Changing Web Design Trends

Changing Web Design Trends


Changing Web Design Trends

26.07.2013


Back when the World Wide Web was still a fledgling of technology in the early 1990s, websites were relatively unknown to most of us, and even fewer of us knew how to adequately design and program them. Early websites focused on cramming in as much text as you could in single-column html pages, whilst design was taking a back seat at this stage. In the mid 1990s tables made it possible to create multiple-column layouts and the development and design side of things also advanced; the emphasis was on visual effects, animation, and the introduction of Macromedia Flash in 1996 set the new face of the web in motion.

Twenty two years on, and web design principles have changed for the better. Today the focus is on reaching and keeping that target audience, and provided the best possible experience for the user. Today, responsive design is at the forefront of everyone’s mind as the technology explodes with new devices, all with their own advantages and disadvantages.

With SEO still the main adversary determining whose websites stand out and rank, content has become the centre of all website design principles. Content today not only needs to say what it needs to say, but it also needs to be accessible to search engines, relevant and multi-platform. Content has gone far beyond simple tables of text, but simplicity in website design is the growing trend. Sleek and simply design creates a user-friendly and relaxed web browsing experience, and allows the website to maintain its visual impact no matter what device it is being viewed on. Minimalism exploded onto the architecture scene in London and New York in the 1980s, and in website design the same is happening today; typography and flat colours, clear layouts and icons allow websites to preserve their aesthetic qualities to a wide range of technologies, even those with perhaps lesser provisions.

As responsive design and simplicity continue to be adopted into the majority of websites, desktops websites are ultimately beginning to look more like apps, with a simplified interface and user experience, combining content and design in an equal and legible balance. Responsive design and adaptive content mean that the focus is already shifting from creating a website or app for each device, but a single website that integrates seamlessly into a desktop or mobile platform. Multi-platform and cross-platform technologies will no doubt become more widespread and enhance existing responsive techniques (webfonts, icon fonts, SVG etc).

Beneath the surface, and HTML, CSS and Javascript are enhancing web app development, and new capabilities such as CSS3 are emerging all the time, as well as the development of native apps, WebGL (a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 3D and 2D graphics within any compatible web browser without having to use plug-ins) are enhancing expectations and performance all across the board. 

There has never been a better time for experimentation, through creating innovative new user experiences such as speech-based and touch-based technologies. User experience is the new web experience.

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