This week, we came across a wave of nostalgia after stumbling onto a list of the most popular websites of the past. The selections were vast and included the first incarnations of future standards and even sites of our favorite childhood movies.
What made sites popular back in the day and how does it apply to the present? Well, among other things, they provided much needed services and information, especially during the early days of the web. They were also the pinnacles of design for the time by lighting up desktop screens in unique ways.
Welcome to the Jam
Have you ever met someone who saw but didn’t enjoy the seminal cinematic classic Space Jam? We didn’t think so. The film was released in 1996 and seeing the website (which is still up) at the time was probably a privilege enjoyed by a few. It was bright and flashy, much like the cartoon world it advertised, but not overbearingly so. In the early days of the web, it was easy to stick flashy, ugly looking graphics and pass it off as a website, but the Space Jam site managed to take a wide color palate and effectively display its options.
We all know eBay and Google today, but back when they first launched, they became powerhouses simply by providing something you couldn’t get anywhere else on the web. Google’s beta design was simple because it didn’t have to be anything more. Its innovative search function bred its popularity to the point where “Googling” is now an accepted verb.
Do you remember AltaVista? Maybe not, but before the great Google rolled around, all of your search needs were found on that site, which was also pretty simple in nature. Sometimes, it’s the idea that matters most.
Going back and looking at the early faces of Facebook and Twitter is a trip considering how big they are now. Even digging up MySpace will bring warm, if not a little embarrassing, feelings as well.
What these sites offered was a completely new experience when it came to people and brands. Their social nature also meant that a good design was also built in. The easier it is to use, the more people will use it. While they surely had their kinks, they were improved upon with each iteration.
The Future is Bright with Us
It’s tough to say what the websites of today will look like in ten or fifteen years with the advancement of technology, but making your mark online takes a lot of work. At Imagine It Studios, we dedicate ourselves to building that perfect experience for you and your users. If you want to know how we can help build a site for your future, give us a call at 956.687.1521.