The first website was published in 1991. This site was the beginning of a digital revolution.

While I am thankful for how far the web has come, there are some historical web design choices that actually demand a nod of respect.

This website hasn't been lost to time. If you want to see what a website looked like when it was first launched, enter its domain name into the Wayback Machine and choose a date. In this post, let's take a look at how web design has evolved over time, from text-only interface up through the sleek, modern designs we see today.

Early 1990s: Antiquity

The start of our website design timeline can be seen in the early 90s. There was no high-speed internet connection at this point. It was either a dial-up modem or nothing. It was necessary for websites to be built for less-than-stellar connection speeds. They were mostly like walls of text, what we now take for granted as design layout did not exist.

history of web design: an examle of an early html website

Compared to today, the basic tags for headings, paragraphs, and links are still the same. , imagery, and navigation were things of the future.

Takeaways for Today's Websites:

The function of these early sites was purely informational, but some elements of today's design can be seen. The old web pages were lightweight and made for a slow internet connection. The user experience was taken into account in these design considerations.

The internet can handle media-rich websites, but it still has some limits. Large media files, heavy graphic design, and excessive animations can all contribute to higher bounce rates. Remember to keep your user in mind when thinking about complicated design.

Mid-1990s: The Middle Ages

The middle ages of web design were plagued by on-site page builders. Better than an actual plague? By the 90s, web design had evolved in terms of structure and appearance. Designers began using table-based layouts to organize their work. The sites were still text heavy, but they could now be divided into columns, rows, and other elements for better readability.

The popularity of graphical design elements grew quickly. There are a number of graphical elements that mark this period in web design.

history of web design: the early version of apple's website

Takeaways for Today's Websites:

There are a lot of reasons why table-based design is not the best choice for your website.

This development was the first step in the evolution of web design. Designers had to consider the best way to present information to the user in the different sections of a web page.

When thinking about navigation and content, page structure is critical. The user experiences and interacts with your site are largely determined by it. These considerations were not at the forefront during the middle ages of web design.

Late 1990s: The Renaissance

The Renaissance. There is a rebirth. One of the first changes to web design was the introduction of flash. The world of design possibilities was opened up by the introduction of flash in 1996. It was the combination of virtual graphics and interaction.

Many of the same design elements from previous periods were still present, but they were enhanced with animations, tiled background images, neon colors, 3D buttons, and other multimedia.

The beginning of visitor-focused design was marked by flash, as it became important to consider structure and navigation over pure content.

history of web design: a website with flash elements

Takeaways for Today's Websites:

It wouldn't stick around forever. One of the biggest sins of all time is the use of flash. Nowadays, it's the norm to use alternative methods such asCSS and Javascript to get similar effects, or to use videos from video hosting sites.

Early 2000s: The Enlightenment

The early 2000s were a time when web design became more flexible.

CSS is a coding language that allows developers to separate their content and style by storing visual rules in separate files. Content could now be developed from design and vice versa, thanks to this. Less code and complexity, more flexibility, and quicker to load were some of the benefits of using theCSS.

Increased use of whitespace and the decrease of garish colors are a result of better understanding of color psychology. Links started being added to icons rather than just text, resolution and pixelation became more important concerns, and strategic placement of content also gained traction.

history of web design: an early website for the company polaroid

Takeaways for Today's Websites:

Any site that makes it easier to do this job gets a giant check-mark. Most users don't read everything on a website, and web designers know how readers take in information.

A few of the best practices for websites today are intuitively placed information, visually accentuated links, and straightforward navigation. Always design with ease in mind.

Mid- to Late-2000s: The Industrial Revolution

The birth of Web 2.0. Things began to move toward the modern web at this time. The rise of interactive content, the advent of social media, and the growth of multimedia applications are some of the key features of this period.

The way web design was done was dictated by these changes. Better color distribution, increased use of icons, and greater attention to sType are some of the changes in the aesthetic.

Design became about content and search engine optimization. With the user at the center of design, selling products became the secondary function of websites, and now it was all about getting found.

history of web design: a mid-2000s website for the company lulu lemon

Takeaways for Today's Websites:

The evolution of Web 2.0 saw the growth of search engine rankings. While these techniques have been changed over the years, thinking about your website in terms of Search Engine Optimisation is still a top priority for most thriving business websites.

Content was the focus of web design during this era. Natural design elements such as tag, authoring, and RSS became a part of the process. The methods used to exploit these techniques are no longer effective.

2010 to Now: The Modern Era

Twenty years after the publication of the first website, web design has established itself as an essential component of every good marketing strategy. 50% of consumers think website design is crucial to a business's brand, according to recent research.

In terms of modern aesthetic, we have seen the proliferation of minimalists, such as sparse content, flat graphics, and simpler colors. Infinite scrolling and single-page design are some of the design features that have taken center stage.

Our website has embraced all these features with its new design.

history of web design: a modern website for the company hubspot

The mobile web is a key step in the evolution of web design. There has been a re-evaluation of the way websites are structured to accommodate for the growing number of mobile web users since the launch of the iPhone. This includes several mobile frameworks that take a mobile-first approach, and an even greater focus on mobile speed optimization, since phones usually lack the processing speed or connection strength of your typical desktop.

Responsive design allows websites to look good on any device or screen by automatically adjusting page elements to the width of the browsing window. Over half of global website traffic comes from mobile devices, so responsive design is necessary to ensure a pleasing mobile user experience.

Where will websites go next?

There is one factor that has informed every single one of these developments. Every design element here has been adapted to bring the most relevant content to the user in the most efficient and effective way. This era of web design is defined by accessibility.

It is fun to take a look back at where we came from, even though there is much more we can do with web design today. It is exciting to think about where web design will go in the next 20 years.

The post was originally published in July of 2013).

examples of brilliant homepage, blog, and landing page design

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It was published on March 30 2022, 7:00:00 AM.