As with everything that has to do with computers, the world of web development and design is ever evolving. DIY websites are becoming easier to use, cheaper to set up, and offering more services than ever before.
Could this mean Web Development is an industry in decline?
Maybe. There is always the possibility of a potentially industry-disrupting innovation blind siding us from out of nowhere. But given the present factors, web developers worldwide don’t have to head for the hills just yet.
Despite the great strides being made by DIY providers, there is a lot that comes with a custom made site that lies out of the reach of present technology-even AI.
Case in point: A site called The Grid offers users the option of having AI design their websites.
These “self-designing” websites sound like something straight out of The Jetsons and possibly the future of web design but the truth is the process is presently too tedious and seldom achieves the desired results.
First of all, far from allowing you to fold your hands and watch the magic, the system requires you the user to run through the interface to add the things that you want to make your own such as images, content, font, styling, colors, and importance, among other things.
The AI in place then takes these things and builds the website. It would be okay if the story ended here-only, it doesn’t. The user will still have to constantly go back to change things like design, importance of information and so on. Furthermore, the interface doesn’t tell you the other it takes to populate your website-that’s all up to you to figure out on your own through trial and error.
And these changes you make are not limited to one page. They affect the whole site. The drawback of this situation is obvious. Websites are hardly ever uniform in their need. Changes that work for one page may be catastrophic for another.
The website layout also poses an issue because it is limited and custom fonts are not available. With the automatic cropping feature that the AI provides there is the risk of losing the more subtle elements and emotions captured within the image. Too add to the problem, the AI adjusts the overall hue and saturation of the images to “unify” the website: a move that ends up making many designs look the same. So much for a brand experience.
There are a lot more problems that come with this AI approach that highlight the failure to capture the intuition, purpose, and strategy that defines a web developers focus on ROI.
And this holds true for all other DIY website solution offered at the moment.
So no, web development, as a viable career choice, is not going anywhere-even with the development of ever smarter and cheaper options to compete with. There is something inherent in the human touch that AI is yet to beat and even if it eventually does, at the end of the day it will boil down to choice:
If experience mattered to you more than price, would you prefer a quick lunch at the hot dog stand, or a proper lunch at a premium restaurant?