The world wide web has been a part of our lives since CERN released it into the public domain in 1993. And suppose you were designing websites or browsing the web during that period. In that case, it’s possible that you couldn’t have predicted how drastically their functionality would change over the next few decades.
Web designers have consistently pushed the limits of innovation and experimentation by using this fresh medium. There were risks, but they were exciting. It was as though everyone wanted to do their part in assisting the web in realizing its full potential.
There have been a lot of tools and techniques that were revolutionary, even though it took years for people to recognize them as such. Looking at them from the present, they were a precursor of what would come about on the web. If they weren’t around, some of the cool things we have taken for granted might not exist.
Let’s look at some ideas for website design that were years ahead of their time.
1. HTML Frames
Frames made it possible to display multiple HTML documents simultaneously. It should be no surprise that this resulted in various creative applications. Some turned out to be significantly more helpful than others.
The ability to navigate was one of the more common uses. A designer might, for instance, create a user interface with vertical navigation within a frame situated on the screen’s side. After clicking on a navigational item, the content you were looking for would load into a larger frame in the centre of the page.
Frames also worked well with headers because of their inherent similarity. The component could maintain its position even as the user scrolled through the primary content area.
In retrospect, frames were one of the earliest ways to create “sticky” elements, which are components that maintain their position regardless of how the page is scrolled.
2. Flash Animation
Flash was among the technologies that caused the greatest contention in the early days of the web. It made it possible for designers to create great content that was driven by multimedia. However, there were many downsides associated with it as well.
Accessibility problems frequently arose on websites constructed entirely in Flash at one point. At the same time, people who had a sluggish internet connection frequently experienced lengthy load times. It was also known to cause one or more web browsers to become unresponsive.
Compatibility with mobile devices was another contentious issue. The fact that early versions of iOS did not support Flash appeared to be the beginning of the end for Flash.
Flash did reveal a user’s demand for animation and interactive multimedia, despite its many flaws and limitations. It made it possible for certain aspects to enter the mainstream.
These two languages are not directly related to one another. But when combined, they could give early websites an additional level of functionality. And both continue to exist, although Java has expanded significantly beyond its presence on the web.
Java was developed to function properly on a variety of different devices. In addition, the language made it possible to incorporate application-like features into web pages long before databases and content management systems (CMS) became standard website components.
The last word
The web began static. Web designers wanted to improve functionality and user experience a few years after its mainstream adoption.