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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Hello everyone,

    I'm a Graphic Design student from Leicester in the UK and I need to pick the brains of any Oracles of Web Design (or just any generally knowledgeable peeps) that may frequent these boards. I'm writing my critical study about the changes in web design since web pages were first created in the mid 90's.

    In essence I want to know:

    1. What has changed both in terms of graphics and in terms of functionality?
    2. Why those changes occurred?
    3. Where is web design headed in the future?

    I would greatly appreciated anyone's point of view about this subject even if it's just a couple of bullet points. If anyone knows of any decent books or links to articles on this subject that would be brilliant too.

    Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to reply to this thread



  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Cottage Grove, Minnesota
    Member #
    717 times
    Web Design and Web Development are two different things.

    I'm more into the Development part ... the "behind-the-scenes" programming
    that takes place in order to make a website work. The PHP/MySQL scripting,
    Javascripting, etc.

    In regards to question two ...
    2: Why those changes occurred?

    The answer is "open source" -- Information is everything!

    Once the web hosting companies opened-up Perl, PHP and MySQL to the "masses",
    the advanced programmers began opening-up their scripts and programs for
    others to see and use ... for free. Online tutorials, script examples and mostly
    forums like these began popping-up. People that had some experience with
    programming, but were out of the internet loop suddenly became interested again,
    and began getting back into programming. Just about everything that has been
    done on a website is published somewhere. You can get code examples, program
    listings, and instant help from any of the thousands of web sites that explain how
    to use PHP, SQL, Perl, ASP, Java, Javascripting, Pear, AJAX, Python, etc ...

    As the servers get faster, memory gets cheaper, and data transfer speeds increase,
    the ball will roll faster and faster. Every new idea, every new script, program,
    is given away for others to use. Open source hardware is also gaining ground.

    The hackers, spammers, porn ... usually get the most media attention, but in actuality,
    the internet is packed full of valuable information and a community of people that
    thrive on exchanging information for free. People strive to learn, learn, learn, and also
    in return, to teach, teach, teach. That exchange of information will never die, simply
    because people can't keep things to themselves.

    An example of just one small article I found on Google:

    Of course, you'll find the words "open source" in that article. AMEN

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Much has changed.

    It used to be common to see Under Construction GIFs, now there's Web 2.0's perpetual beta with beta tag.

    It's better to use the term Kaizen, or continuous improvement, not beta.

    Really, a whole lot of what people think has changed is new words for old things.

    Why? Two drivers as video cards (or video subsytems) and bandwidth. Web 2.0 didn't embrace simplicity, so much as it was limited to simplicity as a necessary requirement to have an RIA (rich internet application) run for the most people.

    Increase bandwidth fiftyfold, people will justify a fiftyfold increase in junk as "simple."

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Thanks for sharing such all the information with us. I think this will definitely help us some time soon.

  6. #5
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Boston, MA
    Member #
    205 times
    1. What has changed both in terms of graphics and in terms of functionality?

    The web at first was designed to be an informational resource. The first version of HTML was designed to allow efficient transferal of information. It included lists, paragraphs, headers, images, etc... but no "layout" specification. The web was intended to be homogenous, not pretty.

    Then graphic artists figured out how to manipulate tables to create pretty layouts, and they f-ed HTML to hell. The web was no longer semantic. Bits of related text were scattered throughout unrelated structural portions of a document, and web documents were virtually all interspersed with unnecessary layout and design elements.

    Then W3C got together and invented CSS, which allowed designers to use a very powerful new language to design a layout without touching the related HTML. This has turned the web back into a "semantic" set of markup, with style separated into a different layer of ancillary information.

    That's the definition of Web 2.0

    2. Why those changes occurred?

    Pretty much explained in the first answer.

    3. Where is web design headed in the future?

    W3c si currently working on "Web 3.0" technologies - RDF, SPARQL, OWL - these will turn websites into virtual databases of information that can be easily understood by computers and programs. Tools like SPARQL will allow programs to query websites as though they're databases, which will expand the potential integrated, informational nature of the web.

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