Format D has been developing digital products since 2005. This period of 18 years represents more than half the time that has passed since the world's first website was presented in Switzerland in 1991. It was not until the late 90s that internet presence with a website for companies became common. Since then, the world of digital product development has continued to evolve over time in fascinating ways - from the early days of the Internet to the most modern, extensive applications and sophisticated designs. In this article, we take a brief look at the exciting transformation of coding and design over this time span.
The birth of Web 2.0
At the time of our founding in 2005, the age of Web 2.0 was just beginning.
Websites gradually evolved from static sources of information to interactive platforms and ordering systems. New programming languages, frameworks and concepts such as Ajax appeared on the market. The ability to integrate dynamic content without reloading pages became a reality. Content management systems have been introduced and are in use worldwide. These developments marked milestones and led to a significant improvement in usability for users and content editors. All those exciting possibilities that opened up, were a driving force for us to found our digital product development studio.
Responsive webdesign and eCommerce
Since 2007, the spreading of smartphones and their different screen sizes led to Responsive Web Design becoming more and more important. Terms like "flexible", "liquid", "fluid" and "elastic" were often used. Since then, the rule has been: websites and apps must be designed to function smoothly on different devices. Web technologies such as CSS3 and HTML5 make it possible to create appealing user interfaces. However, many still remember times when design and programming were characterized by restrictions and dependencies. It was always necessary to consider which details were not yet supported by which percentage of browsers and which alternative solutions had to be found within the framework of innovative designs.
With the rapid expansion and further development of the internet, the e-commerce sector as well gained more and more importance. Especially since the founding of payment service providers such as PayPal, which have become an indispensable part of online trade.
The boom in app development
The introduction of smartphones and the subsequent launch of the App Store and Google Play Store in 2008 created a noticeable boom in app development for businesses in Germany. Designers and developers were forced to adapt to mobile interfaces and create apps that were both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
UX design and usability
In the years from 2012 onwards, user experience (UX) design gained more and more importance. Because we as Format D have always placed a high focus on usability, we have consistently used user-centred design methods ever since. Our work processes are based on close cooperation between design and development.
2012 also marked the year of the first international UX conference "Push" in Munich, where we contributed as sponsor several times. The focus was increasingly on designing products that are not only beautiful, but also intuitively operable and user-friendly.
Frontend-Frameworks und Atomic Design
Modern frameworks such as React, Angular and Vue.js have established the standard of component-based frontend development. As a result of this development, we introduced the Atomic Design principles at our company in 2014. This approach consists of hierarchically organised design components (atoms, molecules and organisms) and was defined at the time in a design system as the basis for our work in the studio. This approach ensures a consistent and scalable user interface for our digital products. It has revolutionised user interface development in terms of code quality, efficiency and extensibility.
AI and Voice User Interface
And it continues just as dynamically as in the last few years. The increasing prevalence of artificial intelligence or the Voice User Interface (VUI), but also long-standing topics such as Virtual Reality (VR) and the Internet of Things (IoT) promise an exciting future. We continue to be excited about searching for new ways to develop digital products. As creative minds in design and coding, we look forward to continuing to drive innovation in this field!