Is the web designer dead

Web design is dead, long live social media


Pascal Jeschke

On the one hand: who says that »amateurish amateur work« is asked and valued? Where can I get a receipt for this?

On the other hand: "Social media tops this development and enables people from outside the industry to make a name for themselves in the media with the help of services such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress or Posterous, without even having to think about design."
I read / heard somewhere that the opposite is probably the case, and I can only agree with that. The visual quality on the Internet will even increase through the social media services, because now private individuals no longer need to use their own little web construction kit, but can build on well thought-out, ready-made and mostly pretty solutions. These services already provide a certain amount of design and this design is usually well thought out.
In addition, everyone, really everyone, can make a name for themselves on the Internet. Where do we get to if only people with a certain aesthetic standard are allowed to do so? Who makes this claim anyway?

Agencies and web designers will probably still be needed, because social media websites do not replace individual company websites. There is only an increasing link between company websites and social media websites. So there are many more channels - due to marketing purposes - used than before.
Private websites, on the other hand, are more likely to fall away (see above), but these have only been implemented by professionals in the rarest of cases. Here and there maybe a one-man company which maybe gets by with a simple ready-made system (e.g. artists / designers who put their work on display in »social online showcases«). But by and large - so I think and hope - you will still be able to earn money as a web designer.

Benjamin Weigl

Basically I would say that the «amateurish amateur work» is only used by «amateurish customers». The question to be asked: «As a professional, do I really want such customers?»; For which you have to justify every euro and for which you should reinvent the Internet with a 1000 euro budget? I do not think so.

The amateur does not take away one's raison d'etre; the amateur doesn’t take away any money either, he’s just filtering out over a large area what you don’t want anyway. I don't know any amateur who drives through half of Germany to get to know a customer; writes the customer in a concept and then not only designs it for the customer and implements the whole thing cleanly, but also offers other services for the customer. Advice, long-term maintenance and optimization, etc.

Anyone can install a template, I agree. Anyone can suck Photoshop from the net and then add a disproportionate logo to the header image. But can a template replace what a professional delivers? Content structures designed for the customer and his products; Content Construction, so that the customer can actually maintain his content himself and comfortably; does the customer want that? Experience has shown that this is rare.

As a freelancer in this segment, you earn your living with communication. Anyone who cannot “communicate” to the customer the differences between the 300 Euro amateur and the 3000 Euro freelancer should switch back to an agency.

Agencies. Good cue. Are not long-established agencies; which only exist because they have always been there; sometimes much worse? I have many good examples around here. Customers who prefer to go to the xyz agency, purely out of the thought: “They are bigger, so also better” or “They have been around for a long time, so they have more experience”, that is the greater evil for me. Because it is just as fundamentally wrong as the assumption: «Neighbor Thomas can also make beautiful websites ... that work»

The greatest advantage of being a freelancer, a professional; is the fact that he has his finger on the pulse every day. Is on the net every day, the net understands; understands differently. Most bad guys don't do that. They hang around as Lisschen-Müller in CMS forums and catch solutions to problems that you can then bring to customers for little money that I don't even want to have.

It's not the amateur or the bad agency next door, it's your own communication. How to market yourself and your service; communicates its services and quality to the customer. Communication sets us apart from amateurs, we do that every day. We communicate. So let's not blame it on a marginal phenomenon, but on the fact that we ourselves communicate incorrectly, should someone have serious problems with amateurs.

My 2 cents

Markus Hanzer

Design is not a privilege of a minority, however legitimized. Everyone should have the right to shape areas of life that are as comprehensive as possible. Many design areas have been professionalized as part of a general trend towards the division of labor. However, that does not mean that we are no longer able to sew our clothes ourselves, no longer cook our food, furnish our apartment ourselves and no longer play our music ourselves. Why did the web design profession come about? It is not for everyone to write code and acquire the necessary expertise. However, it will not be possible to prevent software from emerging today, the design being decoupled from specialized expertise; not even if it deprives some of their income. Even those people who had to manually set up telephone connections in the early phase of the telephone had to look around for new workplaces at some point. The quality of the “professionals” needs careful consideration. When I look at the wealth of ideas with which they enrich our living environment, when I take a scrutinizing look at the architecture, advertising, media or design landscape, then I am not always sure that laypeople would in principle be the worse designers. If, for example, I compare the “professional” role models in prefabricated house catalogs or the fashion of the big fashion chains with the solutions that are developing, for example, “simple”, poor sections of the population to create living space or clothing, I have a certain doubt about progress Occupational classes who would like to take advantage of a design monopoly for themselves. How is a “high level” measured? Who, on the basis of which legitimation, has the right to judge according to which criteria what, whom, when, where has to please? What is the difference between a hobby designer and a professional? What is the difference between an amateur athlete and a professional? The only consistent difference: one does it for fun and passion, the other to earn money. Professional athletes are therefore far from being the “better” athletes and hobby designers are not necessarily the worse designers from the outset. If we, as designers of digital media, want to continue to earn our money, we will not be able to avoid presenting our special services in a convincing form. In the end, everyone has the choice of whether to cook something for themselves or rather go to a gourmet restaurant.

