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Web Design 3.0: When Your Web Design Matters (nicepage.com)
141 points by nicepage 17 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 81 comments

> The use of Bootstrap and the spread of templates made Web Design boring.

Boring maybe, but Bootstrap is extremely practical for non-designers like me.

I feel like Bootstrap captured more than 80% of the features I want for less than 20% of the time (or cost) it would take to make something from scratch.

Second, navigation on websites became much more predictable. The examples they show of Web Design 3.0 look difficult to navigate. Aside from increasing dwell time from confused users, there probably isn't a big benefit.

In the future, I see custom website design being accessible for large companies that need their site to evoke a certain brand image. For the rest of us, Bootstrap will continue to evolve (Web Design 2.5) to provide +80% of what we want.

Bootstrap & templates didn't make web design boring. People using them without much modifications did.

I think Bootstrap is trying to offer both an out of the box template like framework & utility framework in their latest & upcoming releases. Foundation also does this. Whereas something like Tailwind does a nice job of being just a utility framework.

I think there is a lot of value in using any of the above depending on your skill level. They all solve common problems so you don't have to.

A good HTML/CSS designer/developer should have no problem extending & customizing them either so that they don't look like every other site using them. No reason to rebuild everything from scratch.

On an additional note, it depends what the website is trying to mirror as to how you want to layout the content. A news site is often best done similar to a newspaper with nice table like structure.

And those who don't modify Bootstrap also probably load the whole damn thing instead of just the parts they're actually using. They use a CDN-hosted copy and say "eh, performance isn't an issue because the files are probably in the user's cache anyway." Except the files aren't in the cache more often than not.

Bootstrap has flaws but they keep improving it. A non-professional designer using Bootstrap is a better outcome most of the time compared to no CSS framework or using many of the others.

Bootstrap's long delayed transition away from pixel sizing contributed to the problem.

> Second, navigation on websites became much more predictable. The examples they show of Web Design 3.0 look difficult to navigate. Aside from increasing dwell time from confused users, there probably isn't a big benefit.

Jakobs law comes to mind on this point - https://lawsofux.com/jakobs-law

If you look closely, all three examples have standard navigation (top menu). The main difference is that elements can overlap in the presentation layer (i.e. body) while still benefiting from a grid system. People have seen this type of layout in print for decades, so Jacob's Law isn't broken.

I've never heard about "Web Design 3.0" before, but now I know a term to describe websites that care more about artistic expression than bringing across information.

Seriously, most of the examples of "Web Design 3.0" look like a piece of modern art. That's great for showcasing your portfolio as a web designer, but if you try to be artsy with the menu of your restaurant I'm going to the competitor.

Compare the "Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0 in MS Word" comparison. On the left: "Web 2.0" (looks like "Web 1.0" to me) with quickly skimmable paragraphs, concise information and a clear overview of where to look for what information. On the right, a flat-out clusterfuck of random boxes and pictures that doesn't tell you anything at all.

By the way, we already had free positioning in the "old" web; stacked floats and absolute positioning are nothing new. It became easier with flexbox and css grids, but only for people writing actual HTML/CSS.

Whenever I see a website made by a tool like this, I generally don't even bother reading what it has to say. The themes are always form-over-function with huge swathes of whitespace and PNGs that suck up my mobile data. If you're a designer and looking to make a website, please get someone competent to write proper code for you instead of wasting your design on an awful tool like this.

Web Design 3.0 = Print designer who just won't give up the good fight

Web Design 3.0 = Screw accessibility

It depends on your customers. If you are building a curated link aggregator for graphic designers, this is an appropriate UI style and may gain you users over a more utilitarian UI.

Edit: This is for brochureware that has very little content and lots of branding.

I think their templates section provide a better example of practical uses and design: https://nicepage.com/templates

Good link, and some of those are a step up, but many (not all) are pretty typical for bootstrap layouts and I don't think it's a big enough step to call it "Web 3.0". The jump to "Web 2.0" was as much about web applications (functionality) as it was about visual design (aesthetics). WebAssembly will probably be the true Web 3.0 once it is as easy to build as Web 2.0 applications.

It's as if they are versioning web design for marketing purposes to show how "forward thinking" they are.

Web designer here: 19 years exp.

All of the "web 3.0" examples feature maybe 3-4 of the same design tricks or techniques. Which makes this not web 3.0 but more like Web 2018/19.

