Do you remember the websites that you were looking at ten years ago? What did they look like? Ten years ago, smartphones including the iPhone were just coming of age, and most people still mainly used a laptop or desktop PC to go online. But since then, things have definitely changed a lot. Now, things are the opposite way around – most people rarely browse the web on their laptop or desktop and instead prefer to use their iPhone or iPad since it’s more convenient. So, how have websites adapted to visitor behaviour changes over the last ten years?
Mobile Friendliness Back Then
The main change for web design over the past ten years is mobile-friendliness or responsive design. Ten years ago, we were only just beginning to realise the need for mobile-friendly websites. Accessing websites on the early smartphones of back then wasn’t always the easiest of experiences or the friendliest for the user – so web designers and developers would build a ‘mobile’ website, which required an ‘M’ before the domain name to indicate you were visiting the mobile version. These were typically created using very simple code.
Mobile Friendliness Now:
Today, mobile-friendliness has come on in massive strides since most of the sites you visit including the one you are reading right now have responsive design. In fact, the sheer number of users that are viewing on a mobile device means that it’s often more important to design a website with mobile in mind, rather than computer screens. Mobile-first website designs are becoming more and more popular as businesses want to ensure that their customers get the best experience no matter which device they are browsing on. This has brought about the ‘responsive’ web design; an intuitive design that automatically adjusts based on the screen size of the viewer’s device. Today’s websites are even designed as web applications complete with icons that can be added to the home screen.
The website content now plays a more important part of the actual design. Ten years back, the web content was just purely there for information alone – today, it is an integral part of the way that a site looks. Simple things like font choices for headings, line spacings on paragraphs, and uniform sizes for images displayed on the site are now given much more importance.
While it was certainly possible to build your own website ten years ago, eCommerce and website platforms were still in an infancy stage. Those who didn’t know how to use WordPress were left stuck without much else to choose from, and if you wanted to start your own website, the best option was to pay a web developer to do it for you. And, while there are plenty of DIY options to choose from, paying a professional web design agency like WSI Digital Web is still the best way forward when it comes to getting the most from your efforts. Designing your own website is not as easy as it looks – even with a drag and drop builder tool. But the option is there if you prefer a DIY approach.
If you looked at a website from ten years ago, it would probably seem like an ancient relic compared to the sleek, modern, and dynamic websites of today. The world of web design can certainly be proud of how far it has come in the past decade.