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We decided to ask web development specialists for opinions on the impact of the current situation on the industry. We asked them six questions:

 

1. What is the most worrying about the current crisis? What gives you the most hope in the industry? (Opportunities and threats)

2. What do you think will happen to the webdesign industry during the crisis? (How will the industry react and which way it will evolve?)

3. What will the internet look like after the crisis? What will change in it? (What changes will occur on the Internet?)

4. What will change in the trends of creating websites? (What will the focus be on now when designing websites)

5. How will the job market change in the web development industry? (Will there be more jobs or employees? And in what positions)

6. Do you think the industry will be able to recover after all? (The landscape after the battle, whether the industry will just come out victorious, or maybe it develops and evolves).

 

Wojtek Staszczyk 

Senior UX Designer - Product Team Leader at Sotrender.

www.sotrender.com

What worries you most in the current crisis? What gives you the most hope in the industry? (Opportunities and threats)

We are not sure how long the whole coronavirus situation will last and how it will ultimately affect the economy. We only know that we have to prepare for a fairly large slowdown, which in different industries will be able to manifest itself differently.

Crisis times will force many companies to change the way they operate. Even if their core business should not record major declines, they may not be prepared for the upcoming changes.

Changes in the organization of work should not be the biggest problem It is something that comes with the Agile approach that has become a standard a long time ago. Agile methodologies allow you to improve work and quality control even when suddenly each team member will work remotely.

The problem that Agile does not answer directly, which streamlines the process of building a product (i.e. website), is the answer to the question of what and why it should be created to it meet customer satisfaction (Outcome over Output).

Another problem for some, and in turn an opportunity for others may be the company's organizational culture. A business owner can come up with a great strategy and action plan - how a company should function in a crisis situation - but if there is a lack of understanding and adequate mobilization among team members, these actions will simply be inefficient. On the other hand, the right culture can make the team feel responsible for the company and show initiative to cope together in difficult times.

Last but not least, team members working in such a tense socio-economic situation, which affects them from every possible angle and significantly limits them (at home, at work, physically, mentally) after some time they will be overwhelmed (if they are not already) what certainly will negatively affect the functioning of the company. Therefore, it is very important to communicate with each other as often as possible, be more sensitive to the level of fatigue for yourself and other employees, and try to counteract it.

 

What do you think will happen to the webdesign industry during the crisis? (How will the industry react and which way it is evolving?)

[Answer in the first question.]

 

What will the internet look like after the crisis? What will change in it? (What changes will take place on the Internet?)

[Answer in question 6.]

 

How will trends in creating websites change? (What will be emphasized now, when designing websites)

In times of crisis, companies will definitely be looking for savings, therefore any expenses or activities whose expected return would be long-term will be stopped or will require exceptional justification.

Even during short-term profit oriented activities, we should have a well-defined goal and the best possible way in which we can achieve it. Everything to limit the additional losses as much as possible.

Businesses should keep an eye on the changing needs of their customers and respond as quickly as possible. To implement this you need a proper process that is not created from week to week but should be the result of a conscious culture and strategy of the company. Such a process includes among others: basing your hypotheses on data solutions (qualitative and quantitative), agile approach to validating hypotheses, drawing conclusions from them and another quick iteration. If companies are not accustomed to this approach, they will have to learn it and it will not guarantee success because knowledge and speed of implementation alone does not mean that we will achieve this success.

To start acting in this way, some change in the way you work will be needed. In smaller companies (several people) this will require a change in the current scope of duties, e.g. a person who only dealt with interface design will be more involved in activities that until now could be reserved for managers such as collecting requirements / needs, specifying the goal and closer cooperation on the solution design.

I do not mention here specifically the purely visual layer, which changes and will change based on more or less substantive reasons.

 

How will the job market change in the web development industry? (Will there be more jobs or employees? And in what positions)

[Difficult to define - jexplanation in questions 1. and 4.]

 

Do you think the industry will be able to recover after all? (The landscape after the battle, whether the industry will just come out victorious, or maybe it will develop and evolve)

We will have to wait a bit for the final consequences of the crisis and it's hard to say anything more at this point. Those companies that survive should be stronger according to the saying "What does not kill me will strengthen me" with the assumption that they will be able to draw the right conclusions, survival alone does not guarantee anything.