Examples: Offset elements like drop shadows, angled/shaped section dividers, uneven "artistic" layout models (aka free positioning), art deco - it's basically one design concept, executed many different ways. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a new generation of web design, just updated styles/preferences.

A lot of this is driven by new layout models for CSS, which makes these approaches feasible/much easier for your average designer.

I guess I'm confused by Nicepage being "Web Design 3.0", being told Bootstrap is yesteryear, then using Bootstrap 3.x.x (and a boatload of jQueryUI dependencies) with !important directives sprinkled all over the place. Don't get me wrong, it's pretty on the front-end, but the technical choices are still rather confusing after reading the article.

https://nicepage.com/Content/BundledScripts/main-libs.js https://nicepage.com/Content/BundledScripts/main-libs.css

Additionally, I have yet to find a page builder that's in any way 1) performant and 2) not compromising fundamental best practices (because WYSIWYG site builders require exorbitant amounts of flexibility).


I liked the article and agree with the central thesis of CSS Grid enabling some wild UI designs, but the whole thing came off in a completely different light after looking under the hood.

> I guess I'm confused by Nicepage being "Web Design 3.0"

Yeah, it's kind of ironic that my first thought was "this looks a canned Bootstrap site". And, not a very good one at that.

I'm not a designer but it made me sad when I got to the end to realize this was the opinion of a web design company trying to justify itself and not a true/honest look into the future of web design. From the comments here from actual designers it seems like "3.0" is not a real thing, just a term they created to try and position themselves ahead of website design companies that doing well today when in reality they are simply one option among many that optimizes for different things. The 2 axis graph at the end felt particularly disingenuous, as did things like a screenshot for the search "design is dead", which isn't really a good formal argument for something existing. It felt far too much like creating an answer and then making up a justification to get there.

"Web Design 3.0" is pretty much AT&T's "5GE"


> Web design 3.0 is the new dimension. It has the free positioning of elements, overlapping, and layers like in Graphic Design tools. It opens the new prospects for Web Design. And it is the beginning of the new Web Design era.

No offense to the author but this is not new. Of course neither is Web XXX 3.0 which has been used for over a decade.

I'm somewhat sad to see the Flash era wasn't mentioned. A lot of this non positioning was done back then in the late 90's & early 00's. And one can not forget the days of giant images in Photoshop spliced apart to make a web page.

Content should determine design strategy 99.9% of the time.

> And one can not forget the days of giant images in Photoshop spliced apart to make a web page.

"Forget"? Are they gone?

How serious is this vs. tongue-in-cheek? The tone of this article (dripping with sarcasm, I think? E.g. over-repetition of "Web Design".. Web Design 3.0) seems weirdly out-of-sync with the content. If it's a Kaufman-esque joke it's done really well... if it's an actual advertisement for nicepage, it's weird... _BUT_ if it's a stealth thinkpiece about how _no_ design really matters if your content is off, it's absolutely brilliant...

> For the first time, this article shares the secret about how to create the trendiest web designs in the world.

When I read this, I was sure I was in for a fun takedown of web design gimmicks. Sorely disappointed.

> I was sure I was in for a fun takedown of web design gimmicks.

I'm still not certain that it _wasn't_ that...


The article keeps going on about creativity without giving a single reason why anyone would want that. Not everything needs to be original, not everything needs creativity. Some (most?) websites just need to work -- i.e. present the content in a readable manner. I'm not sure if relative offsets on colored rectangular backgrounds help much. Seriously, most of the examples look worse than the supposedly obsolete bootstrap templates.

A key miss with the print vs. digital design is that digital's interactive, and you don't usually see the whole thing at once. Plus, you know, screen sizes. "Unique" may be attention-grabbing, it may look nice, and it may help you peacock "we are with-it and well-funded enough to spend money keeping up with design trends" but it's gonna harm UX more often than not.

It was nice when every site settled on the header-sidebar-footer two- to three-column layout. You knew where stuff would be. "Bootstrap" design is nice (though often less-nice than old-school column layouts, at least on desktop, because more spread out and less predictable) for similar reasons.

This stuff for "experience" sites is one thing. For anything else it's, as mentioned above, peacock-signaling over usability. Often the flourish-filled stuff is outright broken on some not-uncommon browser and platform combos—I saw a Tesla marketing site the other day that's broken on Safari on MacOS—though that's more common when they screw with interactions than layouts, but often the two go hand-in-hand.

