How Many Designers Does it Take to Fix 1 Billion Websites?

How Many Designers Does it Take to Fix 1 Billion Websites?

In 2014 the WWW (World Wide Web) celebrated it’s 1 billionth website!
Should we celebrate or lament?

Are you experiencing a better internet or do you, like others struggle to use the wide variety of websites available? Designers to the rescue! But how many does it take to fix the world’s websites?

What Does 1 Billion Websites Mean?

Does 1 billion websites mean you have access to more information than ever?

Or does 1 billion websites mean there’s a lot of information, but you struggle to get to it easily, because every website you access can be challenging to use?

1 billion websites

And website’s don’t just give you information, they allow you talk to friends, share updates, buy things, enjoy films and much more.

But every website you visit is different, some can be easy to use as we become more familiar with them, but the majority of websites can be difficult to navigate making it hard to get to the things you want.

And now there’s 1 billion complex beasts (websites); they’re constantly changing and upgrading, meaning we have to continually adapt and learn how to use websites time and time again, making the World Wide Web a complex and frustrating place.

Illustration: complex beasts image here…

It’s not only you and I struggling to use websites, there are now 3.2 billion  ( Ref: time.com) website users in the world who are experiencing the same difficulties.

When Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet he famously said “This is for everyone”. It’s time to honor his words by improving 1 billion websites and making the web for everyone again.

How Do We Tame 1 Billion Complex, Beastly Websites Into Friendly and Useful Websites to Help 3.2 billion Website Users?

Improving 1 billion websites takes 2 things:

  1. Resources — people to implement changes and improve websites
  2. Knowledge — the know-how on what to do to make a website usable and useful

Point 1: How Many Resources(people) Does it Take?

We need 600,000 resources (minimum). How’s this calculated?

Research has shown that a designer (graphic designer, web designer, digital designer, etc) will design an average of 960 websites in his or her career. This is based on research from reddit and a poll on CSS Tricks.

I also know from my 16 years experience in the world of web design that I design about 2–4 websites per month.

So on average, designers work on 3 websites per month = 36 per year.

Over a 45 year career a designer will create or be part of designing 1620 websites.

So if 617,283 designers had the know-how for making websites more usable and useful, then they would improve 1,000,000,000 (1 billion) websites.

Over 600,000 designers seems a lot, especially when it seems there are only 162,900 web designers in America (details below).


How Many Designers in the World?


So Who Else Can Team Up with Designers to Fix The Web?

Sure, designers play a big part in forming a website but there are 3 other main types of expert who are involved in the creation and future development of websites.

There are variants of these job titles, but for the purpose of this post, I’ve grouped them into 3 categories:

  • Developers (front-end and back-end)
    18.5 million software developers in the world — Ref: AdMag
  • Digital Marketers — Quantity unkown
  • Digital Product Managers — Quantity unkown

As you can see, there are plenty of developers and as much as it’s difficult to know how many digital marketers and product managers there are, you can bet there will be in the region of 1 million.

So we know there’s enough resources or skilled people out there to help make websites more usable and useful, phew. What’s next? Knowledge.

Illustration: knowledge

So What do we Need to Know to Save The World From Complexity and Make Websites Easier to Use?

To change websites for the better, we first have to understand 2 things:

  1. Why and how a person is using a website
  2. And how does that person feel when they use the website

1. Why a Person Uses a Website

This can be as straight forward as finding advice, answering a question, purchasing a present for a friend or watching a video on YouTube.

2. How Does a Person Feel When They Use a Website

How a person feels when using website is determined by the task they want to complete and how easy or hard it is.

For example, if you were going to a website to buy a present, can you find present you wanted to buy?

Do you have all the information and functionality required to purchase the present for your friend and could you do it quickly and conveniently?

  • Point 1 explains usability
  • Point 2 explains usefulness (or utility)

… Illustration: usability/usefulness

When We Understand Usability and Usefulness, Then we Can Design Better Websites

When usability and usefulness work together this forms what’s known as an amazing User Experience.

User Experience is the key to creating usable and useful websites all over the world.

There are over 1 billion websites in the world that are hard to use, it will only take 600,000 people to understand and apply User Experience design to make them easy to use.

It’s time for the User Experience revolution to begin so that we can save you and  3.2 billion other internet users from using difficult websites and make the web for everyone as Sir Tim Berners-Lee Intended.

… Illustration: 1 billion websites, 600000 people, 3.2 billion users.