90s Web Design A Nostalgic Look Back
They were monuments to the egos of the websites' owners. Still, today, when so many business website owners are working so hard to wring every last bit of effectiveness out of their sites, it's almost charming to think of a business owner actually putting ego well ahead of the profit to have been derived from all the visitors who hit the "back" button rather than sit through an animated logo. Text Troubles "Welcome to…" Every single website homepage in 1996 had to have the word "welcome" somewhere, often in the largest headline. After all, isn't saying "welcome" more vital than saying what the web page is all about in the first place? Background images. Remember all those people who had their kids' pictures tiled in the background of every page? Remember how much fun it was trying to guess what the words were in the sections where the font color and the color of the image were the same? Dark background, light text. My favorite was orange font on purple background, though the ubiquitous yellow white text on blue, green or red was nice, too. Of course, anyone who will make their text harder to read with a silly gimmick is just paying you the courtesy of letting you know they couldn't possibly have written anything worth reading. Entire paragraphs of text centered. After all, haven't millennia of flush-left margins just made our eyes lazy? "This Site Is Best Viewed in Netscape 4.666, 1,000×3300 resolution." It was always so cute when site owners actually imagined anyone but their mothers would care enough to change their browser set up to look at some random person's website. All-image no-text publishing. Some of the worst websites would actually do the world the service of putting all their text in image format so that no search engine would ever find them. What sacrifice! Hyperactive Pages TV-envy was a common psychological malady in 1990s web design. Since streaming video and even Flash were still in their infancy, surrey website design settled for simply making the elements on their pages move like Mexican jumping beans.