I’ve been thinking recently about web design as a trade and in my opinion it will start to see a serious decline soon.
The reason behind my thinking is that people want a website built immediately and for a very low cost – which a web designer will never be able to offer.
However, there are two options which customers can do themselves. Firstly, they can use website building software such as Wix or Weebly, which enables them to drag and drop features around the screen to get the exact design they’re looking for – they don’t need to pay a designer & the monthly costs is usually just a few dollars.
The other option is to buy a web template – heck, this website is based on a template! This is a really cheap way to get professional website design for a few dollars – Themeforest have thousands of templates, which you can use on WordPress, Joomla or just plain HTML sites.
Either of the above offer the user more flexibility than they’ve ever had before, so, I believe that as these tools become more mainstream & well known, web designers will really start to feel the pinch.
However, there is still a huge opportunity in the user experience and user journey space of website design. This is the process through which you analyse how a user is likely to interact with a website & tailor it to suit the majority of users needs. You’ll then profile different types of user & if they are logged in & display a slightly different page to each (depending on what they’ll want to see).
This is where the industry is going, I don’t think plain old web design will be around for long…