There was a time not too long ago when fancy designers ruled web design. Website owners happily transferred all their best designs and the style of their favored graphic artist from all their print work onto the World Wide Web.
Inevitably those kind of websites were bulky and slow to open and made use of all kinds of gadgetry like flash tools. The whole idea was to have websites that looked as impressive as possible without minding too much about the user experience.
Not anymore. The design honeymoon quickly ended when it was realized that most of this effort ended up wasted because not many people visited. And even worse when they did visit they hardly spent too much time on the site and impatiently hit the back button to get out and find some other site that would give off information faster.
It quickly became apparent that simply designed websites that opened quickly were the way to go. These new kind of web design ideas were championed by such sites as that of search giant Google who showed just how effective and practical white space (which opens much faster) could be. Google championed the idea of a clean, simple but impressive design and this was widely copied in various forms and continues to be reproduced by many across the web. To this day a vast majority of sites still like to use the white background for the same reasons.
The emphasis also shifted quite dramatically to place great emphasis on SEO (search engine optimization) which is simply optimizing a site for search engines so that it ranks highly in search results. The big pay off was naturally irresistible because it was recognized that traffic coming in directly from queries on popular search engines was extremely valuable and those clicking through were more often than not ready to make a purchase right away. That is if that purchase had the potential to solve the pressing problem that caused their search query in the first place.
All this has led to a situation where web designers these days work very closely with SEO consultants and experts to ensure that no aspects of their web design hinders the optimization of the site for search traffic. Indeed there have been many heavy design tools that have been casualties to the need to please the almighty search engines for the reward of huge traffic. There was no going back because naturally had a huge impact on the success or failure of the web site being designed.
Today even as web design continues to evolve rapidly to keep up with new demands for continued success and even survival, it is difficult to recognize the new web designer when you compare him to the arrogant heavy designers that were here with us just the other day.