Remember these gems?
The year is 1995. You’re rocking your flannel and/or flared jeans, and finally got that Power Macintosh 6200 you’ve always wanted. Time to crack open Netscape and surf the web, brah. Here’s your favorite sites and the painfully ugly way they were (circa mid-90s).
YAHOO! We can almost hear the odd chortle of the yodeling spokesman when we look at this. That logo shall always be the way we think about Yahoo! Sorry Marissa Mayer. That new purple whimsy, and 30-day design tease, from two years ago ain’t fooling us. Slap some shadow on it, block out that serif, paint it red and call us old school. Sidenote: can we go back to a time where a “New” icon for a search engine was a baby? Because… that just feels so wrong, it’s right. AMAZON Oh man. RAZR Phones. That takes us back to our T9 days. It’s interesting to see how ad space has evolved. This random is-it-content-is-it-an-ad miss mosh is exactly why banner ads have gone the way of the dinosaur. Important to note that, 20 years ago, there were 32 product categories. Thirty two. There are now… waaaaay more than that. Hell, “Sports & Outdoor Play” alone has 32 types of products. APPLE Oh hell naw. Fanboys across the globe, I can hear your collective weeping. Although, this is a prime example of what would have been had not Sir Jobs swooped in and saved the world from hideous design. Not that Jobs singlehandedly reinvented web design, but like… oof. This is just painful. Can you imagine Apple using “What’s Hot” anywhere on their current site? Yeah. Oh! Look! A shout-out to Macworld! Remember when that was a relevant event? R.I.P. Macworld, R.I.P. THE WEATHER CHANNEL Look at that! Someone aligned the links like it’s notches in a compass. Creative! Is that a compass though? I don’t know, I’m no meteorologist. But big points to the HTML warlock who clearly had an epiphany late one night, all jacked up on Surge, and was all “I am going to win awards for this out-of-the-box shit”. AND the links are all oblong and drop-shadowed. Like a boss. CNN INTERACTIVE Remember when websites were referred to as an “interactive” branch? It always felt super video-game-driven to us. Like someone was gonna jump out of your Pentium-60 and lead you into a maze of poorly designated hyperlinks. To be fair, this is not the worst menu we’ve seen of the ’95 era. Ugly? For sure. But straight-forward. Also, the 80s are calling, and want that logo and their color triangles back! Reading the news from 1995 makes me feel like I am in grade school again. No, like, literally. AOL BRB, crying into my Red Bull. This is just… I mean… What? It looks like the table of contents from your high school science textbook. My OCD is flaring up just noticing all of the blank righthand space. Excuse me while I go arrange my pens symmetrically on my desk. This also is a cruel reminder that my AOL screen-name, at one brief moment in time, was “CaliforniaQueen303”. Which, in retrospect, now sounds like a mattress I would like to own. I know. I know. PIZZA HUT WEBMASTER! Yasssssss. Take me to your Webmaster, Pizza Hut. Cue imagery of nerd wizard with pepperoni cape and long cheese beard. Almost meta in it’s simplicity, it looks like a legit Word Doc. We’re also down with the “electronic storefront” naming. Going to keep that one in our back pocket for some lucky client re-brand… someday. Just realized that they have instructions to click the logo to submit comments to the email address. Wha? Huh? I haz confusion. Need pizzas.
Whew. So glad we’ve grown out of this stage in the Internet. Although it’s amazing to be a part of the beginning, our eyes are so much happier and websites so much more intuitive to the experience we want and need.
Hope you enjoyed our trip down MemoryLane.com.