I have no doubt this will be A Thing. In the overwhelming majority of cases it's used, it will harm UX. It looks expensive to do right across platforms and screen sizes, and will probably be done wrong (i.e. be broken) more often than not. So the cycle continues.

1. The article's conclusion is straight up an ad for whatever service it is that this company provides. It's so shameless, I'm almost impressed.

2. While I do like many of the "new" graphic design trends they mention, good graphic design is not always (and in fact not usually) good web design. Paper is usually a reasonable size and shape and, most importantly, is not able to suddenly change in either of those parameters at any moment. Almost every attempt at this that I've seen has been either broken, stupid or different when using viewed on smartphones and the like. If you just show me the desktop version, I will get annoyed from scrolling and zooming. If you try to slightly adjust it, you will probably end up wasting an absurd amount of screen real-estate. If you adjust it to the point where the experience is good, I'll be frustrated when I try to find the same thing on my desktop an hour later and get a completely different layout for the same URL.

The fact is that you need many different designs for different mediums and while a "poster" style website could do that, anything you expect people to "browse" needs to be mostly standard and have to adapt as little as possible.

As a web designer, I can tell you this whole post is the worst kind of garbage content marketing. They call their product web design 3.0, and yet they say Webflow, a product superior in almost every way, doesn't qualify for that designation, please!. In addition, their homepage for their own product is pretty terrible design wise and I have a strong feeling this must have been upvoted with bots.

While I realise this is essentially marketing for Nicepage, the article is very good. The templates here https://nicepage.com/templates are mainly informative sites like portfolios, restaurants, dental practises etc.. It is going to be a while before the typical functional ecommerce sites we use use everyday adopt a more creative approach. It is just too much of a risk to present a user with an unusual design and a learning curve. When you just want users to part with their cash, the site needs to be as predictable as possible.

Is it? I think it shows some chutzpah to write such a long article defending such a thesis, but it's also completely wrong and thus not very good. We already had this: It was called Killer Websites or later Flash pages. We killed it with fire when the web professionalized.

There are two forces at play here: On the one hand you have those print inspired designer types, boosted by the possibilities of modern browsers. On the other hand you have the usability requirements and the dictate of the form factor: If you do a mobile website you need a very simple grid, responsive for bigger screens yes, but the focus is on structure and content. Free placement of stuff according to print design ideals of magazine cover pages is completely useless there, the phone screen is too small for that anyway.

What we end up with is the current design: Very formalized pages for the most part, with lots of possibilities to experiment thanks to evolving browser capabilities while keeping the standardized structure. This will lead to further evolution of what is a modern design, but I doubt we will see a complete new paradigm anytime soon - as long as technology remains as constant as it was the last 10 to 20 years. Foldable phone screens might move the needle a little, if they ever come down from the uber-premium price segment vendors target right now and don't turn out to be a useless gimmick

One thing to keep in mind: Yes, web design is new, but because we already had print design before it adopted very much very fast. This is not a completely new field that still has to match what humans actually need, it already took that from existing research and practices. That's why it could evolve and settle down that fast, and that's why the article is wrong in predicting the next grand revolution, that happens to need their website builder.

Bootstrap solved a big problem: have a developer create a modern looking website without needing a designer.

Looking at the mentioned "Web 3.0", I see patterns that Bootstrap can pickup and evolve into having over time. For example overlay elements and grid cells.

Designers will continue evolving the look of the Web. Bootstrap (and others) will continue picking up patterns and incorporating them for developers to implement without a designer. And that's a good thing.

My requirements for a website are: I get the information I need then I leave ASAP.

This is held up if the site requires cookies, or blocked outright if it requires scripts eg. to present text (q.v. the washington post). That is about all.

This sums it up:

> We are strongly against the fact that designers are limited in the freedom of creativity

I'm all for limiting their creativity in areas outside the purely artistic. I want usable websites (= useful info concisely and safely presented, with respect for others' disabilities), but creative types often don't seem to care (edit: or know; they're often clueless about usability).

(to be fair, this website is certainly not bad)

I don't get what they are trying to say here. They talk about positioning and overlapping as if they are new features. All this stuff has been baked in for a long time the hard part is making the layout adjust to multiple form factors.

