When you get onto the internet, what is that you see? A flurry of eCommerce stores. Of course, while you have the likes of Flipkart, Amazon and Naaptol enticing Indian consumers to spend their disposable income, it also brings forth the importance of having an online presence if you want to widen your reach as a business.
This means there is a need for web designers and developers and this demand is not going to stem at the moment. It also indicates that the scope of web designing and development is bright. The question to ask is why?
eCommerce has transformed the online business landscape in India. This industry is expected to grow from the US $38.5 billion in 2017 to the US $200 billion by 2026. This growth has occurred primarily due to 4G internet and increased usage of the smartphone. India has nearly 373 million internet users and this user base will keep expanding. So, being present online is the way forward for companies and this means having a website. That is why the future of web development and in extension for web designers and developers in India is bright.
Internet: the agent of change
The internet is here for good, and businesses that refuse to acknowledge this are destined to perish and fade away. This is good news for web designers and developers in India who will always be highly sought-after in a globalized digital economy.
As a young web designer or developer, it is important that you understand how the internet has evolved over the decades. Yes, the internet has been around for years, but it is only in the last decade or so that the business community is realizing the importance of being present online.
Internet used to be known as Intranet when it was launched in the 1960s. That was a momentous occasion as the old internet transformed the digital realm forever. Ever since its launch, it has been evolving and improving, creating employment and business opportunities for millions across the world.
However, the first website design did not make an appearance until the 1990s. The credit goes to Tim Berners-Lee, who designed the first website. When Lee was working as an independent contractor at CERN, proposed setting up a digital system to allow researchers to share and update information. This led him to create a prototype that he named ENQUIRE. He used the principles of ENQUIRE to create the World Wide Web and was instrumental in creating the first web browser.
The first website ever built offered information about the World Wide Web, and how to set up a server and use a web browser. Of course, compared to the rudimentary web design that was prevalent then, website design has evolved and become sophisticated and elegant. Today, websites have graphics, content, and widgets to make them more appealing to visitors. However, the first website was a single column HTML webpage with a few inline links.
Evolution of websites
The World Wide Web is constantly evolving and changing. The credit for this goes to the World Wide Web Consortium, shortened for W3C, which oversees the development of the web. Berners-Lee is a director of W3C and him along with other professionals ensures that web environment stays undisturbed, without monopoly.
When the consortium was first formed, it announced HTML as the standard for developing web pages. However, as time passed, more technology was developed to aid in web development and designing. Some of the technologies include: Macromedia, Shockwave, CSS, DHTML, 3DML, Flash, Dreamweaver
Today, websites are not just for dispensing information but also aim to be user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing and device-friendly. Web properties are looking to build relationship and rapport with their visitors to ensure retention and loyalty.
The technology connection in web design and development
There are numerous website designs out there, and they all have technology behind it. Some of the designs that you will see more commonly include: Big Photo, Classy, Clean, Colourful, Creative, Dark, Illustrative, Minimalist, Scroll, Single Page, Type-based, Parallax, Flat, Video, Video Background
The design of a website depends on the content and the device that the target audience uses to access the site. With smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops being used to access websites, web developers and designers have to ensure that the sites are compatible with these devices.
Most website design trends are in response to the available technology. However, the world of computing is also evolving and changing and this means it will have a profound effect on web design and development. Most technology experts and computer scientists believe that the world is entering what they call the Age of Context and this will significantly influence web design and development.
Age of context: what does it mean?
The Age of Context has been coined by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble who wrote a book about it. According to them, there are five forces in computing which are as follows: 1. Mobile 2. Social Media 3. Data 4. Sensors 5. Location-based services
The point at which these forces converge will give rise to new computing force which is context. This basically means that that computing technology will understand users and their needs and environment so that it seamlessly integrates with their lives. It is talking about smart devices that can make your lives easier and take over certain mundane tasks. Like your smart fridge ordering groceries when you are running low or your virtual assistant responds to your emails and other correspondence without your intervention.
This said contextual computing is already prevalent in today’s society. However, it is not that widespread. But given a few years, this will change, and as a result, it will impact web design and development. This said contextual computing is already impacting web design and development and primarily due to the advances in technology.
As a web developer and designer, you should be aware of the latest technologies that are being used. This means you constantly need to upgrade your existing knowledge to be relevant in a fast-changing digital world. With online resources, workshops, seminars, webinars, and podcasts, it is now possible for any professional in any corner of the world to enhance their knowledge or even get certified in the latest techniques and approaches.
