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The uncertain future of good webdesign

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by Chink, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. Chink

    Chink Junior Member

    Thought I would share an extract taken from my Blog Post here.. And would love to hear you guys thoughts or answers...

    At the moment it seems every man and his dog is claiming to be a web designer. With little or no background knowledge of the web, usability, accessibility or in some cases even html or at the very worst case CSS!

    As a result this is turning the web into a cesspit of either ****e websites built up of tables, poor usability and bad coding. Or even worse a clone wars of template based websites using readily downloadable free or paid html templates that look amazing giving the false impression that the provider has immense designing skills. Where the truth is a 12 year old in his bedroom could create the same result in 5 minutes and on top of this at some point you will inevitably stumble across another bunch of websites that look somewhat familiar to your own!

    Does this worry anyone else? If not it should do. I devoted 2 years at college and 4 years of university then 5 years in the industry since into studying an art form, whilst all that time an undergrowth has emerged meaning now 'anyone' can create a website. The largely unknown subtle yet important difference is, not everyone can create a good website.

    In the same way I could go and buy a cake.. ram some jam inside with my fingers and re-sell it as my own brand of cake.. does this make me a good baker? and would you want to buy this dirty whore of a cake off me at the same price you could of purchased it from its creator?

    To make this situation worse (and also as a direct result of this) nowadays everyone wants a website for cheap or even free! meaning they will take up these cheapo cowboy offers as they will 'do the trick'.

    It's time for a revolution. Im currently aware of no 'recognised' web design qualifications or board that you can become part of that recognise actual skilled and professional web designers who can do a real job? If there is a national board please correct me.

    In the same way for years your grandad or uncle could come round and fit electricity or gas in your house, until one the day the gas board woke up and decided to bring in corgy registration. More recently electricians have a recognised board now too.

    Given the above has a more deadly result than a badly designed website on your home, however this can have the same deadly result on your business and the future of the web. If we look at the bigger picture it ensures the web grows in an accessible and usable way, rather than more ****e thrown into an ungreatfull cesspit. The other main issue is often users can be put off a really good business due to them having a ****e website.. yet attracted to a bad business due to them having a generic 'awesome looking' template based website. Amongst other countless arguments we could go into.

    Don't get me wrong im all for an 'open source' web where we all share to make it bigger and better. But im not for every dole dosser with too much time on their hands downloading templates, doing a crash course in html and taking work from the pro's.

    Nowadays would you trust your grandad, uncle, dole dosser or 12 year old child who had read a 'how to guide' to come round and fit your gas cooker? Yet you would you trust the same people to create a website which is your business's gateway to the world and 'cover page' of your income.

    It's time for awareness and change.
  2. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    Good read, all very true and it would be awesome to change all this, but it's difficult to do so as different people have different opinions on it.

    The W3C try alot to get things sorted but even they have issues. I wouldn't be able to add that most of my sites are W3C verified even though all the unverified pieces are by choice and I understand why they are advised not to be used and why I am using them. However someone with basic html could roll out a site that is verified, does this make them better at coding than me?

    Example : using target="_blank" in a link. If you have a terms and conditions next to a registration, and do not want to use javascript due to downgradability (made up word) or other such 'hacks' then it is perfectly viable to use it, however this would fail when using xhtml strict + html4 transitional (correct me if I'm wrong there). So while I know ways of not getting unverified and I know why it is bad practise in most situations, I also know why I would want to use it and that it is much better code than alot of different methods (though I imagine I am missing something and that there is a really neat or good way, harry? jaz?)

    So essentially creating some type of governing board becomes ever increasingly difficult.
  3. berry

    berry Active Member

    NIce post Chink, ( can i say that!!)
    I've been ranting over this for years and on this forum enough time, to simply cut and paste my posts!
  4. Chink

    Chink Junior Member

    LOL! Thanks Berry

    and yeh agreed renniks, even the creator of xhtml and worker on html 5 admitted its not always liable to do that himself. Although what I mean is something completely separate from W3 or web standards. As even templates downloadable can conform to this.

    I mean a body that recognises pro designers for their level of work, jobs created and a set amount of levels or grades to aim towards for people. The fundamentals of which I haven't thought out, but im sure they could be set with a little background planning.

    Anyways just a random pie in the sky idea lol, and the result of my thinking about the current state of the web design trade.
  5. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member

    To be honest, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Several times I have been required to rescue businesses from the 'hobbiest' attempts, in fact I may use that as a marketing angle. So for me bedroom web designers / developers are a good thing in some respects.

    That being said, any business worth doing business with will always source an experienced and accomplished designer / developer as they appreciate the damage that can be done to their reputation if they get it wrong.