They show some pictures of intricately laid out shelves and all I can think about is how they are going to look when you squish them. The "free positioning" in their 3.0 illustration reminds me of using tables to lay things out precisely and having everything break when you need to change the text. Forget about providing content with a CMS.

At the end of the day it's not about "better tools" it's making tradeoffs between a tight elegant design and a need to show dynamic content on a wide variety of devices.

Awesome, that's what I wanted - for websites to look like the overproduced glossy ad inserts in magazines that I tear out and throw away.

Be warned, I could be tearing out and throwing away your website too.

Boring web design is not bad. I prefer boring stuff that loads quickly and lets my find information quickly. Even on a website dedicated to art, I care about the ART, not the layout.

This article appears to be written in order to rank in search engines for the phrase "Web Design 3.0" and to have people use a phrase they already rank well for.

I remember awful avant garde websites being in style in the mid 2000s too but they were unusable and confusing. That's all that 'Web 3.0' is in this article. Ordered grids will rule forever.

Thanks for putting this together. I don't know if "Web Design 3.0" is a term people recognize, but I do agree that this particular style is based around bringing in more elements from print design to digital. CSS3, Flexbox and now CSS Grid has made a lot of that possible.

The bigger challenge now is that "web design" isn't really respected as a discipline, since half of the customers associate it with cheap templated Wordpress/Drupal sites, and the other half care only about utility (if it's a web app), and little to nothing about how the design speaks to its brand. It's their call of course, and if they want a barebones site, it's on the designer to show them that a custom design can bring in more business.

PS - the Pinterest-sourced design examples are nice. I wouldn't have discovered them myself since Pinterest's UX and takeover of Google Image search results has soured me on them.

This being an ad aside, I'd like to see the conversion rate and other meaningful metrics of those "web design 3.0" websites, especially for the examples at the beginning.

This is nothing but a "marketing 3.0" advertisement for a product called "nice page".

Someone likely advised them to write a blog article all about how everyone needs "web design 3.0", and position the product as the solution to everyone's problem.

The thing is, they forgot about responsive design. If everything is overlapping everything else, you will end up with a very nasty problem of what to do on different size screens, and scrolling, and font size, and zoom levels etc.

You can safely skip the article, as it's nothing but a messy concept around "web design 3.0" (which isn't a thing) and a lead into the inevitable pricing page...


"no coding needed". (for your messy looking web design 3.0 page)

We love Web Design. Web Design is our life. Web Design is vital. We must capitolize Web Design every time we say Web Design. Capitalize on Web Design today!

As a millennial and a designer for 18 years, I absolutely despise this free-positioning overlap stuff.

Let's learn all about accessibility and then spit in its face.

This company doesn't have an "about us" page or a profile on Crunchbase, and LinkedIn only shows a single developer working at this company, yet it shows Amazon, Getty Images, Microsoft, etc as customers on the homepage.

I don't have a problem with small companies (Indie Hacker myself), I just wanted to learn more about the founding team to see if this is some fly by night company or if they have some solid experience in this space or some investors.

It's a sham.

Scroll down home page to their "testimonial" from web designer "Allan Hollander". There's a picture of him. He's a good looking chap, and the photo looks like stock art, because it is....


I like web design 1.0.

Funny that all examples of web design 1.0 present ye olde web as "boring" pure text websites rather than the rivetingly fun designs going around (see http://mentalfloss.com/article/53792/17-ancient-abandoned-we... :) ).

Also, any mention of "design progress" sounds odd.

> Web Design 3.0 is about the designer's freedom

Which is exactly why it'll never take off. Design is only one part of a larger whole, and I can't think of a single business or website that shows the "designer's freedom" and is still in business.

Websites with byzantine navigation or difficult-to-decipher layouts are designer masturbation that create frustration rather than solve problems.

No thanks.

I read through the comments an often saw the same sentiment: "Modern Webdesign is bad, artistic expression is bad". Which strikes me as odd. Sure, there is a place for "boring" and information-dense webdesign. If I go through wikipedia and search for something, I want information, and modern webdesign would be bad in that regard. But there is also a place for modern design in websites. Company websites for example. There, the overall design language is part of the brand identity and defines how I see your company. I cant help but see those "bootstrappy-boring" company websites as very unprofessional (although I know I shouldnt make that connection), and I know at least from asking my family members that this effect is only more pronounced in people that have no direct connection to the tech or design industry. We have to recognize that we are a very little minority - many people dont _think_ about websites - they _feel_ them.

