How web design has changed

There were graphic elements that made the sites more attractive. Tables appeared on web pages. Then we gradually moved from tables to layouts and modular grids. Tables gave some flexibility, but they weren’t mobile-friendly, which was probably not needed at the time.

Many have created their own content management systems (CMS). Thus, webmasters did not have to edit individual HTML files and upload them to the servers each time. But it was possible to change the content online, in real time.

The further development of web design and the spread of mobile phones led to new changes.

Transition to Web Design 2.0

Designing web pages with grids has become commonplace.

Bootstrap, the most popular web library, has greatly accelerated the speed of web development by simplifying the process and making it more flexible. Bootstrap’s modular grid has been mobile-friendly from the very beginning.

The Bootstrap grid automatically stretches to fit the full width of the screen, greatly reducing development time that was previously spent writing code to support different devices: desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones.

WordPress, Joomla and Drupal have become the most popular content management systems. They replaced self-written ones, which were imperfect and expensive to write and maintain, and had limited functionality. Thanks to WordPress and Joomla, anyone can create a blog or website. And even today, more than 20% of sites work using these systems.

WordPress and Joomla have always supported themes and templates, which allows you to modify the design without changing the content. Themes can be created manually or bought ready-made. Now there are a lot of themes and templates available for every taste, in addition, webmasters often use theme designers.

Artisteer appeared in 2008. At one time, it became the most popular theme builder. With Artisteer, anyone could create themes and templates in minutes. Until now, millions of websites use themes created with Artisteer.

Is web design dead?

It would seem that everyone should be happy: web designers, web developers and users. However, a new problem arose. Web designers started asking the same question: Is web design dead? You can easily find articles about this question on all known platforms like Medium, Mashable, Smashing Magazine, Quora and Reddit. Since 2015, web designers have been asking the same question.

The main cause of this problem was Bootstrap and its analogues. Web projects created with Bootstrap look so similar to each other, as if they were made from the same template. Using website builders powered by Bootstrap as the core of the system only exacerbates the situation.

A website design (on the Bootstrap grid) always starts with a big picture, and the following sections always fit into a two-, three-, or four-cell structure. The prevalence of Bootstrap themes and templates has also contributed to this problem.

Web designers began to look for a way out and solutions. They couldn’t stand aside, they couldn’t face the fact that web design, the passion of their life, had stopped developing. There are always designers who want to make the web better. Steve Jobs once said of such people: “Think differently.” These people are always looking for new ideas.

Print design

Web design is very young, about twenty years old. Print design predates web design and has hundreds of years of history. Print design tools have always allowed for free placement of elements. Designers have never been limited in their creativity. And the creators have always been free to present such ideas. Of course, at that time you didn’t have to think about HTML and CSS or mobile devices.

Today, many print publications have significantly reduced circulation and are moving online. Printed pages became web pages on the Internet. But these web pages have lost the creativity and freedom of print design. However, the designers did not want to lose the experience and ideas of print design that they had been developing over the years. They started using print design ideas in web design.

Going beyond modular grids

What does it mean to go beyond modular grids? Let’s look at an example. In the picture you see the usual photos on the wall. This is similar to using modular grids. Modern websites are increasingly using complex modular grids. CSS Grid is also gaining popularity.

Modern website design, breaking the usual stereotypes, is becoming more popular. The graph shows that every year more and more web designers discover the world of web design 3.0. This graph shows the results for web design on Pinterest, Behance, and Dribbble. The trend is likely to continue in the future.