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The world of web design is changing: 2024 Predictions

The world of web design is changing: 2024 Predictions

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But is it really changing though?

Yeh, it really is.

This is often something people say as a catchy headline and due to the nature of tech focused areas, of course it’s always going to change. If it didn’t, it would stagnate and if you don’t keep up with these developments, in the industry you’re left behind.

2023 really did change the landscape though and we all know why: A.I.

A.I. is fundamentally changing the way everything in this space works, from development to design. No role in this area will be left untouched by improvements to A.I . and how they impact processes and workflows.

Is A.I. really that amazing?

That depends on how you view it. I’d argue in its potential, it’s one of the greatest technological breakthroughs in recent years.

You only have to look at how quickly it’s been adopted by so many core services. It’s rare that a technology, which a year ago was the new kid on the block, is now becoming a core aspect of Microsoft’s offerings. From online tools, desktop applications to gaming (who else thinks GTAV is going to use A.I?!) and even art., A.I is everywhere.

Don’t get me wrong, it makes me laugh when people think because they can use ChatGPT or the newly released Devin, that it means developers jobs are at risk. It does however completed change the landscape for web developers and designers and this will only continue to change in the future.

The world of web design is changing: 2024 Predictions

Why A.I isn't taking our jobs (yet...)

A good analogy (I think anyway) is Google translate.

Anyone can use Google translate and it’s very good for the basics; it can convey what you’re trying to communicate. However if you ask someone from Wales whether it does a good job of translating into their language, they’ll most likely say:

“It’s not that great”

(or “Nid yw mor wych â hynny” – Source: Google Translate)

If you tried to write a book in French using nothing but Google Translate, with a nation who are very protective of their language, you’d get laughed out the door.

Sure it’d do a passable job of getting the general ideas across but it wouldn’t be suitable for any professional work or to pass off as a native speaker.

This is where A.I. is at now. It relies on fallible humans to develop its solutions (thank you Stack Overflow) and unless you know the language and how it’s supposed to work, you won’t know when it isn’t working.

It’s just not there…yet.

How will it change web related roles?

Well it already has.

If you know to query and correctly use tools such as Devin, ChatGPT and Github Copilot (while understanding their limitations), it can massively help speed up your workflow.

It helps with doing anything repetitive or for spotting errors instantly it can take you minutes to debug. It can give you frameworks to work from, to allow you to get stuck in quicker.

A.I. has also been integrated in so many online tools, we are using it more and more. It can help us create sitemaps, assist with wireframing, get inspiration for placeholder text, which is much more engaging than Lorem Ipsum and can help clients relate to the designs you’re demo’ing (does it mean the end of Lorem Ipsum?!)

The way Microsoft have integrated Copilot is a game changer too, from taking minutes for meetings, collating conversations and feedback to helping generate supporting documentation, it can allow you to focus on the more interesting and creative tasks.

The world of web design is changing: 2024 Predictions

So that's how it can help assist with our roles, what about replacing them?

As mentioned above, I don’t think developers jobs are at risk yet however I do believe less specialised roles may be.

We frequently use Elementor Page Builder for our websites as we find its an easy way for clients to update and edit content themselves, without needing to pay for a developer.

There already many companies (including Elementor themselves) who are working to create tools where entire websites can be generated from a prompt.

I’ve tried a few and they don’t work very well however it’s only a matter of time.

For a lot of clients who want a simple landing page or a brochure website, these tools will be sufficient and its only for more specialised requests or troubleshooting that they will require the skill of a developer to investigate and solve.

This has already happened to copywriters, who have found they need to adapt to the influx of clients using A.I. tools to generate content, rather than relying on a copywriter. For a lot of clients, A.I. generated text is just what they need but it does lack flair or personality, which is what you still need good copywriters for.

I see the same thing happening to developers who build smaller, brochure websites.

No need to panic just yet, just don't sit on your hands!

There’s still a long way to go before A.I. tools take over however they’re improving every day and its only a matter of time before we see drastic changes in the way we work and deliver projects.

It’s important to get on this train now because it’s leaving the station and, if you don’t keep up with these developments and adapt to them, you will get left behind.

I believe by the end of 2024, our processes at 21 Degrees Digital will be drastically different to how they are now as A.I. growth is exponential, not linear. The next few years are going to be very exiciting.

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