Is web design work drying up?

I was listening to the Tim Ferris podcast where he interview Seth Godin. Seth publishes a new post every day. I’m going to try to write more.

I stumbled across a post on Hacker News called “The Elephant in the Room: Web design work is drying up (sazzy.co.uk)“. The conversation got pretty heated.

The original article is about life as a web design freelancer – which is a fair way from my life as an employee of a large digital agency, working in technology. But the basic trends are probably the same.

I think it boils down to three trends.

Anyone who needs a website probably already has one. And many businesses have decided (for better or worse) to stick with a social media presence, and not to put too much effort into their website.

Secondly – companies that do need a website almost certainly need more than just a nice static web presence. They may need a complex ecommerce site, or a dynamic web application, or – well, whatever. These projects typically need specialist skills, rather than a generalist.

Thirdly – for the simpler web sites, the “off the shelf” tools are getting better. A WordPress site, with a custom theme and a few nice plug-ins delivers the same business value as a custom-developed website did 5 years ago.

 

Updated: