This article will talk about history. I know that maybe what you think you need to become a web design. Why do I need to learn history, but I think it's essential to understand how we got to today's society? Because we're always operating within kind of a context, right. There's a context to everything that we do. We don't invent anything, and we have to know where we came from and what happened before us to understand why we're doing what we're doing today and how to think about moving forward now. I do believe that in web design and design in art in general. I believe creation always has kind of a social context plus the technology of the day, and when they are combined, that's why we see what we see today in the world.

The 1894 Art Noveau

Art Nouveau

In 1894 of Art Nouveau, an art movement in French Art Nouveau says new art. 

The first time, graphic design and design were used commercially on a large scale for the first time. It was a reaction to the art that was very popular before. Which was very it was called academic and very rigid. The people of Art Nouveau were trying to break through using these kinds of natural and floral patterns. You can see this if you've ever been to Paris. You can see this all around. Very decorate a very swirly design for what they were using.

The 1954 Swiss Design / International style

1954 Swiss Design

A few years later, in post-world War two. There came a new way to design that was called the Swiss Design or the International Style.

So after the world went mad during World War II, people felt like they needed order and understood what is. The graphic design turned into creating a systematic, clean, organized design to ensure that the information is proceeding as clearly as possible. That ended up making this kind of a layout of a rigid grid. You might say that it's minimalistic. You might say that it's clean. But this is where this whole visual aesthetic of cleanliness and grid and organization came to happen.

The 1990 David Carson - Grunge design

1990 David Carson - Grunge Ray Gun

A few years later, in the 90s, a designer named David Carson, actually in a way we reacted against this organized and clean design by creating what we now call kind of a grunge design by overlaying text one on top of another. David Carson was never sorts of went to design school, I think it was a surfer or a teacher, and he just started out creating a surfing magazine. He tried to be a little bit more extreme and innovative with his design. But he made these kinds of layouts where the text was one on top of another and not readable because he wanted to demonstrate his idea that sometimes readability is not the most important thing. Sometimes you can communicate with the messiness of your design. You can also share a kind of a vibe and an idea. 

Now the reason that I showed you this is showing you what happens in society. How to design always kind of reacts to what happened previously. Also kind of the technical abilities that allow you to create what's happening today. 

90's Web Design

Now in the web design world, the 90s or 80s where we first got into the web. The web became popular, and people started creating for the web. Now in the early 90s, our creative abilities for the web were simple. There was HTML, which is the code of the structure for the web. People got into folders they were able to read some text or look at some images.

1991 - Netscape


As people started to try to be creative about this using background colors using different sizes for their fonts or color. They began to become more creative.

1995 - Microsoft Explorer

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In the early 90s, many people were trying to explore this medium for creativity, as in using crazy colors and background colors and gifts. They were trying to be as creative as they can with this new technological medium invented. However, you can see that they've forgotten a lot of the history of design. When it came to readability, using grids making the content accessible.

Captain Marvels Web Design Early 90's

As time moved along so here, you can see the Apple website in the early 2000s. They were trying to get back to what they learned earlier in graphic design. Let's make things clearer. Let’s use a structured grid, but what you can see here is that during the early 2000s, it was prevalent on the web to try to emulate these effects of real life. So kind of like shiny or glossy effects over buttons.

2001 - Apple

Apple's Website

The technical abilities of structure and layout on the web were pretty limited in terms of using grids and then CSS, which is the framework of how we design elements on the web. People were still using a kind of table, so it's very kind of a rigid design.

You can see this on this ICQ page. If you don't remember, ICQ used to be my favorite messenger back in the early 2000s. Still very kind of rigid design and sometimes not very clear. Everything is mashed together. Still, screens were small at the time, so that's why these designs came to be.

2000 - 

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00's Web Design

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Later on, in the 2000s, Flash became very popular. So Flash was in kind of animation software that allowed publishing for the web. Now that it was a lot of the ability to create more elaborate interactions and interactive ideas. So the website became pretty crazy; however, when Apple came out with the iPhone in 2007, Steve Jobs decided that he doesn't want to support this format flat on the iPhone. That eventually led to a kind of decay of Flash as a web technology just because Apple was so famous and dominant that their decision not to support this made many people choose not to use it. It died. I think it was in 2017 that Adobe decided to discontinue Flash and that technology dead these days.

10's Web Design

Zune 2009

In 2009, Zune came out for the first time. They were trying this a flat UI and flat design system. They're trying to create a cool fancy effect on the web and in a user interface. The kind of reaction against it was that let's try and clear up and minimalize again. When the Swiss design tries to bring back cleanliness and organization into graphic design, this happened in the web design during the 2000 intense kind of way. By that time, many of you know big players such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft decided to create some basic design guidelines for designing how you should develop interfaces. Having these kinds of standards all around that, designers worldwide started to pay attention.

New web technologies such as CSS3 and animation types of things allowed the web to and also responsive web design. So at that point, 2010 already mobile devices have become. So popular that everybody has them, and every website now at this point needs to be also responsive, which means needs to learn how to adapt for the big screen and smaller screens, so it looks great on mobile as well.

Present Year

Now we have technologies. Such as WebGL, which allows us to create interactively.

Particle Love

Particle Love

Particle animation that's being rendered full. Live on the browser so crazy things can happen. We have many kinds of video backgrounds. Right now can be loaded pretty quickly to create a more dynamic website.

But on the other hand, again, people are trying to go for a little bit of maybe a more minimalistic approach. We now have this kind of like cool CSS and other animation types.


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But we're trying to minimize that the use of them to know people will have an easier time consuming the information they want to. While we're exploring, you know different technologies to make things cool and innovative. I think looking forward to accessibility is becoming a huge thing and a significant concern. How is your website accessible enough for people with disabilities of all ages to consume your website? Is there easy? Are they easy to consume? Do they look great on mobiles? These are many of the questions that we ask ourselves today when we're looking at web design and when we were thinking about designing a new website that we hope will be valid. Still, be useful within a few years.


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