Some of the new technologies being employed in the world of web designing and developing are discussed below.
The grid: bringing AI to the forefront:
The Grid is a new web building service that allows users to build websites using artificial intelligence. This technology changes the design of the website every time content is added to it, making sure that it is completely optimized for the purpose the site was created. For instance, if the site was created to generate leads, The Grid will ensure that your site never loses its purpose and its design will always help in lead generation.
This technology is bound to become mainstream sooner or later as businesses look to cater to the highly targeted audience and use consumer behavior as a way to entice them and make them into paying customers.
When it comes to the hard working web designer and developer, their lives could become easy. You may not have to worry about choosing the right color, font or even design. All you may have to do is input what you want and the artificial intelligence will do the rest for you. The end result – a gorgeous, user-friendly website designed to increase sales and revenues of a business!
Virtual reality: changing the virtual world:
Web VR retains many of the features of a web browser and allows easy access, easy-to-remember URLs without the need for downloads, and easy opening of websites without the need for an app.
Today, virtual reality is common in the gaming world and it is anticipated that it will gradually be adopted by other sectors, as well. So, web developers and designers need to be aware of this technology to be able to compete with the best in the future.
Internet of things: connecting devices across the internet:
Internet of Things, or IoT, connects computing devices via the internet. Many devices and machineries used in industrial settings, digital devices and gadgets already are connected to the internet without requiring human intervention. For instance, in a home, an IoT device will sense when the cooling has to be changed to make the indoor temperature comfortable, or in an industrial setting, the IoT device will alert the maintenance crew when a machinery needs servicing.
While presently web developers are not associated with the Internet of Things, it is anticipated that in the future, they will be an integral part of it. They will be responsible for developing web applications that are required for data analysis of IoT devices. However, challenges still remain with IoT devices as there is a heightened risk of hacking. Until that is resolved, web developers may stay in the periphery of IoT.
360-Degree video: surround imagery:
Website admins and owners are constantly looking to provide users an enhanced viewing experience. This is where the 360-degree video comes in. It improves interaction with website visitors and that is why it is something future web designers and developers should be aware of.
The main purpose of a 360-degree video is to create an illusion for the viewer, as though they are actually present at the scene witnessed the events unfolding. It provides an enriched user experience and keeps the viewer on the page for a longer duration. It helps to improve engagement and increases the likelihood of getting leads and conversions. After all, that is the main purpose of having a web property, isn’t it?
Motion user interface:
Motion UI is simple to incorporate as the developer has to use predetermined steps. It also has a fantastic reference library that you can use to integrate animation into the website. This technology is not complicated and makes the life of the web developer easy while enhancing the appearance of the website.
What is the future of web designing and developing?
A website is a portal for information and accessing data. However, the way people analyze and interpret online information will change, and hence, the future of web design too will change. However, as long as people are using the internet to physically access information and data, they will need a web property. So, web designers and developers will always have a job, whether they are freelancer or working for a company. Hence, the scope of website development is looking up and will bring cheer to developers and designers.
If you intend to work as a freelancer, it will be necessary that you understand the industry you are serving. This way, you will be able to figure out what the competition is doing and collate it with what your client wants. Every company or business has a vision and a web design represents that vision. It is necessary as a web designer and developer for you to understand a company’s vision thoroughly while keeping users in mind. This will help you forge a successful web design career.
Most big companies have their own in-house IT department and web designers and developers are part of this department. This is because it is cheaper to build and design a website in-house rather than hiring a freelancer or outsourcing it to a web design and developing agency.
It is anticipated that most major business houses will continue to have in-house designing teams while smaller businesses and individuals will work with freelancers and agencies. However, the future client will be more tech-savvy and hence, designers and developers will not be able to take them for a ride.
As a young adult, if you are keen on taking up web designing and developing, you may be keen to know what the role entails. This brings us to the next part, which understanding the basics of web designing and developing.
