I’ve been doing web development for about 15 years now. I remember my first website hosted on geocities (now owned by Yahoo) and my first e-mail account (mailcity). Those days, design was limited to some basic GIF animated images and text. Photos were also in low resolution as the large ones took ages to load.
Then the world wide web got bigger and bigger and websites became more sophisticated filled with videos, images, flash and lately, integration with social media.
But if you look at the trend now, most websites are going back to the basics. Why? Because we are moving into the world of mobile and tablets. Websites need to be mobile compatible hence CSS is stripped down to ensure fast loading. Flash is also a thing of the past and HTML5 has now taken over the web. It’s pointless to have a very fancy web site which has a long loading time.
I believe the only websites which still maintain high graphic and flash usage would be those promoting a particular product, movie or a music album.
As for me, I just love the basics.
Like this blog, I’ve stripped down the design to bare minimum which makes it quick to load and easy on the eyes. After 15 years of web development, one thing you will realise is flashy pages are only a temporary experience. You visit the site 2 – 3 times and the amazing graphics begin to bore you. You are now searching for content. If the owner fails to update content regularly, you eventually stop visiting the site. You will notice that many companies and brands are going for the simple stripped down look. Google’s pages have always been simple.
Take a look at http://www.digg.com or even http://www.newyorker.com/.
By the way, Zeenee has a new blog called “Wanna Makan“. She’s using Blogger’s Dynamic View which is simple, stripped down and fast loading. Love it!