In the IT and computer worlds, there has traditionally been a strict partition between online tools and desktop programs. But with the success of open source suites like Google Apps and OpenOffice, this line is beginning to blur. As a result, desktop behemoth Microsoft is beginning to set its sights on the growing Web design industry, while Flash and design giant Adobe is beginning to offer some traditional desktop applications. It appears that Web designers will have many more options in the future. Web Site Design Could Become Easier and More Competitive
When Adobe launched its new streamlined Creative Suite 3 (a much heralded update to the Photoshop and Illustrator packages), and Microsoft its Expression Web (a formidable challenge to Adobe's Dreamweaver), Web site design got a lot easier and much more competitive. After all, one of the main barriers to a Web design career is the complicated code (HTML, Java, and Flash--to name a few) that one must learn.
As these areas become more user-friendly, you can expect more novices to start offering their skills for hire. In a way, this is a beautiful thing, since the Internet's strength is based upon on the free exchange of ideas. For aspiring Web designers, this news also means that securing new clients could be more difficult in a more competitive environment. Preparing for a Career in Web Site Design
When digital photography first came along, there was a general fear that professional photographers would no longer have a market since anyone with some software and a digital camera could produce award-winning photos. While the gap between novices and professionals certainly closed considerably, the market has remained intact for two reasons:
- Many professional photographers sought additional certification and training to help them stay ahead of the curve.
- The entire photography industry grew quite rapidly since the quality and number of photos rose across the board. Sites like iStockPhoto and Getty Images actually helped make photography more successful.
While it's difficult to predict whether or not Web site design will follow the same path, it's very likely that additional formal training
coupled with constant recertification will help aspiring Web design professionals stay ahead of the trends and find a market for their expertise and experience.