I saw this post this morning and actually spent the afternoon redoing my personal website with nicepage.com's editor.

While there were a few annoyances, it is one of the best visual web editors I've experienced, and it only took a few hours to redo my home page, without watching any of their training. I am impressed.

The site I'm redoing was built on bootstrap. The results on nicepage looks close to identical, but it was much easier to make versions for different sizes, as I could rearrange elements however I wanted, allowing me to customize my site more than I can with bootstrap for different devices.

The code even looks reasonably clean compared to what I've seen from other visual editors.

So, while the article was all about these more artistic layouts, it's a pretty good tool for putting together a "web 2.0" site if you don't feel like coding it yourself. No way I could have done it that fast by hand, and the results are good enough for me.

They need you as their testimonial instead of the fake one they have on their page currently.

I would recommend scanning for malware if you installed anything from nicepage.com

It reminds me of when Bill Watterson was allowed full control of the Sunday strip layouts and he started to break free from the grid: https://imgur.com/a/wjcnuXh

I would argue it isn't just "artistic", but it conveys they ideas better in this case.

Taking into consideration the content of this post, as well as the company posting it, this is essentially an invitation to participate in the newest release of the homogenization of web design.

There are already skilled and talented designers/developers out there producing "Web-Design 3.0" sites, but they are doing so at a much higher budget than the average SMB is going to shell out. The tool being advertised brings these layouts and design ideas to a broader range of designers, and allows for projects with this look and feel to be completed at a lower cost.

I actually really like this as a business opportunity. Anyone with a reasonable pipeline of clients could start using this to crank out sites for SMBs and turn a decent profit.

> how to ensure you can stay employed to shit out JavaScript and bloated styles.

"The use of Bootstrap and the spread of templates made Web Design boring."

Frankly, as a user I don't complain. GUI consistency has a great value for me. Crawling through the fancy artistic designs is fun until I just want to find contact address of some company on their website.

The advantage that MS Windows has (or had, before they decide to go with the "modern designs" here and there) is a GUI predictable across all applications. File menu, Edit menu, Tools menu, Help menu, consistent shortcuts, toolbar, everything always the same, boring - all of this makes users productive.

Looking at most of these designs, it strikes me that most of them are completely unusable for a simple blog. I just don't have that many photos for my website. It's mostly text and information. I am not sure how many people actually do, or actually want that many visuals on their site. Most of those design just look cluttered to me. They fit the high-end physical product well that requires a lot of visuals to sell, but I am not sure it really meets the needs of the average website out there today.

It's this satire? It's awful.

"Free positioning" isn't new. I was dragging absolutely positioned divs and image maps around in Dreamweaver 3, 20 years ago.

These chumps think they've reinvented design. Instead they've just unearthed exactly the same problems that Bootstrap helped control.

Seriously. Some of us have been through the hell of uninformed design choices. Mystery meat navigation, never knowing what you can or should click, criminally insane typography, and fixed resolution design. Leave in in the 90s.

I've not used Nicepage before, but I have used the majority of WYSIWYG editors mentioned in this article. It's an exciting read for a designer like myself because I've been thinking about this problem for a while.

The conclusion is fairly misleading because it's missing the glaringly obvious answer: designers could learn HTML and CSS. I fought it forever thinking that there will always be a WYSIWYG and they'll eventually get so good they'll spit out the code for me.

The reality is much more frustrating. Adobe Muse was promising as it helped with responsive design and the free form creativity this article talks about, BUT it had a ton of issues. Relying on it for projects with clients was risky as one update would kill your production, as it often did. Reverting back a version was a solution so you could finish the project, but the features added to the update were crucial, and as a designer I wanted those too.

Then it became a game of learn the software de jure, and hope it's A) good enough B) will have support for a long time C) isn't cheap, and D) doesn't take forever to learn.

Eventually, I discovered grid and flex box and have been teaching myself HTML, CSS, and JS. Code isn't going away. Software does.

Also, I don't trust any WYSIWYG editor to produce clean and concise code. I'm afraid it'll spit out a bunch of divs and be extremely inefficient. Not to mention accessibility and semantics. Even if designing to a grid and carefully watching my proportions and where items sit on or next to each other, I still fear the program will spit out some ugly code.