It is likely that the crisis will verify the market situation - some companies will fight for survival, others will gain a large market advantage.

We can count on increasing the pressure of companies on the network to keep in touch with the customer and increase the number of distribution channels. In other circumstances, this would take a long time, and now they will be forced to do so m.in.how they use it will affect how broadly understood the industry will be after the crisis.

Bartosz Szubra

 Art Director createIT 

createIT – Software House with over 15 years of history and experience, also from the times of the economic slowdown in 2008. He specializes in implementation, implementation and long-term support of web & mobile systems in the B2B and B2C sectors. Present mainly on the American and Western European market.

www.createit.com

B.S.:

 

What do you think will happen to the webdesign industry during the crisis? How will the industry react and which direction is evolving?

 

Aesthetics vs functionality

 

There are many indications that the webdesign industry will slow down - just like many other branches of the economy. This is because webdesign is not a basic need. This has always been the case when designing applications or websites (in fact, everything that can be designed and has mainly a practical function). It is logical to assume that the most important are the functions of a given app, its uniqueness in solving a given problem. 

Only when "functional" competition appears, we start to expand the spectrum of things that need to be refined in a given product, and at this stage, among others, better design is most often competed. In the era of such a great crisis, the need to satisfy the aesthetic sense will lose with practicality, and you need to be prepared for it. It is possible that this will strongly affect the prices of services, because the design itself may be perceived for some time as an added value to functionality. 

Considering the strong migration of this type of services from physical offices to the internet, we realize that there is enormous competition in webdesign. Freelancers will be just as attractive as employees who have worked so far in the office. For some time, the argument that someone works worse because they work remotely will disappear. This change will stay with us to some extent, because we all will find out that you can do certain jobs remotely while having the same results as working in the office (I skip the fact that many designers value remote work because of peace and focus) and work at your own pace.

I would not assume, however, that this order will stay with us for good. People and enterprises will recover from the crisis - I hope it will happen faster than we think. It is time to think about how important the internet is to sell and inform about the company. All entrepreneurs who have so far ignored the potential of transferring their activities to the internet feel this very strongly. Just as we can see now, that companies invest in online advertising, so after some time when the dust settles, we should notice an increase in investment in design. We will all be at a point where competition on the internet will be much greater than before, and entrepreneurs will necessarily reach for additional measures to support business.

Another significant issue is the desire to rearrange people for work that can natively be done remotely - webdesign. There will be a lot of "designers" on the market without experience, which for entrepreneurs will be a significant impediment, because they can start working with someone who does not do the job well. It will also cause a certain paradox - the position of experienced designers and agencies will consolidate. In a sea of ​​poor designs and graphics, it will be easier to pick up really good designs, based on experience and substantive knowledge. Both of these factors will increase the threshold of entry into this industry.

 

How will trends in creating websites change? What will the focus be on now when designing websites?

 

UX vs UI
 

Referring to the previous statement about functionality - I think it will be the biggest change, but lasting only for a certain period. UX will have a higher value compared to UI - and rightly so. Of course, I'm not saying that suddenly we will start to make functional and at the same time ugly sides, but I expect the shift of resources towards utility. 

It was not always obvious to everyone, but in an era when you have to count your strengths on intentions, entrepreneurs should be more inclined to their presence on the Internet. It is often the case that entrepreneurs, when commissioning work related to webdesign, skip UX issues, because this term may sound quite exotic and they simply do not understand it. 

In times of crisis, we prefer to do certain things ourselves, which is why I think that after exploring the topic, business owners will understand how important UX is. Until now, the belief that if we do something nice, people will like it because it is nice was common. It has never been the case and this type of thinking has led to repeating the process, finding errors and correcting them taking into account the potential of UX. 

In practice, all this will greatly accelerate our evolution on the Internet, organize many things, perhaps contribute to the creation of new standards and processes. I also see the potential for developing new working methods, where, for example, rapid prototyping will permanently enter the lives of UI designers who have not had much to do with UX before. 