Christoph Diederichs

Web design, like any other design discipline, is not a hobby. You don't become an interior designer because you've just bought new Ikea furnishings, nor are you a product designer because you've bought new car rims. The motivation behind the recreational design is an urge for individualization, which has now also spread in the virtual world. As with the design of your own rooms, there are limits to virtual profiling, which contradict the individualization itself. Even if the profiling takes place at a high level, the more people use the same tool for self-expression, the more the uniqueness suffers. The illusion of being different is quickly revealed.

Web design is not dead, the current trend is forcing the industry to become more professional. Web design is not an art, it is a service. A service whose motivation is neither self-portrayal nor profiling. Design wants to simplify, improve, individualize, meet the purpose and be functional, but user-oriented and not self-oriented. For this purpose, the user or the target group and the actual function must be understood - things that can only be understood and implemented under “hobby website developers” in a few cases.

It is now up to the web designers to keep their professionalism and sell it. Unfortunately, people and agencies who cannot keep up here lose. Those who stay can call themselves what they are - designers, and at least rightly so.

Good web design becomes more exclusive, whether that is good or bad is an open question. In any case, the same applies to product design: Exclusive designer furniture has a higher price than off-the-peg furniture, and that will probably not change, because here we are back to individualization, to stand out from the crowd through exclusivity, function and form.


A very good, nice discussion that is way ahead of its time. Semantic Web or Web 3.0 is far from fully developed, but it will be sawing exactly on the branch where the medium-sized customers sit for the web designer. Your websites, which are almost all about presenting your offers and sales channels, become irrelevant. The target group of new customers who come via Google and are supposed to be enthusiastic about the company will not appear (on the website). As the web becomes more and more of a unified database, and social media is just a little taste of it. And for that, Google as we know it is simply the wrong tool.

The whole UX is controlled more and more by the user because he will decide how he consumes the data. Web designers will almost no longer be able to dictate it to him. It is more efficient and cheaper for both sides. Surely that will not be enough for the really big companies and they will continue to give a damn about standards (just as they are now having incredibly complex Flash pages designed, which have almost nothing to do with web design).

ps: @Benjamin Weigl please do not put any spaces in front of the question marks.

Jens Bayer

Written in a striking and certainly polarizing way. Nevertheless, I still see the “trained” (web) designer at a clear advantage. Social media noises or not. The latter must also be able to link skilfully with one another! I would like to say that, maybe a few scriptkiddies can still do this, but every day I see customers from medium-sized businesses who have still not heard of Facebook, Twitter and Co., or who even just begin to understand how to use these tools for their own marketing. And here every would-be is clearly lacking in training, specialist knowledge and, above all, experience in marketing and advertising. In my opinion, these two points can only be created with an initially perfect product that is ultimately consistent down to the last detail. Because if these are also not consciously perceived, then at least subconsciously. The masses don't get that far and are amazed at the lack of success, even though the son has designed such a great homepage ...

Toby O. Rink

I still know someone who once said: "What should I do on Facebook". ;-)

Greetings to Berlin.

Benjamin Weigl

I only partially agree with you. Expertise is important, I would like to point that out in advance, nevertheless: In the last few years I have met so many "trained" media designers that I can say with certainty: that is not true!

I think that a lot of people are blinded by the industry and the job titles and at some point they realize: "Man, I really don't like doing that". My favorite saying in relation to such people, regardless of whether it is a designer, lawyer or banker: "He might have become a great butcher"

The problem is not at all the lateral entrants and as already mentioned above, the amateur is not necessarily the biggest competitor, you are still yourself the biggest competitor.

I repeat it again: “someone who has serious problems with amateurs or service providers who do bad work or only work with templates; who move through the SM bubble should pull back into the employment relationship, because then something is going wrong ”.

Although this consequence is not necessarily a bad thing. There are great designers who totally fail as self-employed and, conversely, there are total failures from a design point of view, who earn themselves stupidly and stupidly because they are good businessmen.

And to come back to the training again; Training as a media designer is not really the crowning glory of knowledge, and I keep hearing the statement even from trained designers: "The course is overrated, I taught myself most of it".

Nevertheless: Expertise is the key and yet I am firmly convinced that successful web workers, designers, etc. around the world have not necessarily become successful through their training, but rather through the fact that they enjoy doing their job and not only from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. .

Greetings from the Allgäu,


We should finally stop claiming the design of the Internet for ourselves. The chef with the restaurant is still there, although many like to cook in their own kitchen.

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