A Short Story about the Evolution of Web Design
Microsoft launched its own first competitive browser in 1996. The browser in question came complete with its very own tags and features. At the time of its release, the browser was also the first to include supports for style sheets, an authoring technique that was viewed as something obscure back then. The HTML markup for tables was initially meant for viewing tabular data. Designers quickly acknowledged that HTML tables can be used to create multi-column, complex layouts, which were something that was rather impossible to do back then. This was at a time when good markup structure was overlooked in favor of good esthetics and web accessibility and semantics were things that were paid little attention to.
Websites using HTML had limited design options. Complex designs were created by web using table structures that were complicated or blank spacer.GIF images in order that empty table cells could stop collapsing. In December 1996, CSS was introduced by the W3C as a means to support layout and presentation. HTML code benefitted from CSS in that it can be semantic instead of being both semantic and presentational. It also improved web accessibility.