To sum up: we will start to approach many things more carefully, we will pay attention to what we pay for and we will verify it.

 

B.B.:

 

What worries you the most in the current crisis? What gives you the most hope in the industry? (Opportunities and threats)

As a major worry I see, probably not very originally, the freezing of all investments. On the investors' side we observe the phenomenon of panic - i.e. amongst the owners of companies from the sectors not affected by the crisis withhold all expenses. They probably want to wait, look how things will look in the future while maintaining a relatively safe position. For us, for our Software House industry, these are real losses today, which will deepen if more companies adopt such a "safe" strategy. Some may simply not endure this period.

On the other hand, we see a great opportunity in a broader understanding of the need to go through digital transformation, even by companies that have not seen any value in activities based or supported by the internet. Today you can see that e-commerce and digitization of processes within a company is not a "fad of these young people" - it is a real chance of survival of entire enterprises.

 

What will the internet look like after the crisis? What will change in it? (What changes will happen on the internet?)

There will be more medium-sized players. The biggest ones - corporations - have established Internet branches a long time ago, now they will be strengthened. The smallest entrepreneurs often base their entire income on the Internet (Allegro, OLX, eBay, Amazon). On the other hand, medium-sized companies, which until now have been based on classic face2face sales using a sales network, will understand that the internet will make them more resistant to turbulence in the type of crisis  we are currently going through. They will also understand that forcing sales and internal processes to go to the Web is not a task for the next generations to come, it is a necessity today. We expect that they will want to invest in their e-commerce, which will continue to evolve towards the full digital transformation of these companies.

On a macro scale, we will also see an even greater transfer of social life to the internet. Some of those people who have just been forced to work remotely, and who would never have done it of their own accord before, will stay in this mode. They will be forced to do so by the situation on the labor market or they will decide for themselves that it is more convenient for them. This change will stay in society for longer, and will be followed by even greater development of tools for communication, work, entertainment, shopping or even the functioning of the state administration online.

 

How will the job market change in the web development industry? (Will there be more jobs or employees? And in what positions)

For a moment there will be more specialists available on the market. Bankruptcies and dismissals - justified and resulting from ordinary panic - will cause that the shortage of specialists in the IT industry, compared to demand, will at least slightly level out. In the short term, it will be harder to find job.

It will be a moment of market reshuffle, but in the long run it will return to balance. The increased movement of companies seeking to transfer their activities to the Network will again increase the demand for these skills. This will result in increased recruitment again - though not necessarily by the same players on the market who operate on it today - and this in turn will entail a return to the situation we already know, i.e. the  market with strong position of employees.

 

Do you think the industry will be able to rebuild after all? (The landscape after the battle, whether the industry will just come out victorious, or maybe it will develop and evolve)

The IT industry will be rebuilt as one of the first. It will look different than it is today, probably employees' wages will be rationalized. Some players, especially the smaller ones, may not be able to withstand the pressure, which in turn will accelerate the consolidation processes on the market that we have already observed for some time.

However, I expect that the Polish IT industry in 2-5 years will be as strong as today, probably even stronger. We are already a symbol of high quality and work culture for Western clients, and less and less often the way to save money. They will look at us to decide about a stronger online participation in their activities,and greater understanding of completely remote work will cause a little less attachment to finding a contractor "across the street." However, there will be less fragmentation on the market, which is currently dominated by dozens (hundreds?) Of companies employing several or over a dozen people. In their place will appear several, several better managed and better prepared for such situations larger companies.

Bartosz Borkowski

Co-founder & CSO createIT 

As you can see, the experts pay attention primarily on three key aspects of a present situation. First the epidemic and isolation will slow down the industry. Secondly, changes in the market will be an opportunity for companies that are able to respond quickly to changing conditions. Thirdly, both companies and individual users will increasingly use the internet for remote work, communication and entertainment.

