Evolution of Web Design

November 1, 2011


Looking back at old website designs is fun and nostalgic, not unlike looking back at old photos of yourself and laughing about the hairstyles. What did your hair look like in the 80's? Honestly, mine looked something like this.

Early websites were very plain - often a white background, and black text with blue links.  They evolved - we added images, more text, changed the colour of text (not always for the better) and learned how to use frames to have things show up in a particular place.

The first website was built and published in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee. In 1992 it looked like this:


In 1996 my family’s business needed a website and I taught myself html in order to make it. I used a program called Hot Dog, out of Australia, to write the html and publish the site, and I loved what I could do. I can’t tell you how proud I was to have created that image map at the top. The screenshot below shows you how it looked in 1999. 


How often have you stumbled upon a website and said, “that website looks so late 90’s”? It happens. The late nineties was a period of tiled or brightly-coloured backgrounds, liberal use of clip art, flashing or rotating buttons and banners, horizontal scrolling, visible stat counters, and often a phrase like “This website was last updated on: Feb 1, 1999”. 


Fast forward to 2011. Much has changed in the website world. Designs are more sophisticated, we understand much more about the way people view web pages and interact with them, we have shopping carts on some of them and we optimize websites for search engines. Gone are the days of “frames”, poor navigation and poor layouts. Or at least, those days should be gone.

Better Mousetrap Marketing designs business websites for clients in Courtenay, Comox, Nanaimo, Victoria, and the Lower Mainland. As a full-service marketing agency, we offer branding, re-branding, web design and marketing services. Developing well planned, well designed websites is one of our specialties.

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AWESOME BLOG! Very creatively done and interesting.