Who can believe that the internet – or World Wide Web as it was first referred to – has been around for over 30 years. 

It may seem like only yesterday, but in that time, much has changed when it comes to website development.

Gone is the heavy clunky text of old and low resolution images that took an age to load. 

Today websites are so state-of-the-art that it is easy to forget how they used to look back in the 90s.

The Changing Face Of Apple On The Web

Rather than talk generally about the changing face of website development, let’s look at how Apple – the manufacturer of beautifully designed computers – dealt with their own website.

If we slide back to 1997, like most websites of that time, theirs was very plain and basic with the Apple logo and need-to-know information.

The font was basic and the design generally very crowded and lacking in lustre.

Come the late 90s/early 2000s, they went all out and put together a good-looking homepage that became memorable. 

The focus was on an eye-catching photographic banner with just a few images. 

White space was used to good effect and the navigation bar was simple and placed at the top.

From 2003 until 2006, they kept the clean design but swapped to a black background, showing off their products brilliantly. 

By throwing in a few innovative marketing one-liners, they began to show that they were at the forefront of website development.

Now we find ourselves in 2007. 

Their homepage has lost the lower sections, ready for the mobile phone to have pride of place. 

This lasted until 2010 when the iPad took over the majority of the homepage, being their latest innovation.

Since then, not a lot has altered although a mention must be made of the 2013 web design featuring the iPad Air. 

The unusually angled image did much to show off its USP; it’s unique thin styling.

Today Apple’s web design is still based upon the simplicity of the late 90s, the only difference being that instead of just showing the product, the hands of people using it are included. 

The font is a modern one and the complementary colours look super-professional. 

The navigation bar remains at the top and they have used clever wording for the click-through.

If we dissect what Apple did, we can gain an overview of how website development has changed and how they made use of it. 

They never went for the hard sell but focused more on emotions and ‘storytelling’. 

Web developers today wanting to do the same should remember to showcase client’s products using real people. 

They need to ensure that customers imagine using the product. 

When they realise how much it will benefit them, they will want to buy it.

Web Design Back In The Day

Back in the 90s, websites of even big companies like Apple looked crude and clumsy. 

They were miles apart from the multitude of skilful designs and layouts available today. 

This is because 30 years ago, web designers faced many technological limitations. 

The internet was annoyingly slow, font options were limited and little was known about what website visitors needed and wanted to enjoy their viewing experience.

Many design trends have disappeared, including:

Flash Animation

This was a must-have just a few years ago, but soon viewers became bored.  The truth was, flash animation could look tacky. 

At the same time, SEO was made more difficult if the home page had flash included.

Background Music

This has always been incredibly annoying so it is good to see that this too has disappeared into the ether of the past. 

It was incredibly frustrating to go onto a site and suddenly find jingles pouring out at full volume. 

Now, in the year 2019, silence is preferred.

Loads of content spread over many pages full of thousands of words eulogising the company in question. 

But this was confusing and annoying as most viewers did not have the time or inclination to read 1000s of words. 

Today readers just wants the facts, plain and simple. 

Design has to be minimalistic with photos and images used to convey emotions and ideas. 

Content has to be high quality and relevant.

Web Design Today

Today, the best and most well-received websites are those which are memorable. 

This may be because of images used, humour or simply clever marketing.

Websites are well-structured, telling a story, getting inside of the visitor’s head and encouraging them to want to purchase.

Website development today makes use of the following key elements:

Fixed Navigation Bars

because this always stays in the same place, no matter where the visitor goes, they always know where they are. 

A new trend but a very sensible one.

Clever Choice of Fonts

with so many new and unique fonts out there, why stick with the same ones?

Web designers can afford to be brave and try out something new and innovative, appealing to the company’s brand and message.

Sliding Banners

Set these with large images and immediately make an impression. 

Because they change automatically, the viewer gets a great array of visuals without having to move a finger.

Personalized Photos

Stock photos are out. 

Now money is spent on professional photos that are absolutely bespoke to the company concerned. 

By taking advantage of the art of good photography, businesses can attract many more visitors.

CTA Buttons

Gone are the days of ‘Contact us’. 

Now there are a whole plethora of call-to-action buttons that can be used. 

The more interesting web developers make it, the more likely it will get clicked.

Infinite Scrolling

Think Pinterest and you can see where this type of web design came from. 

It allows businesses to show lots of information in an attractive way.

3D Effects

These might not be for everyone as some businesses prefer to keep things simple. 

However, if you like the idea of 3D effects on your website, these are on-trend at the moment.

Summary

The face of web development has certainly changed with the key thing being to make the viewing experience as pleasurable as possible. 

With so many sites out there, all competing with one another, putting a whole load of simple facts on the screen no longer does it.

Nowadays, the best web developers create sites that are memorable because they both entertain and astonish whilst still being relevant. 

Apple is a very good example of how website has changed and in just 30 years, the World Wide Web is no longer what it was. 

Fast forward another 30 years and web development in Birmingham will have changed even further. 

We just have to wait and see what is in store!

This article was provided by ALT Agency – A Birmingham based web design company who specialise in design beautiful websites that drive high conversions.