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 standardised code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization. Often many individuals will work in teams covering different aspects of the design process, although some designers will cover them all. The term web design is normally used to describe the design process relating to the front-end (client side) design of a website including writing mark up. Web design partially overlaps web engineering in the broader scope of web development. Web designers are expected to have an awareness of usability and if their role involves creating mark up then they are also expected to be up to date with web accessibility guidelines.
Although web design has a fairly recent history, it can be linked to other areas such as graphic design. However web design can also be seen from a technological standpoint. It has become a large part of people’s everyday lives. It is hard to imagine the Internet without animated graphics, different styles of typography, background and music.
The CSS1 specification was published in December 1996 by the W3C with the aim of improving web accessibility and emphasising the separation of presentational details in style sheets from semantic content in HTML documents. CSS2 in May 1998 (later revised in CSS 2.1 and CSS 2.2) extended CSS1 with facilities for positioning and table layout. Around the same time, in the late 1990s, as the dot-com boom led to a rapid growth in the "new media" of web page creation and design, there began a trend of using HTML tables, and their rows, columns and cells, to control the layout of whole web pages. This was due to several reasons:
the limitations at the time of CSS support in browsers;
the new web designers' lack of familiarity with the CSS standards;