Is Design a match for Content?

by Jennifer Chung

Web design has been in the forefront of what seemed like the most promising careers of the current era. It’s now imperative for companies to put their businesses on the world wide web, and there has to have be someone skilled enough to know how to do it seamlessly and thoughtfully.

It’s been over 15 years since Clifford Stoll wrote for Newsweek a piece he called “The Internet? Bah!” in which he shot down many of the Internet’s looming features and how they’d revolutionize the way we live.

“Try reading a book on disc. At best, it’s an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can’t tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.”

Oh Clifford, if you only knew.

The Internet works in mysterious ways. Changes in the world wide web are growing at an exponential rate, and now, people are questioning whether something as crucial as web design is really all that important anymore.

The insurgence of smart phones has completely turned the way we access the internet on its head. We literally have the world available on our fingertips. Companies are aware of this, and have shifted their funding from web design to content and data displayed in the most straightforward way possible. When one is in a hurry and needs to acquire information quickly, the last thing they need is pretty CSS-driven bells and whistles getting in their way.

I am a web design major and a freelance web designer, so this harsh reality worries me. Still, I have hope for my career path. The beauty of this occupation is that we are 100% comfortable and ever-ready to adapt to new technologies. I firmly believe we will simply transition into new trends, and possibly even learn how to design from a more web development perspective.

As Oscar Wilde has once said, “All art is quite useless”. But can art ever become obsolete? Doubt it.

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