than create the  images.

What Killed Web Design?

  1. The clients
    • They don’t know what good design is
    • They are cheap
  2. Templates for CMS & PSD to HTML
    • Gives potential clients custom, cheap attractive options
  3. The School Systems & Social Networks
    • Too many people are learning the same skill
    • Everyone thinks they are a “web designer” now

Embrace its Death!

  • Don’t worry. You still have options!
    • If you love what you do then nothing will stop you
  • Keep learning
    • Try javascript frameworks – jQuery or MooTools
    • Try new content methods – Flash
    • Try a CMSJoomla!
    • Keep at each skill for a week and try to focus one project on just that skill
  • Always work on something – look at open source projects or contests
    • Help other out while tring to use or learn your new skills
    • Ask for critiques of your work
  • Get involved! – Network
    • Actually talk to others that share your passion
    • Join social networks like twitter or LinkedIn
    • Attend meetups in your area
    • Create a blog and write articles about topics you know or are learning

Just because you should not be a web designer anymore does not mean you can’t still do it. You may enjoy being a user interface developer.  A user interface developer does all the things a web designer does but a little more.  A web designer does just the graphics while an user interface developer does all of that plus the front-end work for a web site.  Front-end developer is actually coding what the web designer makes.  This is usually in (x)html, css and some sort of javascript or javascript framework.  They take the content given by the back-end developer and make it look pretty – which is what design should be all about.

Just being a web designer is not good enough anymore. In these tough times you need to work harder and faster to stay on top.  For web designers that means learning new skills and becoming an user interface developer.  It is not a huge leap but it is still a leap.  Have fun!

If you are still curious about this subject please read My Job Went to India: 52 Ways to Save Your Job by the Pragmatic Programmers and the article Why Creatives Make the Best Progammers by The Denver Egotist.


3 thoughts on “Web Design is Dead

  1. :// Post author

    I will edit this if necessary. Either to fix grammar mistakes or clear things up.

    edit:// 04/27/09 – I added links for further reading…

  2. AndrewNoNumbers

    Hm.. I totally agree with this article. Anyway, the weird thing is I stumbled upon this blog probably a year ago but didn’t bother bookmark or RSS it (sorry). And then today I was Googling to troubleshoot a Linux problem, and found this same blog again. The title is what made it so memorable. I remember debating to myself whether it was “two days late” or “two day slate”.


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