You don’t need to have lived through the days of whining telephone modems and the cheerful notification of “You’ve got mail!” to remember some rather rudimentary websites. In fact, web design has evolved a lot in just the past decade. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at all of the changes that have occurred in the past ten years.
When MySpace Was King…
Although it may seem unimaginable in today’s world where Facebook and Twitter dominate, a decade ago, everyone who was anyone had a MySpace page. At the time, MySpace had nearly 75 million users. Today, Facebook has over 1.86 billion active users each month. Twitter tallies in at 319 million, making website integration with social media an absolute must.
Meta Tags Have Lost Their Muster
Once upon a time, search engines used meta tags as a primary way to organize SEO rankings. Now, the search engines use various other factors both on your page, as well as on other pages that connect to it, to determine search engine rankings. Meta tags still matter – just not as much as they used to.
Walkin’ in a Web Font Wonderland
Look for screenshots of websites as they existed a decade ago and you’ll see that it was the era that Arial and Times New Roman dominated the web. Now, web designers have a plethora of fonts available to make sites more interesting than ever.
You Need To Be Mobile-Friendly
Ten years ago, there were still people who were proudly smartphone-free. Now, those people are outliers – renegades, even! Everyone wanders around with their faces firmly fixed on the screens of their iPhones. This means that if someone searches for a site nowadays, they’re less likely to wait until they’re home to look for it on their laptops. Instead, they’ll hunt for it on the go…which means that it has to be mobile-friendly. Not only do customers like it, most search engines require it for a page to rank.
GIFS Say Goodbye
In the web design world a decade ago, no one could have imagined that the GIF images that were so useful for slow internet connections would soon give way to a new format. PNG photos have infinitely better compression than GIFS and support millions of colours. Meanwhile, EPS files are vector image files that are scalable to any size that’s needed, with the only downside being that they have to be opened by software such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Indesign.
Websites Became More Zen
Anyone who remembers the web of the early 2000’s can appreciate how distracting and downright disturbing the flashing graphics and headache-inducing colours of old school websites used to be. As time went on, web designers dropped the neon-coloured backgrounds and opted for white. That white space increased as designers discovered that when it comes to drawing a viewer’s attention, less is more. Today’s sites are incredibly sparse compared to what they used to be.
Scrolling Website Design Now Rules
Until just a few years ago, web designers all subscribed to an “above the fold” design style that placed all of the important content at the top part of the page. Now, users are encouraged to scroll down the page to get the information they seek. In addition to this, today’s websites are interactive, featuring videos, moving backgrounds, and animations to provide visitors with a media-rich, captivating experience.
Web design has changed in so many ways that this list only begins to scratch the surface. Strange as it is to think so, ten years from now, the web will likely be unrecognizable from what we’re familiar with today. As the years have past we can see that more and more people are using the web for their own convenience. As a result websites have almost replaced the “high-street shop window” in many cases, which has led to websites becoming meticulously designed, digital marketing tools.