Do you consider a 20-year old to be old, wise and mature? Of course not. And neither is the Web. You’re used to it, but we’re just 20 years out of the first Web site in 1991. And we’re still trying to figure stuff out.
In the beginning, everything was text-based. Single column. Then we moved to tables and frames (blegh). Images in general were an oasis within a dessert. The novelty of it beat out the horrendosness of the design.
Then Macromedia Flash came out in 1996, allowing for the possibility of good web design. Some of the big companies took advantage of this. A gulf began between web sites and good sites. Animation and dynamic web design started becoming more popular. Then cascading style sheets (CSS) allowed programmers not to have nightmares whenever their web marketing team would want design changes. This separated content from design, and allowed updates to happen much more easily.
In the early 200s, Javascript began changing everything again, allowing for smart, cool and hip design. The semantic Web and Web 2.0 are still in mid-stream of their evolution. And yet, many developers have already moved on to the mobile Web, thinking that’s the next step for Web design. So what will design look like 20 years from now?
Let’s just say you won’t recognize it.