Web Design History part 2

In the first part, you learned a bit about the earlier days of the internet, before web design became shiny and content rich.  In this part, we will talk about the improvements in web design since the new millennium began.

Web design changed again with the advent of so-called “Web 2.0”.  Web design began to drift towards Web 2.0 around 2004, with pages that began to request more input and interaction from users. Web designs became more able to deal with input from users, beginning to include comment sections or ad hoc polls.  As the idea of Web 2.0 web design became more ingrained, social networks and social news sites began to appear, such as Myspace, Facebook, or Digg.  Similarly, the demand for easy to manipulate, good looking web designs increased as internet users began to write blogs.

With Web 2.0 came the rise of Asynchronous Javascript And XML (AJAX), which made it possible for web design to create pages with many areas where the user could interact without forcing a complete page reload.  For example, a web design could include a small area to participate in a poll, and users could select their answer and click “submit”, and then see the results of the poll without the entire page reloading.  This resulted in a smoother website experience, precisely what web design is all about.

With 2008 came the push towards mobile internet browsing.  Internet enabled mobile devices began to become more and more commonplace, and web design had to change with the trend.  Mobile web designs began to work alongside full sized web designs, so that mobile browsers would be redirected to a site more suitable for their form factor.

Aiding this has been the further improvement, and use of CSS, and the new HTML5 revision, which will soon be the standard for HTML.  Web design has become heavily dependant on CSS to create good looking, easily readable pages on every form factor, and is slowly crushing poor web design from existence.  HTML5 has allowed web  page design to incorporate videos and music without requiring a user to have any kind of plugin (i.e. Flash), making the browsing experience more seamless. Web design has also placed emphasis on creating sites on which the user does not need to scroll horizontally at all.  Instead, the web design should reformat content based on the width of the screen, and squeeze it downward if necessary. Having a web design that can be flexable and adapt to the user will make all the difference in the quickly evolving world online.

We can expect web design to continue to change as people’s internet browsing habits and methods change.  Maybe glasses-based computers will become a reality, or something else, but web design will meet the challenge and change its strategy to accommodate whatever new hardware appears.