Have we eliminated the need for a Professional Web Designer?

By Jessica Warren
August 19, 2014

I overhear a lot of conversations about web development these days.  Being a web developer over the last 15 years makes certain words stand out for me.

Passing by someone in a grocery store on the phone, walking down the beach or standing in line at the theater.  Everyone’s talking about website design.

The other day I heard someone say “Anyone can develop a website these days, it’s easy and you don’t need to know html or how to program”.

What Web Design Entails

Over time, I suppose one can automate just about any service.  Just like they eliminated Blockbuster Movie Rentals and replaced it with vending machines, the same could happen for design, but only to a certain point.

Most of the ease in web design or interaction with a computer in general is based on the years of experience you have with trial and error.  Often what you are paying a web designer for is to have someone else do the troubleshooting for you, not just the website design job at hand.

While free software like WordPress & ModX make developing a website more attainable for the average person, it does not eliminate the need to hire a designer.  It also doesn’t eliminate the need for a basic understanding of html or programming.

By now, most people should be able to have some kind of understanding of what web development or web design entails.  It’s much more than just graphicly designing a web page.  If the job were simply the design itself, it would be a lot easier and take a lot less time.

A Passion For Design

Another thing that can not be replaced with a machine or software is the passion that a designer has for their work.  If the designer you pick is anything like me, they accept the job based on their desire or passion for that particular subject.  Whether it is a site based around the environment, community or the entertainment industry.

Different things motivate different people.  When I pick work like this, it makes that design job become a blank canvas for me.  Since a lot of designers have a background in fine arts, artistic and creative expression pours into their graphic design.  You can see this just by looking back through history. Milton Glaser, Jerod Gibson & Saul Bass were all talented graphic designers who eventually became looked at as fine artists.

Art, Music And In This Case Web Design

A good designer not only makes your site “pretty”, they help make it functional and user friendly.  To accomplish this, having at least some knowledge in html, CSS and basic programming is a must.

The passion for design is what motivates the artist to learn these skills.  The world could get by without art, music and in this case web design, but why would we want to do that?