Mainly, when using a WYSIWYG, it ends up taking just as long as it would to code, especially if you want it to look really good.

So now, my goal is design like the Web 3.0 described in this article, but with the good old tools with which I have full control. It's like a carpenter in his wood shop, as opposed to using a combination of legos and Ikea. No matter what, to have ultimate control is the best, and it remains to be seen if Nicepage or any design tool will ever be as good as the most fundamental of tools (code).

I suppose the reality is there's a huge spectrum of designers. There's the developer oriented ones, which resources are aplenty. Then on the other end of the spectrum are artists, who need a blank canvas to fill out their ideas. One is quick and good enough, the other long and the end result likely janky behind the curtain. Nicepage seems to want to appeal to the the artist.

With enough time, a true designer can understand the full spectrum and see that fully custom coded websites, even if they take a long time, are still likely to be the most unique and longest lasting.

"Then on the other end of the spectrum are artists, who need a blank canvas to fill out their ideas."

For the most part people who are like this should be doing a different specialty related to design (graphic design, branding, tv, print...). Web design for the most part is taking a lot of data and fitting it into a limited space that changes based on the user's preferences and device.

And you are right the simplest solution is to just learn to write code. Once you get a good setup going it's less painful than using the pallets in photoshop and you'll have a hell of a lot more control and flexibility. I think people get intimidated because when they think of code they think you'll need a lot of math and arcane knowledge. CSS is a much different thing that often makes more sense to designers than it does to developers.

Have you used Webflow?

An image of a bunch of photo frames displayed not in the shape of a rectangle is shown, then the writer says: "You notice the dramatic changes in Design (sic) in general nowadays. Design has seen rapid progress in all areas."

Seems pretty damn inane if you ask me.

> Agree that these examples look like modern Print Design and Web Design 3.0? Why is this happening? Nobody wants to see boring Grids from the past on their walls.

Pretty sure this is content farm swill.

While the article has some interesting points, it is quite poorly written. Additionally, it creates a problem that does not exist for the purpose of pushing its corporate propaganda. Web 3.0 -- the semantic web -- is a legit thing. Web Design 3.0 then, by default, would almost certainly be mobile first, and thus this manufactured "need" of free positioning becomes basically irrelevant.

There's nothing wrong with Web Design 2.0, in fact I prefer it when I need to interact with information on a website. When I use Netflix to browse for a movie or TV show, linear is good. I don't need free positioning, overlapping elements. If the goal of the site is to showcase creativity and art, Web Design 3.0 is a possible tool in the toolkit.

How much does web design matter if the server can't deliver it?

Server Error

502 - Web server received an invalid response while acting as a gateway or proxy server

Any other hackers and wannabe designers using Inkscape to prototype web app layout? It is good solution for these kinds of layout with free positioning.

I suggest you learn it as it is free and useful in many others aspects of life (Cropping pdfs for including in lab reports, making simple icons, making vector figures, etc.).

This is just about everything I abhor. I even miss dreamweaver table hell..

Why is that an iOS app that looks and acts different is bad yet a web app that looks and acts different is good?

I'm a fan of the bootstrap hegemony. Bootstrap apps are predictable and usable.

Every year since ~2008 has been the year the Web 3.0 is born.

When it comes to creative freedom vs reusable blocks, the latter will always win. Period.

Assembly language provided creative ways to solve a problem. C won because it had patterns to solve them across projects.

Word processors provide creative ways to layout your document. Yet markdown is winning because it solves the layout problem with reusable syntax.

People like patterns and reusability. Be it developers who want to reuse code or the users who want to reuse their previous knowledge. Practicality will eventually win. The arguments for Web 3.0 goes against this very funda. I doubt it will ever catch up.

C won because UNIX was free, and C was UNIX. What you're thinking is COBOL. It was designed with portability in mind. Write once, run everywhere before it was cool. By the way, assembly is still one of the most popular languages (or language families).

Comic. Web 3 looks exac tly like flash. Same useless BS designers have pushed from the dawn of web. Skumorphism anyone?

If you really want to see the future of web design, learn about Webflow, don't buy into content marketing hype.

re: the examples under "Web Design 3.0 is about the designer's freedom"...

