The evolvement of web design can be divided into four main periods or generations, according to the degree of development of the website, and the complexity of the design site.
The first period started right after the development of the first free browser “Mosaic“, and finished when HTML became widespread. During that time website design was under the influence of many technological limitations, such as a slow broadband connection and service providers that were unable to offer fast data transfer.
Unlike the first period, web design in the second period looked more professional and had some new features, including icons instead of keys with words, banners, structured menu that represents a hierarchy of information. It was often necessary to adapt to the design of the site for specific screen resolutions, 8-bit or 24-bit monitors.
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Around that time web designers started to pay attention to important factors such as the speed of downloading information and monitor resolutions. However, the context was still hard to read because of the browser characteristics, and the speed of the Internet. Users weren’t interested in waiting a few minutes for the content to appear on the screen.
The main goal of the third-generation web design sites was to deliver multimedia content, including audio, animation, and 3D models. This period was associated with the introduction of Flash technology which became very popular. Web designers use multimedia content in order to attract customers and visitors in accordance with the purpose of a particular site. The structure of the site and its navigation system are extremely important because they must enable users to quickly find what they’re looking for. The basic principle in the third stage was the strategy, Aida, to attract new visitors and keep visitors on the site as long as possible, so they would learn more about the site or the company and motivate visitors to contact them.
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The fourth generation has features like an abundance of multimedia content and the ability to order over the Internet. Today’s sites are specially developed for eCommerce platforms, education, entertainment, business, and other, just to meet the demand of the customer.