David Lohmeyer's Blog

Sorry, Web Design isn't Dead

I fell for the link bait title. A recent article on UXMag points out why the author thinks web design is dead in 2015. I'm here to tell you that the author is wrong, and he's stupid for writing an article like that, especially since he's been a web designer since 1995.  Even being biased, I'm going to admit that he has some good points about trends on the web.  Unfortunately, anything more simple than a 1 to 4 page website is still going to need a designer, or at least someone with creativity and background in the web to guide the direction of a web site.

Using a Facebook page as the sole outlet if you're a business is a bad idea because people still Google your business. Google still puts heavy weight on websites in their rankings, and until they don't websites are going to be relevant.  Even if they didn't a website would be relevant.  Businesses advertise their websites on their stationary, business cards, in email, television, and even on Facebook (shocker).

You know why else using only Facebook is bad?  Don't people sell things on the Internet? They do!

The author shows that there are tools to automate the design process for your website.  Well, guess what?  I design on the side, outside of my full time web designer job for businesses that don't want their sites to look like generic, churned out pieces of half-rate junk that tools like SquareSpace and Thegrid are capable of producing. I don't have trouble when I go looking for work.  Are those tools useful?  Yes.  Will they produce passable sites for businesses that are on a budget?  Sure.  I'm not going to fault any business owner for taking that path, because you need a website.  Everyone does, even if the author doesn't think so.  Why?  Because it's a business advantage.

Thankfully, the author at least realizes that UX designers are still needed.  Guess what?  They're the same thing as a web designer on the web, or at least they are turning into the same thing.  Anyone in this space that hasn't caught on to that isn't paying attention.  Go ahead, use a generic site builder or go buy a popular ThemeForest template to make your "design" job easier. If you do, don't be surprised when your client uses someone else next time because you used a generic, "sexy" template that 500 other websites in their sector use. If the client wants that: great!  I've had several that are perfectly fine with those templates, but they still needed a designer (Web designer? UX designer? Web developer?) to execute their vision correctly. If they can execute on their own, good for them, they just saved some money.  It's like fixing your own car: once you know how to it can be very beneficial.  When you need a new transmission, you might want to go to a mechanic.

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