As with all technological advancements, history will not likely repeat itself with Web Design, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from the past. “Vintage” is not a compliment when referring to your Web Site. Beginning in the 60’s, the Internet was created as a means to transfer information from scientists to military personnel via telephone lines. The 1990’s brought mass usage of this thing called the Internet. It just took a few years for us to learn how to harness its power. Where art thou, Netscape?
At the start, Web design was basic HTML (hyper text markup language) coding because it allowed Sites to link up. It wasn’t fancy, but it had possibilities. These Web Sites, called first generation sites, contained limited graphics and linear layouts. Here is an example of a first generation Site. Slower modems could more easily transfer the information. Second generation Web Sites are probably what most of us think of when we reference 90’s style design. Here is an example of a second generation Site. It wasn’t until the third generation of Web design that Site had colorful backgrounds and animation. HTML was gradually becoming more and more complex when CSS (cascading style sheets) became available.
We have currently entered what is being called the fourth generation of Web design. Web Sites have every possibility to be a unique creation through tools such as XML, Java, and Flash. Designers can now add small programs with little effort to their Sites or add interactive elements such as videos, games, and other inclusions. There is software to create templates and designs. There are a wealth of products and information to create a professional and well-designed Web Site. Now, we are able to focus on content, readability, flow, and other aspects of Web design that make the user experience positive and informative.
So, HTML, thanks for everything you did in laying the foundation for our tools today.