    As for standards, well, they can only go so far in helping to separate the wheat from the chaff

    Ultimately, providing the client with the solution that works for their purpose, business and audience is more important than 100% validation and its this final point that separates the 'hobbiest' from the professional.
  6. Chink

    Chink Junior Member

    again just to re-iterate im not talking about code validation..

    I mean filtering the pro and experienced designers from table makers and template downloaders.. I don't mean freelancers, plus im sure theres a lot of 'self taught' designers out there better than myself too.
  7. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member

    Filtering web designers / developers would be like trying to filter Mechanics, Builders, Insurance Companies etc etc. Good luck with it though :)
  8. charles

    charles Senior Member

    This subject always makes me laugh, I don't understand how it bothers people. it's like every industry it is evolving and it's really more a case of people happen to have realised just how easy web design can be and really you can learn coding at home with the tutorials that are around now.

    In all honesty it seems the people who are selling cheap sites seem to be the ones with their heads screwed on as they're making decent money without having to go through all of the study side of things.

    As I've said a few times in other threads, if you are confident of your designs and producing decent work you will always have business.
  9. Chink

    Chink Junior Member

    oh dear :| Jakob Nielsen would be turning in his grave if he were dead lol
  10. charles

    charles Senior Member

    can being the keyword, obviously there are some very complex sites out there, when talking about small business/personal websites it is a pretty straightforward task.
  11. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member

    Why Jakob Nielsen?

    Yes if this topic was concerned with Usability / Accessibility but its not, its about professional level Web Design / Dev against say bedroom design / dev

    I'm with Charles on this one, if you work is strong and your business practice is good, you will always have work.
  12. Harry

    Harry Senior Member

    If you find 'bedroom designers' a threat then you can't be much higher above them in terms of skill anyway. That's all you've gotta remember.
  13. dogthomson

    dogthomson Junior Member

    Has anyone read the book 'How To Be Idle' by Tom Hodgkinson?

    In the book Tom talks about the 'guilds' of old - basically organisations set up to protect the best interests of practicioners of a particular trade or profession.

    Perhaps a Web Designers Guild could be the thing you're hankering after? Granted it's not as formal as organisations such as W3C but it's a start - you could write a manifesto and a code of conduct and allsorts!

    Just a thought.
  14. Chink

    Chink Junior Member

    LOL I think some peoples perception of what im saying seems to be skewed.. whether these are the people who fall into the categories I mentioned I dont know.

    Firstly yes Jakob Nielsen primarily talks on usabilty and accessability, and both of which fall into what im talking about in a major way. So not sure the argument there.

    Secondly im not going to quote myself but simply say go back and read my posts slowly. I have already stated im sure there are many self taught designers out there better than myself.

    So to re-iterate.. I am not talking about bedroom designers as a whole.. im sure there are many that can write great css based websites, usable designs and so on.. however if these bedroom designers download templates and write crap code.. then yes I am talking about you, just as I would be talking about the same whether they worked in a company, worked from their universities or wherever.

    So i far from feel threatened by template downloaders and bad coders lol.. I just think there should be a a level for people who can really do websites. This would also give these others something to work towards too benefiting everyone in the long run.
  15. berry

    berry Active Member

    The age old problem is Software doesn't make Designers.
    This business has been eroded through time by 'un-recognised' designers etc. There is always someone who will do it cheaper. Lack of understanding by clients in web is causing this to become a guessing game for them and anyone now can create a 'web site' or should I say a web presence ( - two different things) Free trade has opened up the doors to any one to make money, which is good. But monitoring quality is an impossibilty. It a world of mush and it's hard to differentiate the good from the bad, the honest from the true. There are many very good self taught people out there, but they are outnumbered dramatically by a lot of poor ones. And it's the poor ones that tarnish the industry as a whole.
  16. completely agree with you there Berry.. my current boss wants me to "teach him everything I know" about design so he can do it himself after I leave.. I said that it was not possible.. he said he had the programs / software so how hard could it be :eek: all to save a few ££'s
  17. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member

    I agree with berry, his last post applies to all industries not just web design / dev. The sooner you except that there will always be some one better, cheaper and faster than yourself, the sooner you can move on and either Improve your own skill set or become a better sales man.

    Ultimately you cant polish a Turd but you can sell Sand to Egyptians and Snow to Eskimos if you have a good sales pitch.

    Good luck with your fight against the system Chink.
  18. tim

    tim Senior Member

    punch his face in.

    good post.
  19. Well I would punch him in the face, but I want both my reference and my final pay :lol:

    i'm still not going to teach him anything even if he asks me to.. not got the time to waste doing that over the next 2 and a half weeks :D
  20. tim

    tim Senior Member

    it bloody takes longer than 2.5 weeks!

    you could just teach him a load of lies for two weeks and watch his online presence fall to pieces?

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