In early 2020, all of our lives changed. It was a once in a lifetime phenomenon. What turned out to be chaos at first, gradually refined itself into a way of life. A temporary way of life. Or was it permanent? Some companies not only survived the pandemic but thrived. Apps such as Zoom and Doordash exploded in popularity. Just as we are getting back to normal, some things will change and go back to normal, and some things will stay the same. The web industry is no different.
Yes video conferencing has been around for almost 2 decades. Methods of communication, up until 2020, did not go through its full digital transformation. The most popular modes of collaboration(remotely) between teams or client meetings, were typically done on a conference call. Yes there were the outliers that used video conference on a regular basis, but this was largely the minority. When the pandemic hit, video conferencing exploded . Family members that were isolated felt warmth when they were able to see loved ones on video. Zoom became a household name. This translated into the business world. Now when there is a “meeting”, most web companies will bypass the good ole conference call and rely more on video.
Again this is another concept that a minority of companies used pre-pandemic. However, these companies were typically start-ups, as offices were too much overhead, or there were some logistical issues in which a remote option was the only solution. The typical web agency did their day to day business in an office. With the emergence of the pandemic, remote work became necessary, where it was no longer an outlier strategy. And what it unearthed is that employees work just as well at home as they do in the office. Or possibly better. Chatting at the water cooler or engaging with a friend at work became limited. Working at home put more of an emphasis on productivity and what was accomplished during work hours. It ushered in a new wave of employee autonomy. In addition, talent no longer has borders, so the best talent no longer has to be local to work at one’s workplace. If you go on Indeed, most of the UX/UI jobs are labeled as “Remote”.
Mobile App Use
Apps have been around since 2007, and they have been mostly popular with the younger generation. When the first COVID wave hit, you now found yourself searching for ways to avoid going to places. It was not known how well masks worked or how easily you could contract COVID via touch. And because of this, you saw an explosion for apps like Door Dash, Grubhub and Insta-Cart. These apps were used not just by millennials, but a lot of baby boomers. Once people started using them, delivery now became a really easy process. The technological learning curve for many was suddenly not that bad. This was enough to give a generation that didn’t really use apps, the springboard it needed. Now the industry has exploded even more as there is more demand for apps that will make our lives easier.
There is no doubt the pandemic was hard on a lot of us. Some businesses went bankrupt and individuals experienced their own issues. Industries across the board went through highs and lows. The Web Industry, with its unique dispositions, was not an exception. A rule of thumb with every bad situation is there is always a glimmer of opportunity.