4 Main periods in Web Design
Web designers are expected to satisfy the necessary requirements for the layout and functionality of the website. If their role implies writing the code, they need to be in line with the current standards in the field of web development.
Elements that web design areas include are web and graphic design, user interface design, authoring, including standardized code and SEO optimization for web browsers. Here are some of them:
- Markup languages (such as HTML, XHTML, and XML)
- stylesheet (such as XSL and CSS)
- server-side scripting (like ASP and PHP)
- databases – technologies (such as MySQL, MSSQL)
- multimedia technologies (such as Flash and Silverlight)
- web strategy and marketing
- SEO optimization
- and much more …
Web design history can be conventionally divided into four main periods (generations), by its development and design complexity.
The first period
It began with the development of the first free browser “Mozaik” and it came to an end when HTML became widespread. Website design at this stage was under the influence of many technological constraints, like slow connections of modem and inability for fast data transfers.
Here, web design looked much more professional than in the first period. It had features that were new, icons replaced word keys, and a menu containing information was more structured and organized in a hierarchy. There was a need to adjust the site design for certain screen resolutions.
Web designers began to pay attention to significant factors such as the speed of downloading information and the resolution of the monitor. However, the text was not easy to read due to the characteristics of the browser and the speed of the Internet, and users were not interested to wait a few minutes in order for the content to finally appear.
The third generation of web design sites
As the main goal, it had the delivery of multimedia content, including sound, animation, 3D models. This phase is associated with the introduction of Flash technology that has become very popular. Web designers use multimedia content in order to attract customers and visitors according to the goal of a particular site. Therefore, the structure of the site and its navigation system are considered extremely important for the design of the site, in order to allow users to quickly find what they are looking for.
The basic principle in the third phase was Aida’s strategy, that is to attract new visitors: to keep visitors on the site for as long as possible, to wake up the desire to learn more about the location or company, to motivate the visitors to contact you.
The fourth generation
This period has specificities such as an abundance of multimedia content and the ability to order over the Internet. Today, sites are specially developed for e-commerce (online sales platforms), government, education, entertainment, business, etc. with the basic aim of fulfilling the client’s request.