In an ever-changing world where professionals in all industries are challenged, the need for web developers and designers to be on their game is bigger than ever before. With more inquiries, purchases, and other lifestyle and professional decisions being made based on what a website looks and feels like to a browser, the pressure is on.
What are the challenges faced by web developers, and will they be able to overcome them?
Getting Ahead of Trends
When something is outdated, we respond to suggestions relating to it with a “no one is doing that anymore.”
However, it is strange that no one has mentioned the opposite problem. If I was to go to a web developer for an idea, and they came back with a proposal and backed it up by saying, “everyone is doing it these days,” I’d be incandescent.
Why would someone want something that is the same as everything else?
This represents by far the biggest challenge faced by web developers. Trends are changing quicker than ever before, but everyone is keeping up with them, leading to a range of websites that all look the same, from the homepage, to the menu bar, to the way content is laid out. It is hardly worth paying a small fortune for a great website when you could rip off someone else’s yourself.
Stop Playing Safe
And this is the problem for web developers who want to get ahead of the trends. Unless they are an influential voice in the industry, which most won’t be, they don’t really have any idea of what is going to be big in the coming months until it happens.
At this point, they have two choices.
One, they can either continue to play it safe, which might harm their reputation in the industry, even if they are part of a small local business or a freelance developer.
Second, they could try out new things, but if they don’t work they could see huge damage done to their image and be derided as a cowboy who doesn’t know what they are doing. Of course, trying something could work and see their reputation soar, but it is a risk perhaps not worth taking for the reward, given the consequences of it going wrong.
Aesthetic vs. Practical
Web developers and designers have been able to build their reputation on the back of creating complex and aesthetically pleasing designs for many years. Modern web trends, however, are moving quickly towards minimalism and simplicity, moving the clutter off pages and focusing 100% on the ease of use for the consumer.
This is without question a great trend, the challenge for those developers who made their money the old way is going to be reinventing themselves. It shouldn’t be too difficult, but you know what we say about old habits.
The Future of Development
The future of web development is clearly moving towards a user-centric, ‘less noisy’ range of platforms and websites. Those developers who are quick to embrace new trends, but also not afraid of taking calculated risks, will find themselves in high demand from clients around the world. Those unable, or unwilling, to adapt might want to start considering a new career.
Robert is a web hosting consultant who specializes in and advises clients with regard the benefits of managed VPS hosting, in addition to other areas of online technology.