Getting back to the basics
A web designer and developer use their skills and knowledge to create and maintain web properties. To ensure they meet the requirement of their clients, designers and developers need to have knowledge of the following:
- UI & UX designing
- Graphic designing
- Product designing
- Brand designing
- Ability to use standardized code and proprietary software for designing and developing web properties
- Digital Marketing
It is important to realize that these are just enablers to facilitate the actual designing and development of the website. You would also need certain intangible skills to ensure that the web property you design and create serves its purpose. These skills include:
- Understanding target audience
- Thorough understanding of the industry
- Ability to decipher the jargon used in the industry
- Knowing what to do to ensure optimal viewing experience
Tools used for web designing and development
As mentioned earlier, web technology is dynamic and in a constant state of flux. However, this technology is used as and when the demand arises. Nonetheless, there are certain standard tools that web designers and developers need to know to be able to compete with the best. These include: Notepad++, Brackets, Sublime, Dreamweaver, Animate, Photoshop, Illustrator, Code and Sketch
Knowing how to use the standard tools and updating your knowledge is an important part of being a web designer and developer. It is important you look for tools that allow you to work smarter rather than harder. For instance, SEO is part of web development. It is an ongoing process so that a web property maintains it high search engine ranking and enjoys organic traffic. Unfortunately, SEO is a tedious and time-consuming job. However, with tools like TribeLocal, Yext, and BrightLocal, you can make your life easier.
Future career opportunities for web designers and developers
India’s economy is thriving and with the central government laying more emphasis on Make in India initiative, the IT and software industry is booming. There is immense scope in web development for web developers and designers in this industry.
Also, local businesses have realized the importance of having an online presence and are keen to increase their digital visibility. Social media usage in India is also very high, and this has prompted brand names and other businesses to create profiles to engage their existing and prospective customers. Hence, there are ample opportunities to even work with companies to create and manage their social media profiles and updates.
All businesses, regardless of their size, have one thing in common – they want quick turnaround as they want to enjoy a competitive edge. So, they want experienced professionals who can deliver quality within a short span of time. While these organizations are not averse to freshers, they will be put through rigorous training under an experienced web designer and developer. This ensures newbies enjoy hands-on learning experience while working.
Even the media industry has ample opportunities for web designers and developers. Besides maintaining the web properties, designers are expected to create graphics and videos that keep readers hooked and make them come back for more.
The education industry is thriving in India, thanks to the advent of digital learning. With the world biggest population in the age group of six to 17 years, the Indian education sector is expected to be worth US$180 billion by 2020. This sector is plagued by poor infrastructure and lack of trained teachers. However, with digital learning becoming easily accessible due to deep internet penetration, web designers and developers have a bright future in this industry.
Courses for web design and development
There are colleges and universities across India that offer web designing and development courses. They require students to successfully complete 10+2 to gain admission.
While some educational institutions offer certificate courses in web designing and development, there are others that offer diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and programs for web designing and development.
Diploma courses are usually for one to two years while undergraduate courses are two years. Master’s programs are two years; and when it comes to certificate courses, the duration ranges from a couple of months to six months or more.
Admission for web designing and development courses
Admissions for these programs are not on an all-India basis. Hence, you will not have to sit for a competitive examination like management and engineering students have to. This can ease a lot of stress and you will get admission on the first-come-first-served basis.
The best part is that there is no age limit to enroll for a course and this means that if you want to make a career change midway through your life, you can easily do it.
Jobs awaiting future web designers and developers
While India is witnessing an IT boom, even in other countries there are ample opportunities for web designers and developers. As mentioned earlier, you can work as a freelancer and establish your own small web designing and develop business or you can join a company and get access to high-end tools and software.
Backend developers ensure sites load quickly, have proper links, meta descriptions, and tags. You will also be responsible for the colors, fonts, font size, image compression and the likes.
You can also get a job as a web analyst where you analyze data, ensure server security, calculate web development costs, ensure the property is on the right server platform, and identify the latest software to ensure optimal user experience.
Some of the main recruiters in the industry are:
Salary awaiting future web designers and developers
The salary for web designers and developers in India vary from organization to organization. However, the industry trend at the moment is about ₹10,000 to ₹25,000 per month for a fresher. An experienced web designer or developer earns around ₹25,000 to ₹40,000 per month, but if you are really good at what you do, you can easily command a six-figure income in India.
The way forward
The future is good, if not excellent, for web designers and developers in India. If you are keen on pursuing this line of work, you should go right ahead. While the competition is tough, it is important you stand out from the crowd. You can do this by being creative, thinking out-of-the-box, and being willing to redefine traditional web designing and development.
It is time to plan your roadmap for this lucrative career option. Not only is this line of work satisfying and fulfilling, especially as you see your handiwork come to life, but it is also monetarily profitable. Scope in website development and design will grow in the coming years.
Resources to improve your knowledge and skills
- Web Designing: The Complete Reference – Thomas Powell
- Principle of Beautiful Web Design – Jason Beaird