How Web Design Has Changed and Evolved Over The Years
Not many people may be aware of this, but the World Wide Web has existed for more than 30 years – it was invented three decades ago by a man named Tim Berners-Lee, primarily to make it easier for people to share information wherever they were in the world.
Of course, the World Wide Web as we know it today has changed tremendously from its original function and purpose, and this evolution is certainly fascinating.
Web design is one particular element related to the World Wide Web which is constantly evolving as well, and styles have transformed a lot from the very first website which only had text containing hyperlinks that told people about the web, what it was, how they could use it, and how to set it up.
The 90s saw the introduction of the very first language used for publishing websites: HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language.
The language was used for the sharing of text-only website pages through a standard browser, and it was quite limited.
But in the mid to late 90s, web designers developed the GUI or Graphical User Interface, and this allowed web designers to include graphic icons and images in their websites as well.
During this time, tables also became a popular means of arranging graphics and text.
It was only in the late 90s, however, that Flash appeared on the web design scene, and this software platform was revolutionary for designers, as it allowed them to include video, animation, and music in their websites.
At this point, websites also became more interactive, and this design breakthrough led to certain web design trends such as interactive website menus, animations, bubble buttons, and splash web pages.
Since not many people were aware of the web concept, Flash allowed them to experience it in an entirely novel and bold way, and novice web users quickly became more familiar with the technology.
But even though Flash was revolutionary, users had to have the latest plugin on their computers, and this limited its accessibility and usability.
The emergence of social media
Once social media emerged in the early 2000s, web design became more flexible – especially with the emergence of CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets.
Cascading Style Sheets defined individual styles, such as a larger font size used in a sub-heading – spread across the different pages of a single site, and each element didn't have to be coded individually.
Then templates for web design began coming out, which also allowed ordinary individuals to create as well as publish their own personal sites.
The introduction of flat design
This went on for some time, until 2010 that is, when Ethan Marcotte introduced a new approach to web design, and it was called responsive web design. It was a totally new way of using CSS and HTML, and it changed the web design landscape once again.
Basically, with responsive web design, one website would be able to adapt to various environments for display – whether it was being viewed on a smartphone, a tablet, a PC, or a laptop.
Responsive web design let people view websites with the same experience, no matter what gadget they were using.
It also brought about another web design concept called flat design, which embraces an aesthetically pleasing and efficient 2D web design style that's minimalist. The emphasis on flat design is more about functional rather than ornamental web design.
Nowadays, web designers are still heavily geared towards flat design, but what’s fascinating is how web design has reverted back to its original purpose: the prioritising of web content and the prioritising of information communication.
The wonderful thing about web design today is that it has evolved so well in the last three decades, but it is still evolving today.
But the point to remember is this: if you want to update your current website or develop a new one, it's essential to choose a web design company which is up to date with the latest developments and trends.
Here at it'seeze Web Design Bristol, we pride ourselves on the innovative and results-focused websites we're able to offer our clients, alongside ongoing support whenever you need it. Why not get in touch with us to discuss your web design needs further?
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