Web design, when did the rules change?

When I first started in web design things were different. We only need to worry about HTML 4 and 2 browsers. We concentrated on quality of the content as that was pretty much all there easy. Content was front an centre.

Then flash came along. Suddenly we had a way to integrate really rich media and interaction in out web pages. With a tiny download, we could have cross platform compatible sites, that look the same in any browser and would deliver the same experience to all.

Then Steve jobs decided that Flash was bad and suddenly everyone jumped on his shity band wagon and started to get rid of flash. Instead they created a new version of HTML (because XHTML was too hard for them to follow) and instead of having to just download a tiny plugin, you had to totally change your browser to get things working.

JavaScript started to get more and more used and we rejoiced as we had further control of how we displayed information to our visitors.

I remember one of my early projects needed pa page that used no flash, but did not need to refresh when you changed content. I discovered you could do this with JavaScript. These days it is called Ajax. Then it was something different and I got seriously told off for trying it. Now you can’t move for the number of sites that make use of Ajax.

I used to build and look for great JavaScript frameworks, but kept getting told that if you don’t write it all yourself, how will you maintain it. Now everyone uses some kind of frame work, jquery, prototype etc.

I used to use large banner headings for sites, I thought it drew the eye and was nice. I got told that it pushed content too far down the page and had to use smaller headers. Now every website on earth is using them.

It seems that at some stage the rules changed.

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3 thoughts on “Web design, when did the rules change?”

  1. Flash had always been a bad idea to make a website in main due to nobody impliemented it correcetly for screen readers or for SEO purposes. It was also bloated and did require an extention for your browser to make it work; extra steps make for a bad move. The file sizes weren’t that tiny; talking 1MB on dialup was a heavy load, some of these early Flash pages could amount to around 3-5MB. It allowed developers to be lazy.

    HTML5 was first proposed way before the iPhone, and XHTML became a fixed standard, I think, 2-3 years previous. It wasn’t a case of XHTML was too hard to understand but it didn’t have the flexability that HTML5 now provides (which, by comparison, is harder to understand what exactly what constitutes an and what’s a for some people as apposed to just adding XML like standards to HTML that many still do with HTML5).

    AJAX was never a bad thing; it was just badly implimented by people (hash-bangs and not using the browser back-button correctly).


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