How web design developed over the years

The fist competitive browser was released by Microsoft in the year 1996 was comprehensive with its individual features and tags.  The browser supported style sheets and was viewed at that time as a technique that is incomprehensible. In the beginning the HTML markup meant for tables was actually intended for tabular data display. But it was realized that complex and multi-columned layouts could be created by using HTML tables which remained otherwise an impossible feat.

More emphasis was paid on the aesthetics and designs at that time over good mark-up so web accessibility and semantics took backseats. With HTML created site design options were limited especially with the older versions of HTML. Designers had to use complex table structures or .GIF images in blank spacers to prevent the table cells that are empty from collapsing. In December 1996 CSS was introduced by W3C to support layout and presentation.

The web development greatly enabled the HTML codes to be semantic instead of being semantic and presentational at a time. Due to this improvement web accessibility was vastly improved and people were able to see web design without tables. Flash which was called as FutureSplash originally was invented 1996. In the beginning the Flash content was simple compared to what we see now but it allowed designers to look beyond HTML, JavaScript and GIFs. The initial version used a limited predecessor of ActionScript, basic layout and tools and a timeline.

Since Flash required a plug-in web designers shunned it in the fear of losing their market because not many were ready with the compatibility to Flash. This resulted in designers going back to GIF animations and using JavaScript in place of widgets. But the popularity of Flash aided by its usability finally won specific markets that saw the benefits and eventually became a major occupant of most of the browsers. Flash was used to design an entire site gradually later due to the power it wielded.