Will websites ever become an artisan product?
I was consuming some excellent sourdough bread a few days ago, from the outstanding De Gustibus bakery. Their style of bread making is a very old and traditional, and without a shadow of doubt, produces an artisan product. It made me wonder whether service based industries like ours will ever be viewed in the same way.
There is great pressure as a professional web design company to keep up with the modern and cutting edge technologies. While we aren’t afraid of that, and try to be early adopters of everything cool and interesting, I do wonder whether there will ever be a point in time when users look back and become nostalgic and rueful about how things used to be. So much so, that people seek out more “classic” skills.
Websites of times gone by now look largely ridiculous and very inaccessible. In fact, after spending a large amount of time looking, I’ve yet to find a website that is 10 years old or more that is remotely enjoyable to look at yet alone use.
Even in our field of quality web design, past productions can be hilariously poor. I confess even some of our own might fall into that category! I guess what is key here is that artisan implies a level of artistry. Artistry also carries a certain amount of opinion and perspective – this being something we absolutely see every day during our bespoke web design process. Particularly with wine web design, I see very differing opinions, very polarised in some circumstances, but I suppose this is quite symptomatic of the industry and subject matter.
What I do realise is that maybe I am looking too far in the past. Has the ultra-minimalist trend we see today actually come from a desire to go back to straight forward information delivery, no nonsense and no complications? Perhaps that was all we ever wanted, and where we are today is an evolution of techniques, and already, some of the best developers and designers out there are artisans in their own right.