I like how so many people like to say that web design and graphic design is going to do this and that. Honestly, I don’t think anyone knows where the world of design, web design and web development is going to to be by the end of the year. Some people say that we need to all jump on the HTML5 bandwagon and that we need to get up to speed ASAp because it is the next wave of the future and blah blah blah.
I think that HTML5 is great in its own respect, but it isn’t the standard yet and it doesn’t work across all browsers, so I don’t see it as a viable way to make a site just yet. The way that web designers and developers are going to stay successful this year is to create a site based on current web standards that works as consistently across all browsers as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, I think all designers should try to be innovative and strive to create something new and wonderful, but the truth is, everything can’t be absolutely ground breaking and amazing. Some people (including designers, web & more) forget that our main objective is to solve the problems of our clients. If we can do this, and make it beautiful and unique, then we have done our job. If we can create something amazing and jaw-dropping, that’s even better.
HTML5 is enticing, and so is Flash, and other ways to create beautiful web content. These are all fine to use on a web site, but where we get into trouble is when we try to use them in the wrong way. Trying to jump on the bandwagon and listening to the hype can make us lose sight of what is most important when we are doing our work.
My predictions for designers in 2011 is that the market will become more and more flooded like it has been for the past few years. More people claiming to be experts are going to spring up, who don’t really care about their clients or their needs, and think of the business as a giant dollar sign, instead of as a service for client and corporations to grow and increase revenue. Those of us who take ourselves out of the equation and focus on our clients and their needs will continue to grow.
My predictions for web designers is the same as it is for people in the print and branding service area, but where web designers will excel is in the fact that the ones who create standards based, consistent web sites will stick around and continue to grow, while people that are just in it to make a quick buck will fall in the cracks and fade away. Personally, I plan on learning HTML5, but I only want to implement it where it is needed, or where it is useful, not just to see what I can make with it. I don’t like gambling with my clients’ businesses just for the sake of my own curiosity.
My predictions for web developers and programmers goes in a slightly different direction. I see mobile app developers making fortunes overnight. The market will be flooded with all types of different apps, but the developers that create truly useful and intuitive apps will stand the test of time and really make serious money. I don’t think that developers should forget about the web, but they should integrate their applications between the web and mobile devices, like 6wunderkinder, the makers of Wunderlist, which is a to-do-list application that I like that syncs across multiple computers and your ipod touch and iphone. Soon, they will have an Android version, and you better believe I will have it for my phone.
Illustrators and photographers will continue on, business as usual. If you have real talent, can market yourself well, and can run a business well, then you will have a great year. It will be hard for start-ups to grow, as the market is flooded and established illustrators and photographers will find work based on word of mouth and the exposure that they create for themselves. I disagree with a lot of people that say that Photography is going to go away or that anyone can do it now. I can do just about anything that I set my mind to, but I could never imagine marketing myself as a professional photographer. I just don’t think I have the talent. I know people who do, and I would rather pay someone that knows what they are doing, rather than struggle with it myself and wind up unhappy with the results. People are always getting married, they are always needing head shots if they are actors, there are always people wanting maternity photos, publicity photos, event photos, and more. That isn’t going away, because people will always need that.
I predict that if all of us who are dedicated and love this business put our noses to the grindstone and remember what is really important, we will all have a good year.