The rate at which technology is being developed has made many people question what the future holds. This is especially true for those who work in web design or other online careers. Will technology get to the point where web designers will become redundant?
Eventually, AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be developed to a point where current web designers may become obsolete. However, web designers are currently in high demand for their services. Web designers have simply adapted to offer emotion, qualitative research, and unique design that AI can not provide.
Below, we’ll look at the current and future roles that a web designer will have. We will also look at how AI is changing the way web design is being viewed and implemented. These roles are shifting as technological improvement advances, so it is important to know what the future holds regarding the employment of web designers.
Web Design Defined
It may be easy to assume that web design only refers to making a website look nice and function properly. It is a lot more complex than that. Web designers design the visual experience for a website’s visitors. This process takes a lot of time and effort; a web designer has to communicate with the client or company they are working for, and creating a page that is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate can be difficult.
Web designers need to make sure that they avoid any possible mistakes that could cause trouble for a website. There are tons of mistakes in design alone that can cost a website tons of traffic and money. I’ve written multiple articles on bad and good web design including one with a list of over 20 common examples of bad web design here. Click that link f you want to learn more about these to make yourself stand out in an increasingly competitive environment that competes with AI not only people.
After the design process is completed, a web designer has to periodically check to make sure that everything is updated. If there are any mistakes in the code, they will need to fix them. This requires a lot of skill and time to make sure that the website is running properly.
There will often be multiple web designers working to create the same website because of this complexity. Front-end developers will work on creating the visual components of the website to make sure they look good when the website is published. Back-end developers will make sure that there is enough power for the computer interface to read and interpret the website information. A full-stack developer will look at the overall work to make sure that nothing is missing from the page.
After this framework is built, the website has to been seen by alpha and beta readers. These readers provide feedback on what features of the website work well and which ones can be improved. This process is repeated several times until the readers are satisfied with the result. Thus, the process of building a website from code takes a long time. This is one of the reasons that web designers were in such high demand before the introduction of AI.
Employment and Demand
Currently, there has been an upward rise in the number of openings and employment for web designers. The expected growth, according to the Bureau of Employment, is 8% in the next eight years. This may seem like a small percentage of growth. If this percentage is broken down to the number of people being employed it goes from 174,300 (in 2019) to 188,300 (by the end of 2029). This is about 14,000 job openings within the U.S.
Web development still accounts for a small sector of the employment force, so this may seem as though there is little significance in these numbers. However, this is illustrating that more individuals are turning to web development as a source of revenue and employment. Web development is especially important because of the amount of commerce taking place via the internet. There must be individuals to not only code for the design of the website but also to ensure that it stays updated.
It is also important to focus on what level of education is the most typical for web developers. This is because it helps to show what level of training an individual typically needs. This level can also be factored in for what demand there is on society for web developers. Within the U.S., 60% of web developers have a bachelor’s degree. This shows that there are still specialized areas and techniques for creating a strong web design.
One of the biggest advantages that web developers bring that AI cannot is in-person communication. There is still a real need for collaboration and personalized tweaks when it comes to website design. If companies want their merchandise to be recognized, they have to collaborate with a web designer to create content that allows for that. Although AI can create content, it does not have any emotional capability to connect with the company and create a logo that embodies what the company stands for.
Another factor that is beneficial to having web designers is that they are able to create content and websites that are targeted to an individual’s emotions. Although AI is able to analyze human behavior, it cannot fully create something that will evoke an emotional response.
However, the experience that is gained from a bachelor’s degree is becoming less important. Because there are so many resources for people to access, it is becoming much easier to become a self-employed web developer. There are websites dedicated to teaching people how to code using HTML or CSS. If you know the coding language really well, you can still be hired into a company without having a bachelor’s degree. Being able to do the job properly is still essential, but you don’t have to go to college to necessarily qualify.
However, because creating a website is so extensive, few people want to spend the time creating that framework. To make it much faster, more and more platforms offer the technology to create your website without the hassle of coding it. The reliance on AI to guide the user through the process of picking out and using the content they want shows the need for framework coding is declining. Platforms like WordPress, PageCloud, The Grid, Squarespace, Ghost, and Atom are all examples of companies offering the built-in code for you to use.
