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EVOLUTION OF WEB DESIGN
Wednesday, March 9, 2011    6:32 am

The website has come from far with the first website published in August 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee and it was a basic simple text based website with a few links. The initial version of HTML only allowed for headings, paragraphs and links with the subsequent developments allowing for images to be included in websites.

The World Wide Web consortium was formed in 1994 and succeeded in setting standards and controls guiding the development of the web. Then came the table based layouts which, in addition to presenting data in tabular form, was used to give structure to designs hence a remarkable improvement.

The era of design over structure came and saw the introduction of spacer GIFs, it focused more on website aesthetics than its structure. The development of WYSIWYG applications saw the increase in the use of table where the creation of very complex designs was made possible. Then in 1996 Flash based designs were introduced, this began as FutureSplash Animation then Macromedia Flash and currently is known as Adobe Flash. Flash made the development of complex animated and interactive sites very possible.

Macromedia shockwave was another development which was used to create menus and multimedia contents for CD-ROMs. Shockwave files are large and can only be played over the internet through broadband but Flash were smaller and can be played even through dial-up networks.

3DML is a little known language written with a non-valid XML file and which was used to create dimensional websites.

CSS based designs which gained popularity after 2000 is different in that it separates design elements from content and the document sizes are relatively smaller than table designs making the page response time much shorter. The other advantage of this design is that after initial loading of the website, the user’s browser catches the CSS so that subsequent visits take much less time to load the pages.

They are the best today for web page layout and is much better than the table based layout and allows for reduced mark up clutter. And since design elements and content are separated, website management is made easy so that even no-designers can manage websites easily without touching the content at all.

Website layout is now the focus since this can make visitors focus more on the content instead on the design of the site. Designers now keep the background of websites clear so as to divert the attention of site visitors to the main contents of the site. Today websites are much more matured and well optimized for search engines.

By: admin