4 December

History of Web Design- A Complete Journey towards Innovation

Have you ever imagined what the very first website looked like? It was absolutely nothing like that what we have today. There are no any images, no parallax design and no CSS. Let’s follow the history of website design throughout the years.

1989: The Dark Ages of Web Design

The very first examples of web design were pretty dark. This was because of the fact that there was no any graphical user interface. There was only a blinking cursor and bunch of text. Design elements were made out tabulation and symbols.

1990: HTML

The very first website using HTML was created by Tim-Berners-Lee. The first markup language was launched, which still provide the basic building blocks for the web pages.

1995: The Beginning

1995 is the beginning of the modern era. The very first browser “Mosaic” allowed designers to display images on the website. This is considered the first step into web design.   Combined with tables (already available through HTML), this capability resulted in some very unique designs for the era. Designers had to figure out how to code tables within tables, to display something more accurate or correctly.

Luckily, JavaScript resolved these complicated issues and actually extended the limitation of HTML greatly. For instance, if you want to dynamically modify the order of content on a web page or need a pop up window, JavaScript is the perfect solution. Unfortunately, JavaScript is comparatively slower than the native HTML.

1996: The Golden Era of Flash

1996 represented a new freedom for web designers. This was the golden era where limitations on the web design receded. This was because of Flash, a new technology that enables designers to animate the web design elements.  Not only this, designers could also make splash pages and all types of interactive website effects. But unfortunately, it was also not too search friendly and required a lot processing power.

1998: Welcome CSS

In 1998, CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) became the perfect solution to a lot of the design problems of the early web. The basic concept of the CSS is to separate content from presentation. Accordingly, the overall formatting and looks is defined in CSS and the content in presented in HTML.

Designers finally had a technology that allowed them to create a website look exactly the way they wanted. The old versions of CSS were not very flexible, but ultimately, CSS became the most popular and important technology for designers. But to be clear, CSS is not a coding language. It is a declarative language where elements are ‘declared’ instead of being ‘described’. In this year, PHP3 was also released and paved the way for the dynamic website pages.

1999: CSS3

In 1993, CSS3 introduced all new functions and features that changed the face of website development and design.

2003: Web 2.0

In late 2000s, web design started to take a turn towards web applications and interactive content. Web 2.0 introduced the age of user-based information. Designers made heavy use of XML and asynchronous JavaScript in order to develop smooth applications interfaces and content transitions.

2007: Grids and Framework

Developing website for mobile devices was a whole new challenge in itself. Designers had to resolve several problems when designing websites for small screens of various devices. The first improvement was the idea of column grid system. The next was standardizing the most commonly used elements like buttons, navigation, forms and to pack them in a simple reusable way.

2010: Responsive Web Design

In 2010, Ethan Marcotte designed a great solution for the problem of website display on mobile devices. He named it Responsive Design. Initially, there were a lot of misconceptions in developers, designers and client about the capabilities of responsive design. Everyone had their own perspectives on Responsive Design. The main advantage of Responsive Design is that web design efforts are now independent of the screen sizes.

 The Times of Flat Design

The flat design actually prioritizes content over fancy shadow effects or flashy effects. Simplification of visual elements, typography, photography, thoughtful layouts, and sharp illustrations, all are incorporated to create a web experience that looks equally good on any device.

2013: HTML5

In 2013, HTML5 introduced an improved way of marking up wed design elements with full support for the latest multimedia. It is easily readable and consistently understood by computer and devices.

The Bright Future

And what about for the future?

The most probable scenario is where the designers will no longer have to worry about the browser compatibility. They will have designing tools to create websites look and work that they want on any device.