‘sm going to be that jerk and be contrary.

Personally, I haven’t enjoyed the website design trend. I read this article a while back:  https://www.novolume.co.uk/blog/all-websites-look-the-same/

…and I agree with everything it says. I find most designs flashy and non-intuitive. I tried browsing the web to some of my favorite hobbies, but every website I came across, I just couldn’t acknowledge the design as being something I enjoyed.

I miss the 90’s.

SO.  I found some websites that are still floating around from the 90’s to illustrate what I enjoy in a design. No flashy crap, easily labeled sections and descriptions as to what each link contains, simple layout and it’s intuitive damn it!

People are so concerned with being flashy and cool that they don’t think about the flow.

Netscape Microsoft SpaceJam


  1. I’m going to agree with you about the movement/animation on sites. I’ve had an allergy to anything moving on a site since the tag.
    I do most of my browsing with javascript turned off, and will block ads if they have any animation.

  2. Your post raises a lot of interesting fodder for discussion!

    Even if it is just in a screenshot, it brings back good memories to see Netscape’s What’s Cool list!

    So I take it you’re a fan of (NSFW/PROFANITY) this web site and the Gopher protocol, then? =p

    Glenn Davis, author of the Cool Site of the Day, stopped pursuing web design in the early 2000s because he felt there were few major breakthroughs remaining.

    As to the intuitive nature of a site I will fall back briefly to the dictionary for what I hope is an agreeable definition of intuitive. The good folks at Oxford define intuitive as “using or based on what one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning; instinctive”. Adrenaline results in a fight or flight instinct. That “or” is there for a reason; instincts aren’t the same for all people under all circumstances, are they? I’m not meaning to nitpick, here, rather I’m getting at the subjective nature of intuition and the real difficulties faced in good design on the web or otherwise.

    Bear in mind that my thoughts are meant more as an explanation than as a justification.

    We live in a very visual society which I think serves to explain the emphasis on visual design. Even knock-off televisions and cheap cars are designed to appeal to the eye. There are many people out there who prefer form over function. Consider racism predicated on visual appearance and the demonstrated effects such has on employment and employment opportunities. While likely a better subject for a sociology class, a lot of people would rather hire based on appearance rather than skill even when it could negatively impact the businesses they own or at which they are employed. Feelings about appearances can be quite strong; people have been killed and tortured for not looking how other people think they should look.

    I don’t think all dynamism is explicitly intended to cater to visual preferences. On the contrary some user interface elements such as menus and mouseovers are widely used to present more information to a user in a manner less likely to trigger information overload. And if we look at menus, they are often animated and quite visual. OS X, for example, employs translucency and animation in its menus. I find menus that just come into existence without animation to be visually jarring. And it’s not just visual – a slight delay on a slide-out or fade-out gives the user some time to re-position a cursor over a menu if the user allowed the cursor to accidentally wander out of the menu as does frequently occur. It isn’t always just about being cool!

    I think it is a crucial point that form and function compete in a zero sum environment. Too often those seeking to have sites developed rely on web designers to develop copy and content for their site. Most of the people I know that are actually employed in the field of web design feel such a task is better left to people who specialize in writing copy or developing specific content. Similar sentiments often apply to client-side programming, server-side programming, graphics (raster/vector), server administration, database administration, and other aspects of site development and maintenance. I think a lot these shoddy sites result from efforts to keep costs under control by people who don’t understand the entirety of the process of producing and maintaining a good web site. This leaves us with page designs slapped together by programmers who more-often-than-not don’t give two bits about what other people think. This leaves us with pages created as side projects by staff whose job titles have nothing to do with web design, development, or administration. I recall feeling like I was working for a rube when hired out as a back-end programmer for a firm in the Southeast after they indicated to me that they had “evolved” beyond having dedicated Quality Assurance and being left to write copy for clients on my own.

    Even the wealthiest among us face limits as to the resources they may employ in the development of a site and most of us have far less to work with. There are trade-offs that are, unfortunately, inevitable. Too often, sadly, more emphasis is placed on style than on substance. In the end a lot of people qualify it as an “either”/”or” when it should be more of an “and” proposition.

    Frankly I agree with much of what you said. Sorry about the wall of text. I may have a tendency to ramble and/or rant.


Leave a Reply