HTML5 was released in 2014 with many revisions and scopes leading up to
its agreed format via the World Wide Web Consortium. Prior to HTML5 we
had an array of legacy document types and technologies available.
The final specification for HTML5 brought a number of changes and also a number of user interface enhancements. Through its evolution, designing for the web has changed with the underlying functionality now available.
HTML5 seemed to shake up the industry.
Simplicity began to emerge as a design shift with bevelled buttons and tabled layouts becoming less cool for visual and technical reasons. Gradually clearer fonts and readability became the norm and accessibility standards became more commonly implemented.
There was a long convergence of mixing designers with developers and legacy code base. The industry has since evolved more and often you find skilled people working with a specific title, like Front-End Engineer or User Experience Designer and so-forth.
This has made the web a much more expressive place with clearer messages, brighter visuals and better typography.
With HTML5 it took a number of years for browser vendors like Microsoft (Internet Explorer / Edge), Google and Mozilla to agree which parts of HTML5 to implement. This meant and remains to mean that developers / third-parties may have to fill in the shortfall when functionality is missing from a particular vendors browser.
Thanks to Web Standards this is less of an issue visually as it was before 2014, the purely layout and static focussed spec of CSS3 seems to be stable across the major vendors.
So what's going on with the web for the current climate? It's hard to say in a few words and even images, I feel for now that the front-end of the web is still going through a bit of a curve with the release of HTML5 but if I was to summarise in a few short words over the past few years it would be. Moving away from small fonts, tables, dynamic HTML, progressive enhancements, less blocky, more organic, easier to read, powerful and smart.