Web-design evolution


Webpage may be considered as a next stage of books or newspapers. In the 1990s, when web-designing just started its way, web-designers had a task – create informative and attractive pages. Of course, there is a difference between a book and a web-page, but some features are common.

Page style

Page style is like CSS and a browser window is like a book. However, a page has certain size when a window is resizable. In the early days of web-design, designers created pages with wide of popular monitors, e.g. 640 pixels. Then monitors 800 pixels wide appeared and after that, monitors 1024 pixels wide were introduced. However, designers decided to use the “magical” number – 960 pixels. That was a mistake. It would be smarter to introduce something flexible, rather than a standard that had to be changed multiple times.


Over the course of time, new tools were introduced. Web-designers started using Adobe Photoshop, but it was not created to do something like that. Adobe Photoshop is photo-editing software for retouching, filters applying and drawing. Photoshop is able to create images of certain size. Then, Macromedia released Dreamweaver, which was a perfect example of a web-designing WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) tool. The problem is that web-page can be rendered differently depending on users’ hardware.

Therefore, a page could be rendered correctly if a user:

  • Uses a monitor that is able to display 960 pixels width
  • Has high download speed in order to exclude the necessity of images quantity and size optimization.
  • Uses a modern browser with latest versions of plugins

Create web pages

Some developers decided to create web pages in web-browsers using CSS and HTML. The approach was criticized for being too “constraining”.

In 2007, Steve Jobs introduced a mobile device that can render web pages — iPhone. There already were devices that could render web pages, created using the WML format, which had been designed for mobile devices.

Another problem appeared – how to determine what device is used?

One Web

All designers decided that we need “one web”. In other words, there is no necessity in creating a separate internet for mobile devices, so they needed a solution. It was needed to create “scalable” pages.

The tasks required a flexible approach. Designers migrated from pixels to percent rates.  It helped to achieve flexibility. Scalable images were a successful option as well. Over the course of time, a function of changing style according to certain parameters was introduced.


Using a flexible approach made designers’ work easier. Designers had to consider screen size, bandwidth and other factors earlier. Nowadays, web designing is more about creativity. The flexible approach excluded the necessity of creating pages for certain devices only and it made web designing easier.

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