2015 is one of the biggest years for web design, EVER. With the tools available now, your 10 year old nephew Jimmy has all he needs to create a website for free, with no programming skills whatsoever. Hell, with HTML5, he can do it from his iPhone. But as always, there’s a catch.
It will certainly be the rise of do-it-yourself web design tools, that let anyone easily create their own website. Due to the insane demand in the technology industry, there will also be people coming into the industry at a much earlier age and skill level than ever before, really lowering the competency level. Not to mention that the older companies out there will continue to design websites like it’s the 80’s.
What this really means is that the whole web industry is going to flourish at the expense of the consumer, because the average quality of a website is going to drop, and maybe even plummet.
The core strategy of most web design agencies out there are as follows:
- Prioritise efficiency over quality (use unskilled employees and do most of the work offshore, where it’s ⅓ of the cost).
- Prioritise pretty over what actually makes sense (designers focus exclusively on mouthwatering visuals).
The problem with these these two stereotypes (who take up most of the web design industry), is that it’s just not beneficial to the client or consumer. By now, we all know that the purpose of a business is to make a profit, and behind most websites is a company, so we can safely assume that most websites are out there to make money. But when you have agencies and individuals creating low-quality websites, it literally achieves nothing for anyone but themselves, and people are sick of it!
Companies who hire a web design agency to create them a website are unhappy with the results. They launch their new site, it breaks all the time, doesn’t work how they wanted it to, and ultimately doesn’t make them their money back 10x over.
Consumers are at their limits too. You see, when you have billions of people all around the world having to deal with frustrating websites all the time, it creates really bad habits for them, and actually makes them extremely cautious and hesitant when browsing new websites. For example, we’ve all landed on a website that has popup after popup, asking you to signup or BUY NOW. We’ve all filled out a form and lost all of the info, because we left out a field and the page refreshed. We’ve all had a password or credit card leak scare.
As a result, the average website visitor has built up an intolerance, even a superstition, that makes them think twice before doing a task, like clicking that juicy orange signup button. To them, based on their past experiences, doing a task and taking action might actually seem less beneficial to them.
For example: If they went to a poorly designed Flash website some years ago, and clicked a signup button that crashed their web browser (let’s say because of an extension issue), the next time they have to repeat that action on another site, what do you suppose they’re thinking? They’re thinking: “It’s tempting, but if I click that button, my browser is going to crash”.
WHY USABILITY WILL TRIUMPH IN 2015
Forget mobile first, forget material design, and forget overused animations and scrolling effects that are just there to look cool. In fact, forget every overhyped “2015 web trends” article you’ve read.. In 2015, it’s the companies who double down on the user-experience, and put their users first who will prevail.
Usability is about making something usable. Whether it be a website or a car, it’s all about making the thing enjoyable, pain-free and easy for people to use. Usability is everything. It’s the well-written code that prevents the site from freezing. It’s allowing people to go through the entire checkout process in 30 seconds, without even leaving the page. It’s all about giving users, real people out in the world, the best possible experience you can, in order to help them accomplish a task. At the end of the day, the more you help your customer, the more you help yourself, because the more usable, the more buyable 🙂
Here’s to a usable 2015.