Old v New Traditions

This week I started work on a website for a company that have been making hand-made sweets in Cork since 1928. It is a family business, run by a father and son with the third generation now working there.

Shandon Sweets

Father and son at work at Shandon Sweets

It is a wonderful experience to get to spend time with them, to see how they make the sweets the same way their grandfather did. They are skilled at their work and you can see the passion and enthusiasm they have.  But being a web designer working in an industry that changes so much, so quickly, it is refreshing to come across traditions that can adapt yet remain true to their origins.

For Dan and Tony the way that they make sweets will remain the same but it is how they sell sweets that is changing.  People will drop by for a packet of clove drops but the internet is a way of opening their market, which  can be nationwide or international. They have seen this and are started the process of going digital and this is a challenge for them.

Being a web designer I get to tell their story, which is something that I am proud to do. I want to represent their business as best I can and get the chance for people all over the world to know about them. But this has made me wonder about modern technology and the web. It is all so new and changing so fast that it would be hard to pass on a tradition like this. What I  learnt a year ago is fast becoming obsolete and I have to constantly re-train and keep up to date with current trends so that I don’t fall behind. The part that hasn’t changed is the storytelling aspect and perhaps this will be the tradition that I get to pass on to my children.

This has made me realise why I enjoy being a web designer so much. It is a chance to see what other people do for a living and to tell their story. By using words and pictures I get to bring their business to the web and have the potential for hundreds, maybe thousands and perhaps even millions of people to look at their website.

Author: Paul Murray