Is web development a profession of the future in the long term? If we take the company in its current state, it seems obvious that the answer is “yes”. Digital platforms are flourishing on all media: computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. Web languages have evolved to allow the development of applications on browsers, definitively relegating static and non-adaptive websites to the rank of antiquities.
From the Beginnings of the Web to the Digital Revolution
The Internet has brought about a powerful metamorphosis in our society. From the way we search for information to the way we book our evening restaurant, we naturally have the reflex to open a web page rather than an encyclopedia or a Michelin guide Digital technology is booming, and its expansion is not about to be stopped: the digital revolution has already considerably changed business processes, as well as the profiles sought by companies. Developers have pride of place in this teeming emergence of new technologies. The observation is obvious: digital professions are buoyant, and web developers have a bright future ahead of them. Specialists in popular new frameworks, in particular, are particularly in demand and may claim great job opportunities.
Development, More Accessible and Less Expensive
In the early 2000s, software licenses, servers, bandwidth were expensive investments for web development pioneers, and companies needed solid funding to bring a viable and profitable digital product to market. Right now, the costs have dropped significantly. Initial investments are much smaller, offering new opportunities to small and medium-sized structures and opening the door wide to start-ups. Cloud structures, open-source frameworks, and the largely contributory spirit of the Net make it possible to develop without investing heavily, provided you have the skills in development and design. This has enabled a new generation of developers to design digital products and applications faster and more simply.
UX at the Heart of Product Development
Standardization of the Internet and falling costs have multiplied digital opportunities. The digital market has followed the metamorphosis by seeing its growth increase exponentially. Software and applications abound, offering even more choice to consumers, who themselves have seen their numbers grow at breakneck speed. There is a major consequence of this technological swarm: the choice and the diversity brought to the market make the consumer all the more demanding, whether it is an individual or a company. If it has become relatively easy to design a high-performance product with few resources, on the other hand, it is complex to position yourself on the market. With digital transformation and market competitiveness, the user becomes the focal point of product design. Performance depends on both technical and ergonomic innovations. This is why product design based on Agile or Lean philosophies has been so successful in recent years. Static creation and development methods have become archaic because they do not allow the flexibility of iterative methods.
There is no longer any question of spending days training their teams in the use of software: it is an investment of time and money that companies no longer want to support because they too are subject to the performance pressure. We can see it in the way the Agile philosophy has spread to different areas of web development.
Companies expect from a digital product:
- An intuitive interface
- Ease of use
- Customized features to their business problem
- Low investment in employee training
- A fluid, fast and collaborative product
To get the ball rolling, designers need to get the user directly into the development loop. On the other hand, it requires changing the technical ways of proceeding. There is no longer any question of developing a prototype by involving back-end and front-end developers and designers. It would be too long, too expensive.
The Convergence of Front-End Development and UI Design
A chance for development teams: the accessibility of new technologies, from frameworks to software suites, make prototyping much easier by reducing the investment of time spent on the development and product security phases. Even, tend to make this phase disappear thanks to the appearance of software such as Sketch, Figma, or even incision and Marvel. These collaborative tools make it possible to involve the various design stakeholders from the first phases of the project and place work on the interface at the forefront. As a result, the close collaboration between developers (mainly front-end) and designers is gradually changing the profile archetypes expected from front-end developers and designers. This convergence also comes from the sophistication of graphics production tools and the way graphics teams use them. Also, the democratization of front-end design frameworks such as React or Node.js pave the way towards possibilities of front-end development automation through design and prototyping tools:
- Squarespace has, for example, already developed such a process for basic web design.
- Webflow offers a drag & drop environment capable of creating interactive content for websites
- Atomic and Origami offer interesting solutions with components, animations, and preconceived data.
These tools are designed first, but many allow users to edit or add editable code to refine their products. Imagine what this software will look like in five years!
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