How many people can say that they work in an industry that continues to evolve on a daily basis? I’m proud to say that I am one of those lucky enough to work in website design and development. I often tell people that I’m “building the internet one website at a time” and it’s true. I’m just glad that the task of building the internet isn’t solely on my shoulders. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of web designers in the world with varying degrees of talent helping to grow and improve the online experience for billions of users.
I can remember back in the day when I first got online with my 2400 baud modem and was impressed with the huge databases of information I had my fingertips courtesy of Purdue University. There were no pictures online back then, just text. But I realized very early on the importance of the skills I was learning. I’ve watched the internet progress from it’s relative infancy to the modern social media magnet that it today and I wonder what the next phase will involve.
I remember purchasing my first .com (even before Google was conceived) and thinking to myself how many wonderful possibilities lay in store. I watched the .com bubble form and then burst, weathered the Y2K fiasco, and continued to learn more about this whole internet thing as I went along. Websites were really basic back then. I built my first ecommerce website in 1997, selling computer components online. Online marketing was in its infancy as well, but I grasped the concept of website promotion rather easily. We ran a contest on the site giving away a free mouse and mousepad. The contest generated around 300 entrants each day. For a small startup, we considered it a success. Too bad I sold that business.
The future of the internet is rather bright and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Website designs continue to evolve on a daily basis. Even my own designs just a mere year or two ago feel “dated” to me and I feel compelled to push myself to further improve those designs or try new ideas. Will I in some way help to shape the future of website design? Perhaps I already have. Only time will tell.