Today I read an interesting article — 10 Reasons Custom Web Design is DYING by Marvin Russel — about the reasons why tailor made websites won't be a thing in the future. If you read my first article about wooble.io you might be aware that the purpose of Wooble project is to allow people to make original websites and break into the template maze. In this article I will tell you why wooble.io will be a thing and at the same time contradict, or approve, the points listed in the Maz article I linked above.
wooble.io in a nutshell
In case you didn't read the first article about wooble.io, I will sum up the idea in this short paragraph. You might know CodeCanyon, it's a plugins marketplace where anybody can sell their creations. Wooble is also a marketplace for such creations but focused on client side scripts, essentially visual components that show up on a webpage. The strength of wooble.io is that it gives the consumer — someone who wants to integrate some creations in his website — an interface to integrate and customize the creations he took. The point is to allow the consumer to make an original website the easiest way and in no time. He doesn't have to manage files, to edit files, to wonder where he will put this script or this stylesheet : wooble.io handle everything for you.
People really do not care about customization?
We can take as an example lot of markets to show how customization is important under some conditions. Car dealers suggest options. The incredible growth of Spreadshirt. Instagram success with its vast filter options. Do those relate to "customization"? Yes, do users care? Yes. The most interesting part of customization is when it is under control. As Marvin pointed out, allowing people who are not UX and UI experts to customize their website often lead to a bad website. It happens when there is no guide for customization. All Instragram filters look great, everybody is able to edit their photograph and make it prettier, yet he doesn't need to be a photograph or a photoshop genius. The thing is to let the feeling to do something personal with an underlying control.
Design trends change, all the time
Marvin mentioned that users don't care about beautiful appearance but care about information. However, that doesn't mean website appearance is not important. You trust Craiglist because you know Craiglist... Would you trust this website if it was a unknow brand? Probably not, because it looks old, it looks careless, it's like its goal is to send you as much ads as possible. Nowadays, most websites have a proper appearance thanks to templates, but design bandwagon will move on and make those templates look old.
Templates and wooble creations will have to go with the flow and evolve, although, changing template imply to change the website entirely which is not the case with Wooble. Wooble delivers components, its only parts of a website. The change is then smooth, it's really a flow that follows trends. Then, using wooble.io with a template is not excluded, it adds up lots of modularity to make change at the right time.
Templates are limited despite being awesome
Templates definitely are awesome. Experts made it and they are operational. Unfortunately, you can't do everything you want with templates. Some are made for digital stores, some others are made for showcase websites or personal blogs. Because of this aspect, You always have to make sure the template you choose will do the job.
Wooble won't ever provide you an already setup website, that's not its purpose. In case you can't find any template that matches your needs, then you have to build your website from scratch. In this case wooble.io is a great tool. It provides you a universe of creations1 which you are free to choose, that will help you to build your website.
Pricing, it's all about money
Templates are interesting because they are cheap. For about $50 you can have a fully built website : hosting, domain and template/theme. That's why an incredible amount of startups and small companies use it.
Wooble is a creations market. Creations authors decide what is the price. At the end it mostly will be as cheap as templates, on top of that some creations can be free to use.
What the Web will became?
We have seen the Web changing from the Web to the Web 2.0. It won't stop today. Smartphones impacted the way most websites look. Years ago, clicking was a common task to navigate in a website, now scrolling dominate the game. It's also small devices which influenced pageless website where the goal is to tell a story to users.
We can add more things that is coming up in the Web :
- Games : in the Web, games are not new. When Flash was popular, we have seen the blast of web games, it was good enough in that period of time. Now that we have HTML5 it becomes serious, needless to say WebGL and virtual reality will have an impact.
- Single Page Applications : remember when I was talking about templates limitation? Even if you can find single page application templates, they don't have the look & feel of such applications.
- Browser plugins : Chrome Web store is really huge and will continue to grow. There is a lot to do with plugins, unless we use browsers plugins market will continue its growth.
- Animations : I mean, animations, everywhere. Current web technologies allow to make good animations. Web Assembly will probably open the doors to abuse of animations, even more than we can imagine.
Web design will be needed, more than ever. We can't fully relate to the trend of templates because they are limited and they will have hard time to follow design trends. That doesn't mean templates will die, at some points templates are enough. But, it won't likely cover every needs in the future.
1 In fact, I am not telling all possibilities of wooble.io to keep you focus, reader. Wooble is not only about design. Because I love design and UX, I only focus on this for the moment. I will elaborate more in the future.