There has been a remarkable evolution in the web over the past couple of decades. It is not too long ago since the first generation of websites hit the internet. Since then though, the evolution from basic web pages to the current complex web apps that now rule the market has been amazing. The entire design process has changed and nowadays, different design languages are used to create websites. Just like with other industries, the evolution of websites has been expected. Let us take a captivating look at how web design has evolved over the years.
A Captivating Look at How Web Design Has Evolved Over Time
The first generation
By current standards, 1st gen websites were not really designed with aesthetics in mind. The technology was still very young and the main focus of designers was to achieve functionality. This is why first generation websites only feature the most basic aspects; links, text, and navigation. The hyperlinks were underlined and distinguished with the rest of the text with a blue color. As you can expect, the text was arranged like in a text editor without much emphasis on formatting. Navigation was also vertical, with page scrolling being an intricate part of the design.
The introduction of tables
After a while, it became necessary to make web pages more complex in order to incorporate more features. As recorded by Arstechnica, the first ever GUI system in Windows came in 1990 with version 3.0. This system pioneered the possibilities of GUI on the web as well. Tables were introduced in the web in the mid-1990s and they brought more functionality to websites. Designers were able to create text that was arranged in blocks. The design thus improved significantly and more complex websites made up of a richer structure became commonplace.
The Flash era
After a long time with a basic design that focused heavily on text, new software called Flash was introduced in the late 1990s. This software made it possible for website designers to incorporate multimedia into the websites. The first ever videos and music were thus able to make it to the web because of Flash. The software was also instrumental for the development of the first generation animations. Without a doubt, Flash marked an important turning point in the web. Most of the new designs that you can see today, including Avast secureline design, all owe their sophistication to the possibilities that came because of Flash.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), is a coding language that is used widely on the web. This language was developed in the 1990s but its prominence came in the 2000s. CSS takes credit for being the language that made the web more sophisticated. While flash was able to bring a great visual appeal to the websites, the overall design was still very rigid. CSS was able to remove this rigidity and it allowed for the development of the first generation of social media websites. CSS was developed with the key focus being on improving the presentation of content. It is because of CSS that templates started becoming common in the market.
Current web design styles
In the 2010s, we have been able to experience the full maturity of web design. The incorporation of text, graphics, and animations to the web has become normal. The focus has now shifted to making design simple and adaptive to different environments. This is why the flat design has defined this era. The idea behind the current designs is to provide functionality in an aesthetically-pleasing design that is also minimalist. Minimalism has become necessary because people are simply not looking forward to being wowed by impressive designs. Instead, the focus is on achieving functionality.
The future of web design is not easy to predict. Considering how quickly the evolution has been over the last three decades, it is no longer possible to say that there are things that websites cannot be able to do. The future is thus not more about functionality but about what each website is supposed to do. There are still various technologies that are being developed which might determine how we consume web apps. Because of this, the experience is what remains to be the most important issue in web design. Future web design ventures will focus more on specialization and differentiation.