The revolutionary step in the history of technology and mankind, in general, was the development of the internet or the world wide web, as it is sometimes called. The rapid growth and popularization of the Internet began with the creation of the HTML or the HyperText Markup language, which is now a basis on which the whole internet is founded on. Likewise, the infancy of web design started right along and gained momentum with the development of HTML complexity.
Web design, in it’s early years (beginning of the 1990’s) was a basic, crude art, a minimalist technique based on a few simple ideas and concepts. The web pages of those days were text-only, and the browsers were also very simple. We will have to wait a few years more to reach the first graphic design elements, like sounds, images, and videos.
One of the first wide spread internet browsers was the Mosaic Browser and the creator of this browser, Marc Andreessen, was the creator of the later Netscape browser. Competition did not wait for a long time to join in, and, by 1996, browser wars broke out.
One of the staples of the modern internet which almost every modern web page uses is Flash technology, which started out in 1996 with the introduction of Macromedia Flash. Even though it had very limited possibilities back then, compared to the modern version, Flash changed the look of the internet.
Flash allowed web designers to incorporate much more interactive content with very little design skill. Today, many web sites will completely leave out HTML and use Flash as the main design tool.
The history of web design can be divided into four major periods. The first period begins with the introduction of Mosaic browser up to the moment when HTML was brought into widespread use.
Many problems and limitations plagued web design back then, from a slow connection to monochrome monitors. The second period started with the development of graphic elements like icons, buttons, banners and structural menus.This lead to issues like over-crowdedness with colored backgrounds and icons.
The third-period kick started with new technologies that allowed faster browsing and download speeds and designers seriously started to pay attention to this element of web design.
As soon as the engineers figured out a way to process and deliver information faster, the web designer started to create more complex web sites rich with multi-media content like animation, sound, videos and so on. Web sites of the fourth generation mainly develop the principles brought in by third-generation sites with more and more specifically engineered sites made to understand and fulfill the client’s wishes.
Finally, web design is a growing art and attracts more and more young professionals who like to innovate and develop their skills. Web design will surely be one of the fastest growing industries of the 21st century.