The future of web design (excluding Bali)

Forget all your web 3.0, brutalism and all that nonsense, the future of web design has almost nothing to do with how things look, it’ll be all about management. Management of movement, delivery, time and people.

Covid-19 is here to stay. “New-normal” isn’t a temporary thing. It’s a “new” normal. By the time a vaccine is in the population (5-10yrs time) society will have changed.

Very soon people (website owners and users) will be looking to their online tools to manage how others interact with their businesses, in terms of managing people visiting premises, delivery of services, physical delivery of goods, scheduling, and so on.

If you want a place in the new-world web design industry these are the skills and tools you need to be learning, not worrying about overlapping content.


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Here we go again. I agree the virus is making the big countries of the world go bloody crazy but it’s really not like that everywhere. Everyday life here has not changed one iota. Ive just come back from the pub after having Sunday lunch and a couple of beers. Deaths in Bali to date 4. And all off them came here.

Yes I realise that is not what’s happening in the UK.

I’m finding new income streams. Distressed hotels is a biggie.

I have friends in China and they say with the exception of international travel everything is back to normal.

I don’t buy the long term view that this is a business apocalypse.

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Double eh?

You sure you only had a couple of beers?

What do you base your assumptions on? China is pretty much back to normal. We haven’t seen any difference here. I’m still booking new clients for next year. The hotels I work with admittedly are closed but taking record bookings for next year.

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I base them on looking and listening to my local market and making a judgement on where we’re at and where we’re likely going.

Maybe I need to edit the title a bit.

But again, what is this business apocalypse you mention, and who mentioned it?

Your original post was a bit negative. 5 to 10 years until the world gets back to normal, hence my comment

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If you read things like the BMJ, WHO etc. 5-10 years is not negative but realistic. I didn’t comment at all on business, good or bad, just how I see the job of a website changing.

I think this is true for an increasing number of businesses, but not all. RW solutions are not good at this stuff but there will likely be new online monthly subscriptions systems that will handle this well enough.

If you are lucky enough to be in part of the world that has not been turned upside down, then you are extraordinarily lucky so far. Keep feeding the Little Folk every evening as it is certainly working. (American God’s reference).

One good thing to come out of all of this is that businesses who don’t have web sites, crap web sites or outdated site, will need to sort this out and there will be new opportunities.

Otherwise, it’s just like all changes that occur, you just have to become more professional, sharper, pointier, more overlappy. If you keep doing what you did pre Covid you will suffer.

Steve I understand what you are saying but we are not experiencing anything like that. Sales stopped for 2 months but are back on track. New leads are coming in. Nothing for this year but next year is getting busy. I have friends in the UK and it’s a very different story. Maybe this is the eye of the storm but from our perspective it’s on the up and up.

Completely agree

I’m extrapolating the experiences in the EU and US to the entire planet. Yes, this is wrong. You are extrapolating the experience of Bali to the planet. Way more wrong!

But really, that’s not the point. The point I’m making (badly it seems) is that the requirements of a website is going to shift dramatically soon. For most businesses not in Bali!

Gary: RW sites are just containers, you can add whatever you want.

I do agree with you there. As pubs and cafes have adapted to delivery options the gaping hole of good online and bad online presence is more obvious. However the portals seemed to have plugged this gap - I’m not sure what you have in the UK but here its Gojek (moped taxi) and Grab. You don’t need a site, they’ll glam your product up on their app. What we are seeing is a bidding war. Fish cakes (not the UK type, an Asian thing) are very popular, last year there were 2 suppliers in our area now there’s over 50. The ones who dominate are the ones who either give a huge discount or pay the app big commissions.

So how does this apply to websites? The app makers are coining it now but a bunch of suppliers who have used it to make their name (not any money though) and now are selling to customers directly. They need a presence online - however they don’t have deep pockets so I’m not a solution.

Pretty sure this must be happening in the UK also.

The thing is that the virus will change things in the future, what we don’t know is by how much. Even if this virus suddenly miraculously turns benign, there will be another, previously unknown, following on afterwards. As a historian, one thing that I have learned, is that during a time of great change the population do not understand what is happening, until it has happened. That is where we are now.

How commerce on the Internet and the Internet in general will adapt is something we will see evolve. just think about what you personally have done differently during lockdown and how you have gone about it.

Ya, lots of big apps here too, and yes, many will just look to them. But I think lots won’t, as they simply can’t afford it.

I think the apps are good for known brands, less so for popular local businesses.

The way I see it, if more businesses are going to look to online to manage intrinsic parts of their operations, even if 90% go to apps, that still leaves a lot who will be looking elsewhere. That’s a huge new market.

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Overlappy has been my new normal this last year, but I must say RW is the perfect solution for this. Online subscription models for DIY customers are not my customers. I focus on businesses that don’t have the time to manage their own site and partner with them. We take care of just about everything someone needs to keep their site up to date and running.

As tools evolve, we’ll integrate them into RW. Our customers don’t have time to worry about their websites, they’re busy running their business. I think this will only grow in the future. As professional web developers, if we position ourselves as a trusted partner to local businesses, the market will look to us.

I have only a handful of customers that can actually access their site for updates, yet none of them do. They ask us to make the changes for them. We pounded the drum 5 years ago that we would update sites for customers, and its changed my local market.