If your story matters …
High quality templates, mature design patterns, automation, AI, and mobile technology are signaling the end of web design as we know it.
Why Web Design is Dead – UX Magazine
Let's step out of that fantasy world and discuss reality.
BTW – if a site is going to declare web design is dead, it should at least follow some basic design principles such as not cramming so many words within a single line. Check out the desktop version of that UX Mag article. It's a UX no-no.
Templates eleminate design – not.
Okay, even if your site starts with some type of framework and template as a foundation, most responsible business owners or corporate stakeholders realize that it's going to take a lot more than simple plug-and-play to share their brand story effectively.
I recently saw a person make the mistake of switching from a web designer to a DIY template option first hand to have more control of the end product. Yes, the template worked, but the site was not responsive and content was filled with UX blunders. Less UX control is what was achieved. Anyone who has worked with templates knows that they require tweaking and often considerable dev time to get broken content to display correctly across devices.
Thinking that templates, ubiquitous frameworks or platform solutions like Foundation, Bootstrap, WordPress, Drupal, Squarespace or whatever other flavor you've heard about frees you from a web designer is the start of a costly journey. A web designer can work with these solutions and probably save some development costs using them, but they are really complementary to each other – working hand-in-hand to tell your story in a memorable way.
Web patterns are mature.
So what. Are you in business to sell something? If you believe that something is special or different than your competitors, don't you want your story to stand out and be remembered? How your website looks is part of your brand image. Web designers will suggest and follow certain hard learned UX rules, but also bring a Doctor Who sonic screwdriver to work some crazy solutions so that your message pops.
Just because certain aspects of web design are mature, don't get bamboozled into what the writer of that UX article is trying to sell.
AI does the job.
No it does not. Just more snake oil. Like most people, I encounter so many laughable errors from AI solutions. It can be helpful at times within its limitations, but artificial intelligence and algorithmic solutions need careful watching and the occasional whip from a good designer.
Facebook Pages are not the new homepage.
I work in Facebook Pages for businesses and they are in no way a replacement for your own website – where you own and control the content. A Facebook Page complements your homepage. Did anyone forget that Facebook controls the newsfeed algorithm and many are angry over the reduced reach because of algo changes. It's a pay-to-play environment now.
Mobile is not killing the web.
I don't even know what to write here. A good designer will build your site in a way that is responsive – working on different screen sizes. There's careful thought into the mobile grid layout. It's not just an after-thought approach and apps do not replace this either.
The bottom line is …
Good web designers wear many hats. One should definitely have a UX name on it. There are also so many other things I didn't include that web designers give careful thought to.
Web design is dead only if one wants a dead web presence. If a story matters, a web designer will start the journey that keeps it alive.