Templates are another feature that is seen in platforms offering built-in code. Instead of trying to find the design elements you want and figuring out how to arrange them, there are templates available. This streamlines the process that you have to go through when building your website. However, templates can be restrictive to the creative process you want to use. They are a great way to set up your website, especially if designing is not your forte.
AI as the Future
As we have mentioned, AI is being used more and more in website design. Because of this, the need for design innovation has decreased, which makes that specific skill set of web designers less important. In web design, AI is being used for the visual presentation and look of a website. This is through the use of ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence). This allows for a user to make a website that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Before, designs had to be created by web designers which took a lot of time and money. ADI also helps to create more practicality for the content that is used.
For new users, AI helps to guide them through the process of how to create a new website. It helps them to know what coding they need to use if they choose to code. It takes the code and applies it to the elements that make up that part of the website. Design elements, layout, branding, and content are all things that AI is able to guide users through. It can generate suggestions that allow users to create their own, unique website. AI has been developed to create a human experience that helps to engage the users.
Having AI that can create content that can be used on multiple levels is a very convenient feature. It increases the amount of time that can be spent on creating content. AI is also able to monitor what information is being looked at the most on a website. This makes it very easy for the creator to take the information the AI has gathered and optimize their content. Large-scale businesses also prefer this because they are able to tailor their products to better target consumers.
Another feature that is useful in the development of AI is an artificial interface. Using AI to respond to customer questions and concerns lessens the time used with human interaction. Businesses prefer this because it increases the amount of work that employees can do, which in turn creates more revenue. Consumers also like this method as well because they don’t have to engage in the waiting game that customer service usually turns into. The development of these chat boxes is being developed to a point where they mimic human interactions—again, creating that immersive experience.
Applying this to web design means that a creator can take the information gathered by the AI to create a website that immerses the consumer. When a website is highly functional, it allows the creators to have a website that has the best information available, and that is easily accessible. AI is able to process the information behind the scenes, allowing the website to run smoothly. This allows entrepreneurs and businesses alike to focus on what aspects will make their company even stronger.
The Future of Web Designers
So, if more platforms are offering a quick way to set up a website, where does that leave web designers? Perhaps they are considered obsolete because that specific skill set is no longer needed. However, web designers have many skills that allow them to adapt to the situation. They may not be creating the framework for the website anymore, but they can offer things that AI can’t. If you don’t have any experience in web design, it may save you a lot of time and frustration to hire a web designer. They have the expertise and years of knowledge to create a strong website.
One thing that web designers have is flexibility. They can use a template that is already set up and customize it from there, or they can create a unique one for you. Because of the skills they have gained, they are able to use Adobe Dreamweaver or Adobe Photoshop to create customized web pages and logos. This can be a very valuable asset for a company because it helps them to stand out. One downside to having templates made is that many are used again and again. This can limit the amount of interest your reader or consumer has in what you’re writing or selling.
Another area that web designers can prove to be a valuable asset is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Because they have worked with the frameworks of websites and content, they are familiar with how to optimize your language. Typically, they don’t write your content, but they know what ways will increase the likelihood of your content being read. They can give you pointers that allow you to increase your SEO, or they can install a plugin that will do that for you.
Perhaps the best skill that a web designer has to offer is knowledge of functionality. They understand that a website has to look good, but also be functional. Every element must have a function and purpose, which a designer knows. Many templates do not optimize this principle. This reduces the effectiveness of the marketing on the website. This is because the consumer spends more time trying to find the information. When a web designer creates content, they are able to ensure that the information that will make the most impact on the consumer will be seen. Although it may be more expensive to hire a web designer, a web designer understands how to make your website most effective.
Although the coding-based part of web design is becoming less needed due to AI, there are still many benefits that web designers can offer. This may be outside the realm of the true definition of web design, but all careers, concepts, and words evolve over time. The benefits that AI offers are far-reaching and are only continuing to expand. The future of web designers will likely diminish as this technology is improved. However, for the foreseeable future, web designers still have much to offer in terms of design and content.