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I’ve often heard WYSIWYGs, and more recently website builders, likened to robots replacing human workers on factory production lines; I’ve yet to hear of a robot making it into the design department. Certainly, there is scope for automation in web design: When once you spent an hour setting up basic stylesheets, now you import a framework; when once you spent a day considering design options, now you choose a design pattern; when once you spent a week coding specific functionality, now you download a plugin.

We all want to think of our skills as essential, but are we essential to our skills? Are web designers surplus to requirements?



The key principle by which we measure WYSIWYGs and website builders is how clean the code they output is. To date, I’ve not seen a single one that produces acceptable production code. As The Grid isn’t yet accepting clients, the only site we can use to judge its code is its own, which was built with its software.

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