We’re entering the 21st century.
And, like many things, there’s plenty of demand for a design tool.
While we’ve seen many new tools come and go, the idea of using them in the workplace and in our daily lives is still alive and well.
“Web design has a long history,” says Kristin O’Brien, who’s been working in web design for 20 years.
“It was the one industry I had my hands on for many years.”
O’Brien has worked as a designer for a variety of companies including the Royal Bank of Canada, American Airlines and Bank of America.
The majority of her career was in the consumer design space, but she’s also been an online marketer for companies such as eBay, Facebook and Netflix.
“The web has been around for a long time,” she says.
“We’ve seen web design evolve and become more sophisticated and sophisticated.
The way that it was designed is changing a lot.”
O-Brien says it’s a growing field, with companies such a Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat creating more opportunities for designers.
But there’s also an old way of doing things.
“There was a certain era where we used a lot of paper,” she explains.
“Now, people are just using their smartphones and tablets and tablets are cheaper than paper.”
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“I think there’s a lot more emphasis being placed on the visual side of things,” she adds.
“People are not so interested in the technical side of it.”
Designing for mobile and social mediaThe biggest change in design has been the introduction of social media.
In a year, more than a billion Canadians will have access to the internet.
As a result, designers have been tasked with designing for mobile devices.
According to a report from McKinsey & Co., mobile devices account for 15 per cent of the design work done by Canadian designers, with the majority of the work being done for home and office applications.
The firm says that a large proportion of mobile work is done in-house.
In the past, designers had to take the design to a physical location to create the app or website, which would require extensive design and design work that would take weeks to complete.
Now, designers can simply upload their work to the cloud and the software can then create the website or app from the file.
The benefits of this shift include reduced design and development time, less time spent on prototypes and faster production.
“We’re able to create a product that’s not only better for the end user but also better for design and production,” says O’Connor.
“The end user gets a product to design and to manufacture.”
Another reason to stay involvedWith a wide range of projects at hand, O’Brian says designers have to make sure their design ideas are relevant to the client’s needs.
“What’s the customer looking for?
How do they use it?
How does the product help them?”
O’Connor says she’s seen a shift in the way designers are using the internet, with a large number of designers working from home.
“If you’re doing a design for an agency, you’re often working from your home office,” she tells CBC.
“You’re often not seeing the same design on your desk or in the office.
That’s why it’s important to have a design that’s relevant to where you are.”
Some of O’Briens favourite clients include the federal government, the University of British Columbia and a variety that include Royal Bank, Royal Mail and the University Health Network.
“People are looking for the best and the brightest designers in the world,” she added.
“And they’re looking for design that will help them to be the best.”