Anyone who may have opened the Google homepage will be reminded of Auguste Rodin's 172 birthday via the Google Doodle. Rodin, is famous for the renowned sculpture 'The Thinker' which always fascinated me. I kind of identify with the thinker, being a thinker myself. I always felt the 'thinker' was pondering the future (or past mistakes?), but that's what makes the sculpture so enigmatic. So I thought I'd ask a few questions and 'think' about it.
The field of web design has evolved from childish websites with over sized buttons to superbly sophisticated works of art. Each day brings more technology which completely changes the way we browse. Pop Ups are gone replaced with overlays and pullouts. Websites now resemble sophisticated software more than traditional sites. But what about the future?
For the answer let us look at the parallel field of architecture. The similarities, in terms of design processes, between these two seemingly varied fields, always struck me. In many ways Architects are designers to. Wherein we design in 2D, they design in 3D. Of course this is a very stretched comparison.
Architecture's evolution from old Victorian designs to the new modern glass and sharp edge designs mirror our own industry's change from fuddy duddy websites to sharp intellectually polished technological masterpieces. Just as architecture has embraced a modern minimalistic design philosophy, so has web design. Clean lines, lots of breathing space and stark design elements now are part and parcel of both professions.
The future of web design can be summed up in one word - ultra-modern.
Contrary to our current trend of spam and irrelevant information, web design in the future is going to be about relevant information. When relevant information is provided - the web works. Entire online businesses have been built on finding relevance, Google, Ebay, Amazon, Facebook - they are all relevance engines. They bring information into sharp relief so that you can choose effortlessly what is relevant to you.
Any web design firm wanting to grow into the future must embrace relevance. If your work is not relevant to your customers and your customer's customers, you will be discarded and dumped. Make the connections that are relevant and you will thrive.
So, whats going to be relevant in web design? Relevance of course!
Most of us, experienced web designers, are cross functional experts getting used to managing huge chunks of complex information. We are part technology experts, part business advisers, part salespeople and part teachers. We are the jack of all trades and the masters of a few too.
In the future, no one in the web design industry will be able to sit in a shell and focus on a particular trade like some ancient craftsman. The world is too evolved, complex and cross connected for that. If you want a long career in the web design industry, then you better evolve, into what? A smarter connected well rounded networker with business smart and intellectual depth. Hah!
They won't care. Really they won't. You can try your best to make them care but they won't. They won't be tolerant, they won't be patient, they will not give you a second chance. This is the most advanced generation that we are dealing with. This is also the most focused generation ever to come out of humanity. They know what they want and they will get it!
Web designers in the future have to be flawless, excellence has to be routine and service, above and beyond. That's the price of remaining in the web design game. Its going to be survival of the best!
We are approaching a completely new time zone, a completely new era, a completely new way of life, smarter, faster and ruthless. Like they say in the movies, 'You ain't seen anything yet!',