Web design changes so quickly. If you don’t think it has changed that much, think about web design 3 years ago. Not just the styles popular at the time, but the way they were made. The entire system websites used to go through as they were created has shifted greatly from a team assembly line type production to a small efficient unit.
Just three years ago, every website went from person to person, emerging from concept, to wireframe, to Photoshop, until it finally ended up on the web. Each step along the way took work from different people, and they all molded the design in their own ways.
Sophie Sheperd was doing wireframe design back then, and her work largely consisted of adding more visual details to the blueprints of websites, so that the style and textures would become more established. As she puts it, “designers were makeup artists for wireframes.”
Now, Sheperd’s job is more complicated, just like web design has become. Wireframes have been replaced by prototypes because of the number of different devices and screens. Most of the design can be done in browsers now and don’t need to be done in Photoshop, other than a little of preliminary design.
Because of this, Sheperd’s job has expanded to UX designer, graphic designer, illustrator, and front-end developer. The size team she works on has shrunk to about three people.
Web design isn’t going to slow down. It is a quickly changing beast, and it requires a lot of effort to keep up with. In the past, it was entirely possible to be a designer and have no knowledge of code. Now, it is almost impossible. The debate over whether designers should code is over, and they definitely have to. But thats ok, all the new skills also count as new job descriptions.