Evolution of Web Design in Digital Marketing
Responsive design is the buzzword du jour in the world of web design, a forward thinking way of giving users an online experience that enhances the real world we live in - but what about web design of days gone by? We take a trip back in time to the 1980s, then back to the future to see how web design in digital marketing has changed over the years!
The Internet may have been a small place "back in the day", but today it is vast - so we decided to pick a theme for showing the evolution of web design over the years. With the advent of the new HS2 rail line linking London, the Midlands, North West England, West Yorkshire, and potentially the central belt of Scotland - we think our railway theme is a hot topic!
© 1987-2013 WOLVERTON RAIL
This website is how every online site was created in the early 1990s and oddly enough, fantastic for today's SEO strategies, purely on the sheer volume of actual content on each page. The simplistic design and flat colours allow the user to explore the site in a hassle free manner. A clear (non hidden) navigation model makes for a visually poor design but somehow a pain free visit. The only real, modern technology on this site is the addition of the ecommerce function and Social Media sharing assigned to the products - other than that, Wolverton Rail are rocking the Old Skool web aesthetic!
Bridging The Web Design Gap
© Great Central Railway
This site is dedicated to the preservation of the Great Central Railway and really resonates with its audience. This design is far from polished and perfect but it has certainly powered up to the next level of design from our previous example. This design draws on some modern design values of breaking down the users's options into key visible links. Striking colours pay homage to the heritage of the mainline railway; brightly coloured, options brought up early on the website allow the user to make informed choices very easily; the introduction of video on the homepage engages the audience with a new online experience that isn't just based on words and images. Social Media feeds are strong throughout this site, and the designer has actually thought about each element here; albeit less than elegant in places, it works well. On a technical level, coded, sliding images highlight key events. Note they are NON FLASH based, which was very popular in early web design. Quite frankly flash has no place online in the modern world of HTML 5. In our opinion, this design really is a stepping stone in the evolution of web design.
Nu-Skool Web Design
As a modern work of webcraft and wonder - Where do we start! In our opinion, this site resonates pure style and class from both design and code. Thanks to the following factors: Full width sliding imagery (Featuring Parallax scrolling images - layered images that animate creating a new dimension for the user to engage in). A beautiful colour palette that complements the brand, Iconic symbols across the User Interface (UI), Web-Font used to emphasise the brand (typeface - Frutiger Roman), Clear and clean layout, Consideration for mobile market with its Responsive build. Overall this is a beautifully created website, not only with mobile and desktop in mind but its use of colours, layout and technological enhancements.
The Future of Web Design
The future of the web is already among us, designers and developers are like master bakers and Michelin star chefs, surrounded by all the key ingredients to make something fantastic. It is how you use these ingredients together to deliver that next online experience that is going to wow the online audience of the future. However, there is one aspect we haven't quite touched upon that could really be the next big thing - interactive video
Interactive Video - the next evolutionary leap online?
We recently encountered an online video that allowed us, the user, to buy items from the video. Simply click the products shown in the video and they are added to the shopping basket. We've always believed that video will make it big online since its early days of Flash based reproduction -interactive video with online purchasing capabilities is just the sort of application that has the potential to succeed and it needs to be pushed further. This will lead on to Smart TV apps and even buying from pro-cut placements on TV dramas or adverts! Now that really would be an evolutionary leap in web design!
What are your thoughts on the future of web design? Let us know where you think online aesthetics will take us next in the comments below!