Early 1990’s – Snail Paced Dial Up
The very first website was published in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee. The internet consisted mainly of text based sites with no sign of visual considerations such as typography and imagery. Lightweight websites were built and optimised for the current internet speeds which was dial-up.
Mid 1990’s – On Top of the Table
Table based sites were introduced, taking over text based designs, allowing users to create multiple column websites. Visual hit counters started to appear in an attempt to show authority. Free page builders such as Geocities and Angelfire made it simpler for novice computer users to build their very own website.
Late 1990’s - The Arrival of Flash
Flash introduced new elements of web design such as combining virtual graphics with interaction. Later on, Flash would be deemed as one of the biggest SEO mistakes of all time and become widely rejected as good practice.
Early 2000’s – Clickable Pictures
Although CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) had been around since the late 90’s, it became popular in 2000. CSS allowed designers to separate website content from design/styling and increase flexibility in website layout. There was an increase in whitespace and a decrease in outlandish neon background colours. Links began to be attached to images and not just text.
Mid 2000’s – Drop Down Menus
Late 2000’s – The Rise of HTML 5
The Mobile Web – All in the Palm of Your Hand
In 2008, mobile access to the internet exceeded desktop access for the first time. Many businesses looked towards creating a condensed ‘mobile’ version of their site. Web Designers focused on tall and skinny designs rather than short and wide.
Today – Size Matters
Two decades on from the very first website and web design has come a long way. Good web design is now seen as an irreplaceable part of every marketing strategy. Responsive web design has recently soared in popularity, aiming to provide users with an optimal viewing experience on any device which does away with the need to build a separate mobile site.