I’ve wanted to get this off my chest, for so long. Here we go:
A sense of redundancy – and immense future potential
Even though I make most of my living as a web designer, I have this growing, inner urge; to teach my clients how master their websites themselves – and not depend on me to do it for them.
I believe it should at least be possible for them, to make day-to-day changes to their website appearance, without needing my assistance or services.
(which is also the big reason I am launching a Headway online course very soon)
Am I dumb, crazy – or one of the crazy ones?
I’ve spoken to several people who think I’m dumb, crazy (or even both) for, in essence; wanting to make myself redundant, aka fire my ass. And maybe I am?! But i don’t think so.
Steve Jobs said it well: “if you don’t cannibalize yourself… someone else will!”
Current and recent years technological convergence and consolidation strongly hints at the fact that anything and everything that before required the services of a “professional” can now, or in the imminent future, be done either wholly or at least made much easier for “anyone” to do, by major, rapid paradigm-shifts in technology – and most importantly: human thought and vision.
From Polaroid to Instagram
Back in 2001/2002, I began my self-employment path as a freelance fashion, music and portrait photographer. Back then, we shot expensive, slow polaroids to test the lighting setup, make-up and composition. And learning to shoot good images were also an expensive process: trial and error required many many rolls of film!
Nowadays, anyone can shoot good images. On the back of the camera, You can see what you’re doing, in realtime. And the old “focus then recompose” practice has also been rendered largely useless by fast, intelligent face-recognition. Heck, we don’t even have to wait for a smile, if we have a camera with a “smile shutter” function.
From Betacam to Final Cut
Don’t know Betacam? I edited on that *** as a young teenager. Boy that was a slow process…
Anyway, another example is how video editing has become something anyone can now do – and have fun with. Using Apple’s Final Cut Pro X anyone can now professionally edit video. Armed with Red Giant’s super simple Mojo plugin, anyone can even color grade their footage to make it look like a Hollywood blockbuster. Something that just five years back required hiring “a professional” to pull off.
Digital cameras made tape-based video production workflows a thing of the past. Apple saw that, rewrote Final Cut Pro, and in the process, redefined how video should be edited in the digital age. Let me tell you: I hated the old way of editing video.
The end of your career as a “professional web designer”
While there’s of course much much more to photography and video editing than tech alone, the above examples illustrate the idea nicely:
Technology will eventually make it perfectly possible for anyone to create, design and maintain their own website. And rightfully it should!
Being a “professional web designer” serving clients who depend upon us, will sooner rather than later become a thing of the past. We’ll be obsolete.
The future belongs to the geeks. The nerds. We all know that. And in this instance, it means that the future belongs to those who can fuel and provide the solutions for this revolution I call “DIY web design” for lack of a better word.