 

Authors: Michał Dmitrowicz, Jan Chmielowski

 

Tomasz Szwed

Founder of the 2Sides agency, specialist at UX, psychologist. He deals with support, analysis and setting strategies for his clients. In the industry for almost 15 years.

www.2sides.pl

What worries you the most in the current crisis? What gives you the most hope in the industry? (Opportunities and threats)

In my opinion, every crisis in our industry is a great opportunity, because it is a huge mobilization for companies that want to stay on the market to look for new solutions and invest in development. It was exactly the same with previous crises and breakdowns in various industries. It is important to prepare a package of solutions that we can offer our clients, and which can really help their businesses survive this difficult time.

Another big opportunity is that some industries are experiencing a slowdown (rather than a total collapse), which gives them a little more time to grow. They can now, for example, think about introducing new services, lifting their image, etc.

The biggest threat is that a lot of companies simply cannot withstand the current situation. Gastronomy and services incur gigantic living costs, and currently they earn nothing at all, so their situation is really difficult, and thus a large part of them will not be able to survive. Let us also remember that it is not known for sure how long this situation will last, and the market dislikes uncertainty the most. If these companies fail, our industry will lose a lot of potential customers. Even if they don't fall, it will take them a long time to recover from the losses.

 

What do you think will happen to the webdesign industry during the crisis? (How will the industry react and which way it is evolving?)

In my opinion it will narrow down considerably. As I wrote earlier, some companies will fail, which will result in fewer customers on the market. Rather, larger players survive, who rarely use the services of individual freelancers. In addition, freelancers themselves will also have a problem to survive this time and start looking for other forms of work and probably will stay in them.

On the other hand, however, this is a gigantic opportunity for companies that have prepared clients and financial resources. First of all, they can support them and help them survive the crisis, thereby creating new services for them, but also create their own online solutions for which the demand is huge.

 

What will the internet look like after the crisis? What will change in it? (What changes will occur on the internet?)

This is a very good question. The internet itself will not change, but the attitude of many people will. Currently, they are somewhat forced to use many online services they have never used before - online shopping, videoconferencing, streaming of cultural events, etc. It may seem strange to some people, but really for most users these services are still something new. I am celebrating my son's birthday today, with two grandparents streams on, and yesterday my children practiced Zumba on FB;)

Looking at what is happening in the e-commerce industry, it is experiencing a really big boom (all I need is to look through the window at the parcel machine, where lots of people hanging around all the time). It will all be left after the crisis, because people will learn it. Of course, if the current situation lasts longer, unfortunately it will slow down, but those who survive will have a really golden time.

 

What trends will change in creating websites? (What will the emphasis be on now when designing the pages)

To be honest, I don't expect any major changes here.

 

How will the job market change in the web development industry? (Will there be more jobs or employees? And in what positions)

As I wrote earlier - there will be fewer freelancers and more people will be employed by agencies because they will have much more work. In what positions? Unfortunately, I suspect that this will apply to all webdesign freelancers - from graphic designers to frontends to backends. Of course, employment will take some time from the end of the crisis, because no reasonable person will take on the extra burden without knowing how long it will all last.

 

Do you think the industry will be able to rebuild after all? (The landscape after the battle, whether the industry will just come out victorious, or maybe it will develop and evolve)

The industry will have to evolve. The smallest will fall and the medium will grow quickly if they will play well. Of course, the average ones also have to survive the crisis, and it all depends on how long it lasts - hopefully as soon as possible, but I would not expect a return to "normality" before the end of May.

I see enormous opportunities for companies that have the chance to introduce their own new services to the network - for them I predict very dynamic growth in the coming year.

Will the market rebuild itself? Of course, because after some time new companies will start to appear that will look for freelancers and everything will return to normal.

The most important predictions:

  • The crisis will mobilize companies to look for new solutions.
  • The largest players and medium-sized companies will survive if they will be able to adapt to the new situation.
  • Users will get used to services they have not used before (streaming, e-commerce)

Our questions were answered by:

 

Maciej Czajkowski z WebWave

Tomasz Szwed z 2Sides

Bartosz Szubra i Bartosz Borkowski z createIT 

Wojtek Staszczyk z Sotrendera

 

We've put a short summary under each expert's statement in which we've made the most-important predictions. We hope that our text will help you better prepare for market changes.