In 1997, I was tasked with making 'layout designs' like these in to 'webpages'. "Designers" have always had freedom of position/layout, even (especially?) when it was a PITA to achieve.

I love building really, really nice websites. Bootstrap is hands down the most valuable tool I depend on.

These 3.0 designs are something we saw pre mobile-first / responsive era.

Desktop apps for Windows and Mac. No Linux. Browser app doesn't support Firefox.

Hmm... pass

I wish we could go back to textmode, but that will probably never happen

I think that there is much to learn from 'electronic music'. This differed from what came before in the way that the web differed from print. With early techno music you could press a few buttons on a gadget box and it would play the beat for you, on top of this you could sample things and mix them in. Before that drummers had to actually keep time and singers had to hit their notes.

Then computers came along. Some of the early techno pioneers didn't have a clue how to use a computer. They were stuck using the early electronic gadgets and the workflow that went with it.

Then a new generation came along that could use the computers and could do everything on an Apple laptop without having to have a bedroom full of turntables, forests of wires, keyboards, samplers and drum machines.

The older guys stuck with the original tools for 'electronic music' still linger around but the tools for the job have changed. Had they been born a generation later with the same passion for music they would have gone straight to the computer stage.

Getting back to web development, I think we have something similar going on. A generation of web designers got used to developing with the desktop publishing tools and static mockups in PDF form. Responsive design for mobile for them was just a doubling of their workload using these same methods. They are very much stuck on things like 'pixel sizes' and much else that doesn't really relate to how it is done.

I think that future designers will work very differently, essentially thinking in terms of what can be done to content instead of placeholder copy with CSS, SVG and javascript animation.

The reason we are not there yet is pretty much the same as it was with music, you need a new generation to come along to think in terms of the new ways of working.

Right now it seems that the website builder services such as Squarespace are of great appeal to people. A few years ago a freelance designer could build a website for a local business with Wordpress but now they use Squarespace. The bloat does not matter to them. It looks good and who cares if it is not using CSS grid?

At the other end of the spectrum, sizeable businesses with web development teams are stuck like the early electronic music artists are. They have a visual design process, the 'agile' religion and plenty of excuses for not using CSS grid or even the full vocabulary of HTML5 elements one would use if taking a content driven design path.

I am looking forward to the changes that are likely to happen as the new generation gain more confidence and demonstrate better, quicker results by using better HTML5 and the full range of CSS grid. I can't see website builder services such as Squarespace being able to keep people happy with bloated web pages forever and, when it becomes possible to get results with native HTML5/CSS without having a behemoth of a dev team, there should be design progress.

Interesting, I`m thinkning in another direction.

With every step into makeing things easier, you lose something. With neural networks, we cant see how or why. With electronic music. the button that lets an orchestra play with one push, makes it more difficult to change one instrument. For webdesign / development: with tools that help you, it is harder to get things really how you want.

I notice this personally as well as coding as with music and find myself, not going back to the basics, but wanting to know more about it so it gives speed with using tools, while still being able to adjust the details.

I believe that there is value in mastering your skills and tools, and that that will you make you a better ... I dont think it has anything to do with a new generation or condifence?

There was a lot wrong with HTML and it only got a layout engine two years ago. People learned all the hacks, starting with table layouts, the the responsive div soup and then the frameworks to make it easier to make more div soup, not forgetting the build tools. There is sunk cost in this learning and a visual design process that goes with it. Anyone can make something complex.

To give that up and to take a content first approach with no visual mockups and semantic HTML is a bit too much to give up when you have teams built around the process. A younger generation starting from scratch can avoid all of this. Or they can just use Squarespace with the status quo continuing a lot longer.

The thing is that there are universities and colleges that do teach basic HTML. This will be taught with the modern HTML5 elements not too soon. When people who learn this stuff then get to do real projects they might baulk at using frameworks and libraries that are another thing to learn that is a bit unnecessary as they can achieve their design goals with what they already know.

This is 'intrinsic web design', using the inherent built in properties of the browser, keeping it simple and binning the frameworks, polyfills, libraries and visual mockup tools.

wordsandbuttons.online looks exactly like Text Design example from 1992. Got half of million hits last year. Apparently, when you have things to tell, being trendy is irrelevant.

Gah, their YouTube channel pops up an auto-subscribe box

> For the first time, this article shares the secret about how to create the trendiest web designs in the world

I don't like how clickbait-y the article started

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