Posted 08 December 2016
With the growth of the internet, has emerged a set of career paths that are entirely reliant on the changing digital environment. Today web design is a booming industry, but is there a risk that the market will start to crash? We’re investigating what the future holds and how developments in the online landscape will affect IT jobs.
With the rise of do-it-yourself website software, there could be a shift towards customers creating their own pages. Finding the cheapest solution is often the priority for small businesses or bloggers. A website that can be developed and managed entirely in-house certainly has its appeal. Yet while content management systems such as WordPress have made it easy for companies to put together a functioning site, they are also limiting. Clients still want choice and customisable features, which basic templates simply can’t provide.
Web designers are involved in every element of a website build, from initial planning through to content writing. They consider the customer experience and SEO and the result is a bespoke e-commerce platform that can be adapted over time.
As technology advances, standard templates will struggle to keep up. Although these tools benefit from being simple and accessible, they will eventually contribute to their own downfall. Maintaining that a one-size-fits-all approach is the future for web design, is a flawed argument. A qualified web designer can offer continued technical support, make changes as a company grows and crucially, develop a site that isn’t a carbon copy of a competitor’s page. Conversion rates also speak for themselves. Websites that have been expertly crafted generate sales. Successful web designers find unique solutions and add value for the customer, something which templates can’t replicate.
Arguably web design isn’t dead, but generic layouts and visuals are. To survive, web designers must implement smarter features. Websites can no longer be static, but must tell stories and connect to a range of customer channels. Ideas will continue to be picked up and discarded as technology changes. This isn’t the end of the industry, but rather a new chapter in its development.
With web design becoming more straightforward at its lowest level, companies that offer IT services have sprung up across the UK. There can appear to be too much competition targeting local companies. Like most growing industries, web design is popular, but this doesn’t mean that it is overcrowded.
The number of poorly built websites online reveals that design skills are not consistent across the board. Building websites well will always differentiate you from the crowd of mediocre designers. The best way to remain successful in the market is to respond to the needs of your customers and keep developing your skills.
As web development changes over time, your skills will need to adapt too. It’s likely that some of the skills you use now won’t be carried over into the future, but many others will. It’s important to gain a range of knowledge, to ensure that your career has the potential to go in several directions.
Experts believe that user experience will be prioritised in 2017, with a focus on strong branding, mobile websites and video backgrounds. Custom websites are predicted to grow in popularity but the maintenance of a site may eventually become more important than its initial development. The consensus is that businesses will soon start to dislike similar-looking websites and seek out designers to add a more human touch.
Nobody knows how technology will change in 2017 and beyond. What does seem certain is that the future is bright for the web design industry. The key to career development is to update your knowledge at every opportunity and embrace new ideas. Many IT jobs didn’t even exist 10 years ago. The industry is now providing cloud solutions, developing apps, embracing social media and being revolutionised by virtual reality.
Digital is and will continue to be big business. Train to become a web designer with the Web Design and Development Certificate (RQF) Level 3 and grow the skills you need to get started in this fast-paced industry.
Web design by its very nature evolves with technology. The skills you learn today will provide a knowledge base which you will never stop adding to. Qualifying to become a web designer will set you on a career path that is perfectly positioned to adapt. With technology posing a threat to many industries and tasks becoming automated, IT is a more secure career option.
Change happens quickly in the web design industry. Although the increase of programmes that allow customers to build their own websites may appear to be a problem, expertise will still be valued. As technology progresses, the demand for flexible web designers that move with the times and learn new skills, will only rise. Far from being a dying profession, it’s just getting started.
Like all industries, the IT sector will need to adjust as technology plays a greater role in our lives. Web design will always be heading in new directions, but that’s what makes it such an exciting and challenging career choice.
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