This is one of the most common questions of beginners who want to delve into the world of web design. Even curious people and clients want to know, what is web design? If taken out of their context, web design is simply designing the web. But there is more to it that you ever thought it has. If we are going to take Wikipedia’s meaning about web design, we can see that it’s a very broad idea, a very large body of skillset. Here’s what Wikipedia says:

Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. The different areas of web design include web graphic design; interface design; authoring, including standardized code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization.

As you can see, web design is subdivided into many different areas of expertise and each of these varies in skill set, level of experience required and knowledge in different other things. In order to understand web design, we must first see its history.

A Very Brief History of Web Design

In the early days of the internet, all we can see are plain text and a few image. If you are an early internet adopter and you are old enough to see the advent of the internet or its very early periods, you can see that websites are plain, dry and “ugly”. There is no structure at all and all you can see are some images and possible quite few GIFs.

Then as time goes by, CSS was developed in order to add presentation to the layout. This made website more beautiful, better looking and more accessible. It added better visuals and websites started to be more useful with the addition of new HTML standards.

Then, after that, JavaScript came add merged into the world of websites. This gave birth a new combination: HTML, CSS and JavaScript and it allowed the creation of highly interactive websites that responds to the user’s actions accordingly. Add to it the Flash technology that allowed a number of multimedia elements to be embedded into websites.

Today, web design consists of HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and even server-side elements to create beautiful and smart websites more interactive the ever. One example of a very modern website is Greenhousego: http://greenhousego.net/

The Current State of Web Design

As you can see in the last paragraph, Greenhousego is a modern website, which makes use of the latest web technologies. But in addition to those “basic” modern web technologies, frameworks like jQuery and Bootstrap are now present which makes use of the current web languages to create a framework or foundation, the basis for creating new websites. Plus, responsive web design is also a rising trends because of the increase in different devices that can access the internet. Responsive web design is a principle that dictates that websites should be able to display information seamlessly by resizing its elements to fit to a user’s screen size.