Designed in 1995, this site was one of the very first commissioned ones I made. ISDM was a Belgian organization that wanted to promote the net and educate people about it. It was lead by Rudy Dewaele, who later became managing director of the Brussels Cybertheatre. The site was one of the first to use the new features of Netscape version 1.1 to the fullest. Netscape 1.1 introduced background tiles, which I used here to visually seperate the screen in two parts, sort of inventing frames without frames. This lay out principle is still being used by very commercial companies everywhere till this date. Along with the visual seperation, I seperated the layout in two parts by means of tables. This 'abuse' of tables is very typical for web design. A German designer friend of mine, Uli Weidner, once called web design "the paralympics of design". HTML, the web's coding language, was never developed as a design tool. The web was meant to give people access to information, disregarding how that information was represented, except for very utilitarian purposes. Old HTML tags include EMPHASIS and QUOTE and H1 (header) up to H7 instead of traditional graphic design terms like bold, italic, font and font size. With Netscape 1.1 one could use two different fonts, a monospaced font and a proportionally spaced font. But which fonts those were depended on the user's preference. Also the user was given the freedom to disable displaying images or even replace all backgrounds by an image of his or her own choice. Etcetera. Paralympics of design.
Luckily Netscape 1.1 had some interesting bugs which allowed one to make primitive full screen animations with colors and images, display ASCII animations in the program's title bar and have more than one font color on a page.
Despite all that ISDM attracted a lot of visitors and was featured in the book "Multimedia Graphics" by the publishers of Mediamatic.
Hardware: Intel 486DX33 based clone PC, Tamarack scanner, 14K4 modem
Software: Windows 3.1, Photostyler, Persistence of Vision, Freehand
Technologies: HTML, GIF transparency, JPEG compression