A (brief)History of web design

The web has come a long way since it’s invention in the 1990 by Tim berner Lee. Since the 1990, web design has undergone rapid changes. The difference between the very first site to the sites of today, shows just how much more complex and dynamic web design has become as a field.

The very first websites

The very first sites, where extremely basic text based sites.

Things got more interesting with the advent of graphical interface browsers like Mosaic. Now developers can finally add images, but they were positioned with tables. Using tables lead to sites having a lot more going on their site, as well as being more organised with techniques like sliced design. Still, websites were often designed very poorly, with whatever seemed advanced being favoured instead of something antithetically pleasing.

1995 – 2000

In mid 90s, JavaScript and flash were introduced. JavaScript helped simplify stuff for developers, whilst also introducing cool features such as pop windows. In 1996, flash came along, and this really changed things. Some call this the golden age of the internet. With flash, designers and developers could easily make their sites more interactive. Now sites were filled with animation, colorful fonts, crazy layouts.

In the late 90s, a new technology called CSS (Cascading style sheet) came out. However, it didn’t see widespread usage until much later on, due to limited compatibility with browsers.

Early modern web design

By the early 2000s, websites began to take on a more structured look, with drop down menu and more use friendly navigation options. Java script was now being used for page layouts, computing data and interacting menus.  Forms began to appear, as well as personalised user profiles.

Late 2000s and early 2010s – Modern web design

Towards the end of the decade, web design became much more interactive without needing to load and was using more web applications. One of the most significant changes is how the internet began to move beyond the desktop. Now, web designers had to figure out how to adapt their designs to a smaller screens.This lead to changes such as a focus on using the grid system and responsive design principles in 2010

Responsive design is now at the fore front, where designers must bear in mind that 2/3 rd of users are now accessing the web through mobile devices such as smart phones, and tablets. This has lead to alternates sites for mobile devices.






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