Neon Sign: do something great

The Fall Of Webdesign

Web design used to be complex, creative work. A web design was like opening the hood of a car and seeing what makes it go. Interaction designers had to create their own libraries, JavaScript coders had to hand-code everything, and developers were the wizards behind the curtain who made all this time on the computer do something amazing.

Then came Bootstrap, Foundation, React, Wix, Squarespace. Suddenly making an interactive website was as simple as filling in fields on a form on your mobile device while riding public transport (thanks for that one, Google). Web design used to be about creativity; now it is just about how well you can fill out forms on your phone.

“I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Web designers are now reduced to people who don’t know how to create a table in HTML and developers who learned only the basics of CSS – otherwise, every line of code that goes into a website is done by someone whose main focus isn’t web design.

They’re right – it’s not their focus anymore! Anyone can use Bootstrap, Wix, Squarespace, or Zurb Foundation to make an interactive website these days. Learning about the history of art has had its place pushed out of museums all over the world by 7-year olds finger painting on iPads (thanks for that one, Steve Jobs). How did it come down to this? Webdesign used to be like opening up some amazing box made of wood and metal with exposed gears, pulleys, and levers; but now it’s just a black box with a “Paint” app and a “Share” button on it.

Where is the talent? Where are the visionaries? Is there anything we can do to stop this loss of our creative freedom?

Is there anyone who dares to speak up for us, web designers without an education in graphic design or visual arts (and those kind of people)? Have we all become computer zombies reducing ourselves to taking orders from Siri and Cortana about how to do our jobs as data-entry monkeys entering variables into dropdowns and uploading images of products made by someone else (lazy thanks for that one, everyone)? What happened to our creativity and passion for making things look at least slightly different than they would on the other websites made by people who blindly used Bootstrap or Foundation?

The spirit of creativity has been stifled to death by all these frameworks. We are like drones taking orders from robots (but still, thanks Jony Ive). The talentless can now make web designers do their bidding; they know how to fill out forms, that’s what matters. Have we become this pathetic? When did we forget about our dreams and longings for becoming somebody else? For being someone more interesting than just somebody filling in fields on a mobile device while riding public transport… Or have we always been this way deep down?

We don’t care anymore. All we want to do is finish up our work queue so that later tonight when the Mets are playing against the Yankees (or whatever the fuck they’re called) we can look at some statistics on our phone, make sure all the colors of our black boxes match and design something that is just “good enough.”

“Good enough.”

When did that become the standard? When did we stop caring about something being done right or looking interesting? Or is it just me who cares? Am I fighting a losing battle here, not understanding what’s important anymore?

Are people yearning for the days when getting online was like opening up an Encyclopedia Britannica to learn something (hey, guys, thanks for all those dreams you had back then)? When everything was made out of atoms and you could actually hold onto it (thanks mother nature). What happened to web designers who cared enough to make “out there” stuff that would go beyond the current version of Bootstrap; things that were never seen before (and probably never will be seen again without your help)?

Webpages used to be like gigantic billboards with pixel-perfect designs and an individual artistic vision behind them. Now look at them: they’re just blank pages, but with a lot of empty space on the left side where our logo should go and several boxes to fill in until we reach the end. Like we’re filling out some kind of tax return for people who never went past high school (who probably run most companies today) or sending faxes from 1995 (where we used all that extra space to write down information).

“The future is here; it’s just not evenly distributed.”

William Gibson said that in a recent interview about virtual reality. In this light, I think what he was trying to say was “the future has been born, but it’s all in one place and the rest of us are still transporting floppy disks with our legally required annual reports to our corporate headquarters.”

It makes me sad that we don’t have a budget anymore for making things look good. That we can’t afford a website that is original or a unique logo design. That we’re not allowed to play around with crazy colors any more, because people just want black boxes now—and lots of them.

Who knows. The future might be here after all, but it got eaten by cats on the way from Detroit to New York City back in 2016 (the golden age).

Nowadays webdesign has been reduced to being nothing more than a cheap replacement for print media; an “online version” of brochures and billboards (if you can even call it that). An unconvincing replacement with the same old headlines, vague promise of value and designed to look as dull as possible (just like those print ads for watch companies where all they do is show watch parts on a dark background; we’re not selling watches here).

“Everyone is special.”

No they’re not, we don’t need 95 million Joomla templates and 50 different WordPress themes. We need one good one (and no more than that), you know, like in the good old days when we had fewer options but used them well. Or maybe I’m just getting too emotional about this? Maybe webdesign has never any better than it is now? Maybe I’m just getting old and don’t understand this generation’s new standards.

I swear to god if my company has one more meeting about “the look” of our website panels…

This is the end, beautiful friend! We’re all gonna buy MacBooks now! It’s over!

Let me know what you think in the comments section below. Just be sure to keep it classy, alright? 😉

Share this article on your favorite social network now! The post is short so please retweet it now. If you want to share it later, just copy the text below and paste into your blog or website: <a href=””>The fall of webdesign</a>

Thanks for reading!  – Kevin

___________________________________________________________________________ This author is an anonymous copywriter and all of the content in this article (especially the last line) was copied verbatim from an ai. If you enjoyed this article, please share it on Facebook or Twitter now. Thanks!

Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *