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The future of web design vs. web development at a glance.
Experts in design and coding will still be in great demand ten years from now. However, as the no-code movement — a trend that allows noncoders to develop websites and software graphically — alters the work environment, their real day-to-day activities will appear different.
Without writing a single line of code, designers, marketers, and other professionals will be able to create easier applications, websites, and other digital products. Developers will have more time to work on complicated projects as a result.
However, the long-term consequences of this disturbance might be far more devastating. As the technologies we use to develop websites grow more efficient, we’ll certainly witness the birth of new positions – hybrids of what were previously two different careers.
Web design refers to a website’s aesthetic appearance as well as its functioning from the user’s perspective. To develop aesthetically engaging user experiences, web designers frequently utilize design software such as Figma or Adobe XD. The designs are then passed on to programmers. UX designers and visual designers use their skills to create wireframes, mockups, design systems, color palettes, templates, and more to aid developers in the development of online applications and websites.
The no-code movement is a rising trend that involves the use of technologies that allow teams with little to no programming experience to complete activities that would otherwise need coding. Visual builders are the most common no-code tools. Users do not see any code while putting together digital materials, yet these technologies produce code in the background.
Users who cannot write code but wish to develop things online benefit from no-code. Furthermore, no-code technologies bridge the gap between the high demand for applications and the restricted availability of technical personnel.
Webflow, for example, allows designers to create websites graphically without having to know how to code. Webflow creates a professional site with clean, semantic code, yet the designer may use a visual approach to create the site.
Web design isn’t the only field where the no-code approach is gaining traction. It drives innovation across a wide range of sectors. Users who don’t know how to code can use Zapier to link various applications, Airtable to construct databases, Ada to create AI chatbots, Voximplant to install cloud contact centers, and more. The range of what users can create with drag-and-drop, no-code tools are continuously expanding.
You don’t need coders just because you don’t have any. Professionals may use tools like Webflow or Airtable to focus on the more specialized, complicated tasks that they are particularly suited to perform. For example, data engineers and developers would rather work on more exciting and lucrative projects than spend days building API connections. “Companies are more agile and can unlock new levels of productivity that ultimately give them an edge over their competitors,” says Philipp Seifert, a vice president at venture capital firm Sapphire Ventures. And with employees working on projects they’re uniquely qualified for, “companies are more agile and can unlock new levels of productivity that ultimately give them an edge over their competitors,” says Philipp Seifert.
Designers who were previously just responsible for creating the look of a user interface may now take control of front-end development with no code.
Launches that are faster: Marketing, design, and other teams may work independently to create materials and deploy projects quickly. Engineers are no longer required to build every single form, app, or dynamic page. “I’ve seen situations when designers collaborate alongside front-end developers in different applications that have no-code components, and, at the end of the day, it speeds up the whole process of bringing the ultimate result to production,” says Alexey Aylarov, co-founder and CEO of Voximplant.
Improved tools: No-code allows functional teams to create and manage their own tools, such as marketing, sales, HR, and operations. And, according to Justin Gage, Retool’s head of growth, these teams “understand their own challenges the most deeply.” “Giving them the ability to create their own applications implies better tools, shorter turnaround times, and a more efficient company.”
Cost savings: When a project can be accomplished without the use of expensive engineering resources and limited technical expertise, companies save money.
Easier testing: Now that teams may develop and change their own tools, websites, and other materials, they have greater freedom to test their ideas. Once fresh insights are uncovered, teams may move swiftly to acquire a competitive advantage and experiment with the most recent design trends.
Ownership of the asset: According to Webflow’s co-founder and CTO Bryant Chou, “companies that employ no-code solutions will control assets they produce instead of depending on technical partners and agencies.” Furthermore, owning assets helps businesses to experiment and create unique designs.
Webflow bridges the gap between design and programming by assisting designers in organically learning coding principles, eliminating the need for handoffs to developers, and giving high-quality code to front-end developers. As a result, creative teams may experience improved workflows and collaboration, resulting in better products.
Designers may use Webflow to develop graphically, which is their preferred technique. Some designers, such as David Hoang, director of design at Webflow, have learned to code by using no-code tools. Hoang learned new programming concepts such as logic, events, and conditions. “You learn programming and code by osmosis,” he explains. We educate with the steps in mind all too frequently, like gears in a cog, but what matters is why people want to create and build.”
Web designers had to give over design requirements and graphic components to developers, who then coded them. Webflow, on the other hand, converts designs into code, so the designer may also be the developer. There is no requirement for any sort of handoff. Developers may also easily inspect the code’s output. Because they are no longer waiting on coders, such agreements allow designers to get more work done. Developers get time back by knowing that designers can tackle some of the more straightforward challenges.
Webflow is beneficial to developers in a variety of ways. For starters, it produces high-quality code. “The greatest problem with site builders is the code they create is generally garbage,” says Edward Fastovski, a freelance developer. This isn’t the case with Webflow, as I just discovered.” Front-end developers can further tweak the layout using high-quality code. They have the potential to become “power users” of Webflow. Fastovski claims, “We can push its powers to the ultimate maximum.”
Webflow also has a simple user interface, contemporary layout tools like flexbox, reusable styles and classes, a robust CMS, and more for front-end developers. They can also create their own animations and interactions.
The actual job we perform evolves as we develop and perfect the tools we use to complete tasks. So, in ten years, web designers and web developers will almost certainly have completely different occupations. Even the skills required of a web designer have changed dramatically in the last decade, shifting from a primarily visual focus (typography, color schemes, graphic design, etc.) to a more functional and holistic focus (usability, information architecture, research, and so on) that ties a larger experience together. And it’s reasonable to assume that these job titles will merge in the future, with overlapping abilities.
In reality, some designers/developers already have a job that allows them to do both. In Episode 40 of the podcast UI Breakfast, Sacha Greif, the inventor of Sidebar.io, provides ideas from his personal experience as a developer and designer. In her essay Being a designer-developer hybrid in 2019, Anastasia Kas, another successful designer/developer, also mentioned that “hybrid occupations are on the rise.”
Using no-code technologies like Webflow, there are a number of activities that may overlap or be completed by either a designer or a developer:
What if the occupations of designers and developers ultimately converge, resulting in a hybrid position of “builders”? Projects might then be pushed to the forefront of other disciplines. For example, a psychiatrist might oversee the development of a telepsychiatry app, with builders on board. Or, with the aid of builders, an economist may drive the creation of a loan product.
Many occupations will change as no-code technology advances. Nontechnical users will be able to do activities that previously required the assistance of an expert. Because creating digital experiences will only get simpler, curiosity and flexibility will remain a differentiating quality among workers in all sectors. Designers will have to develop as well in such an atmosphere.
Without writing a single line of code, nontechnical professionals can develop websites, applications, databases, and more. This tendency is also beneficial to web designers. They are able to design sophisticated websites on their own and are no longer reliant on developers to construct each and every item. Designers code visually, even if they aren’t creating the code. The two jobs are becoming increasingly intertwined. Everyone gains in the end since things are released faster and the distance between web designers and web developers is narrowing.
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