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The Grumpy Designer’s 2023 Preview

Eric Karkovack
Published: December 14, 2022

2022 turned out to be a tumultuous year for the tech industry. Crypto crashed, a certain social media network was taken over by a certain loquacious billionaire, and a lot of jobs were lost. Perhaps a few books will be written about this chaotic trip around the sun.

But rather than wallow in what was, this grumpy designer prefers to look forward. Taking the time to think about what will happen in the next year is a great opportunity – for some lighthearted satire, that is. Making outrageous predictions is both fun and an escape from everyday life. That’s something we can all use.

As with years past, my focus will be on things that matter to web designers. It’s all about the notable tools, people, and technology that keep our industry interesting.

If you’re a newcomer, I should also mention that there will be quite a bit of snark as well. Laughs are the primary goal, after all.

Without further ado, let’s take a peek at what will definitely happen in 2023!

Twitter Introduces Features to Please New Ownership

Twitter has been a great resource for the web design community. It’s been a vehicle for sharing information and connecting with others. Thus, it was no surprise that some members were concerned by Elon Musk’s acquisition of the platform. Would the famously impulsive billionaire be too disruptive?

In a word: Yes. Musk has been the proverbial bull in a crystal shop, laying off employees (only to rehire some shortly thereafter), conducting “code reviews,” and making all manner of odd proclamations.

The bottom line is that Twitter now exists to excite and entertain its new owner. As such, new features will be implemented exclusively for this purpose. 2023 will see a few major releases, including:

Randomly Edited Tweets
While the ability to edit tweets requires a paid Twitter Blue account, free users are in luck. A new algorithm will randomly change “unsatisfactory” tweets to better align with Musk’s worldview.

I know what you’re thinking – it’s a ploy to enforce the new guy’s take on free speech. But this feature goes well beyond mere lobbying efforts. Things can get a bit personal.

For instance, a tweet declaring that sloths are your favorite animal could be edited to match Musk’s fictional preference. Or a photo of you drinking a cup of coffee might be swapped out with a can of Diet Coke.

While it may be a minor inconvenience for users, it does mean that the boss won’t have to read anything the least bit unpleasant. That’s better for everyone.

“Troll Me” Button
The new sheriff in town has decided to cut back on content moderation. Some may see this as a bad thing, but the idea behind this decision is rather altruistic. The goal is to make it even easier to connect with others.

That’s why a new “Troll Me” button will appear on every user’s profile. Click it, and you’ll be presented with a list of pre-approved insults and condemnations. Simply choose the message that suits your needs and be on your merry way!

If beta testing proves successful, watch for the feature to also be added to the Reply options.

*Per Twitter’s new verification system, I’d like to specify that everything above is a parody. No Tesla vehicles were harmed.

  Twitter's Troll Me button could make it easier to connect with Elon Musk.

New WordPress Plugins Will Adopt the Trends

WordPress has been around long enough that we’ve seen several trends come and go. From the way plugins approach specific functionality to a total rewrite of how themes are built, change is always on the menu.

2023 will be no exception. In fact, plugin developers are going to take things to an entirely new level. Look for the following WordPress plugins to find their way onto the market:

Admin Notifications Pro Extended
It seems like plugins litter the dashboard with notifications a little more each year. Not only are they greater in numbers, but they’re also harder to dismiss. That is if you can dismiss them at all.

Admin Notifications Pro Extended doesn’t want this trend to end. In contrast, it seeks to join in the fun!

The plugin ($29.99 per month for a single-site license) will display random, nonsensical notifications throughout the dashboard. To maintain the element of surprise, some will intentionally break the WordPress block editor – meaning you won’t be able to save that 1,000-word blog post. Such is life.

Level up with the User Experience Add-on ($100 per 500 page views) to make notices appear on the front end as well.

#WPDrama Generator
There’s nothing like a controversial discussion to stir up a little #WPDrama. But what happens during those quiet moments when no one is arguing?

That’s where the new #WPDrama Generator plugin comes in. It features a choose-your-own-adventure interface for creating hot takes, takedowns, and other hijinks. Publish your creation and use the built-in social sharing tool to stir the virtual pot.

If you’ve taken things too far, use the available WP Apology Generator add-on ($50 per use) to craft a mea culpa that’s reviewed by a professional crisis management bot.

The #WPDrama Generator lets users invent a crisis.

Artificial Intelligence Will Be a Web Designer’s Best Friend

Worried that artificial intelligence (AI) will take your job? I very much doubt it, as algorithms can’t fully replace human creativity and sensibility (yet).

If anything, AI will be there to guide web designers where we need it most. It will turn our weaknesses into strengths. But that’s not all.

I predict that sometime in 2023, we’ll see an app that leverages AI to tackle our biggest struggle: dealing with clients.

Among its core features:

  • Automatically connects to the client’s website to make the logo bigger;
  • Adjusts color contrast ratios to add some “pop” to the look;
  • Responds to vague emails by asking for clarification;
  • Detects scope creep and lets clients know when a request will cost more money;
  • Infiltrates your client’s devices and clears their cache;
  • Blocks client access to defunct web browsers;

Now that’s what I call useful technology. If only it could do something about those clients who don’t pay their bills…

 Artificial Intelligence would make it easier to work with clients.

Start the New Year with a Laugh

As we prepare for another year, I think it’s important to do so with a sense of humor. Laughter is critical for surviving in chaotic times. That’s as relevant in web design as it is in life.

Hopefully, these predictions help in that quest. By roasting what’s to come, perhaps we can handle the inevitable bumps in the road more easily. If not, at least we can say that we had a few chuckles first.

Here’s to 2023. May you find happiness, success, and something to laugh about!