Second Generation Web Site Design

David Siegal's philosophy continues in his description of second generation web sites where they are base on first generation design concepts except for the following characteristics:-

Many of these characteristics where driven by the development of html. The web sites created at this stage tended to be overdone with technology, without respect to, or consideration of the web site purpose. Use of technology for technologies' sake, with no treatment for clean layout reflecting the desire to communicate.

Pages were over-crowded with flashing icons and rainbow coloured graphics and backgrounds. However, there were a few designers such as David Seigal, who were able to utilise the html code in ways that it were innovative in order to acquire the page layout they desired. One example of this new approach occurred when the html tags for tables were introduced for statistical data layout. These designers used the table code for pouring in the columns of text and graphics just like you see in magazine and books. Tables were used to acquire greater control over element positioning; it was essentially a work around.

These sites were still adapting to technology that was constantly changing, for example, computer monitors used to view the web could be 640x480 pixel's, 800x600 pixels, or 1024x768 pixels. Also the designer needed to know whether viewers monitor was 8bit or 24 bit?, As this knowledge influenced the colour depth of the images on the web. The other problems were that Microsoft had their rules and Netscape had their's even within the guidance set by the 3WC.

While being aware of the web medium's capability and limitations, the main drawback of the web is speed of downloading information. People may not be interested in waiting for content to appear on their computer screen, and even if the information does appear, will they be motivated to read off the screen. Web text is not easy to read because of the inherent browser characteristics. It is easier to read from books, magazines and papers; why?, because of the designer's input to the amount of leading between the lines of text and the controlled length of text in a measure within a horizontal space. These controls do not exist on the web, unless the designer actually insert the texts as a pixel graphic. The text and font size can be set on the browser, but how many people know how, or even if they do, they probably do not know what aspects are important for legibility, readability and clarity.