Maciej Czajkowski

Founder and CEO of WebWave, a website creator enabling the creation of websites with any graphic design, which is used by over 220,000 companies and private individuals.

www.webwave.me

What worries you the most in the current crisis? What gives you the most hope in the industry? (Opportunities and threats)

After the epidemic we will wake up in digital-first reality. After a few months of forced remote work, it will turn out that official matters can be dealt with online and sales people do not have to travel hundreds of kilometers to meet the customer. In this world, before each trip, we will ask ourselves: "Do we really need to see each other personally to get it done? Can't we do it remotely? " This is obviously a great opportunity for the webdesign industry and more broadly, for all internet businesses.

However, in the short term, due to epidemics and quarantine, many small and medium-sized businesses will fail. Agencies and freelancers who lived on various types of subscriptions and standing orders can lose a large portion of their revenues. So they will be forced to refresh their customer base and update their offer.

 

What do you think will happen to the webdesign industry during the crisis? (How will the industry react and which way it will evolve?)

During quarantine, contrary to appearances, the webdesign industry may have its harvest. People sit at home and finally have some time. So they can, for example, create a page that they've been thinking about for months. After the quarantine, however, the economic crisis will come and it is much harder for me to predict what might happen. Certainly many companies will fail and the freelancers and agencies operating them will lose revenue. However, the market hates emptiness. So many new businesses will be created. Such a changing market can be an opportunity for new and energetic freelancers and agencies that will be able to offer clients modern services at competitive prices.

 

What will the internet look like after the crisis? What will change in it? (What changes will occur on the Internet?)

During quarantine, people are forced to do everything online. Shopping, work and even meetings with families are being done online. At first it is tiring and uncomfortable. However, once we install the required applications on our phones and we break through and do the first online shopping, we will see that we don't always have to leave our homes and waste time commuting. The current crisis will therefore be an igniter that will accelerate and intensify the transfer of an even greater part of our lives to the Internet.

 

What trends will change in creating websites? (What will be emphasized now, when designing websites)

It seems to me that during an epidemic many people who have not used the Internet regularly will be forced to do so. Many of them do not have a computer. They use only the telephone. Therefore, responsiveness and adaptation to various devices, transparency and user-friendliness of the interfaces will be even more important.

 

How will the job market change in the web development industry? (Will there be more jobs or employees? And in what positions)

Tools for creating websites without the need for coding, including of course the WebWave web creator, are getting better, giving users more and more opportunities. I also think that developers will be busy creating tools for the world of digital first. The price of their work will therefore be out of reach for the average website design. The combination of these two factors will cause that only the most complex pages will be manually programmed. An increasing proportion of websites will be created not by programmers, but by marketing and graphic specialists using a variety of tools that do not require manual coding.

 

Do you think the industry will be able to rebuild after all? (The landscape after the battle, whether the industry will just come out victorious, or maybe it will develop and evolve)

Demand for webdesign will certainly not fall, but even increase. I think, however, that big changes will occur in the industry. People and companies, previously based on Wordpress and manual coding of websites, will raise prices and move to the floor of complex projects with a budget of tens of thousands. It will be caused by high costs of programmers' work. It seems to me that in the projects worth up to several thousand, companies using tools that will allow to provide the customer with a high quality product without the need to involve programmers will be more and more visible.

The most important predictions:

  • The result of quarantine will be the transfer of more and more activities to the Internet

  • During quarantine, many users will want to create pages, which is an opportunity for the industry. The economic crisis may be a challenge in the long run

  • Most of the simpler website designs will be created in tools that do not require coding

The most important predictions:

  • Functionality will be more important than aesthetics

  • More medium-sized companies will take up operations in the network

  • The IT industry will rise from the crisis as one of the first

Key predictions:

  • The most flexible companies will survive

  • Due to the decline in revenues, it will be necessary to take actions focused on effectively maximizing profits

  • Companies will increase the presence on the web

The outbreak of the coronavirus has caused considerable turmoil in the economy. Experts are wondering how quarantine restrictions will change the market. The doubts also apply to webdesign. 

 

How the coronavirus epidemic 
will change the webdesign industry - expert opinions

02 April 2020
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