The Internet is constantly changing. BusinessWeek.com spoke to a bevy of experts and distilled the must-follow rules top online designers live by in 2008
Since the Internet emerged as a major force, altering everything from the way people work to the way they date, it has been a roller-coaster ride that made the world giddy. Microsoft (MSFT), Netscape, et al. fought the browser wars, Web standards were championed, and the Web became community-minded and social, ushering in the reign of Facebook, Flickr (YHOO), and YouTube. From boom to bust and back again, with staggering amounts of money changing hands at every point, the online industry rides on with no end in sight.
The Net has also attracted prophets, gurus, theorists, and evangelists of every stripe. Many of their promised game-changing technologies—Jini, DHTML, and countless others—never panned out, while seemingly simple innovations—metadata, XML, and CSS—have led to major breakthroughs. Meanwhile, Web design vogues from the effervescent jumble of HotWired to the stark utility of Google (GOOG) have continued to evolve and become more contradictory—and entrenched.