Your Old Crap Website | 90s Web Design

Dredging the internet archives 1996-2001 – Websites then and now

Archive for March, 2010


Posted by monkeon on March 31, 2010

In 1999, Thorntons were well excited about the millennium…

11 years on, and I can answer their questions about the future.

A. By plane, car, cart, foot and snake board.
B. No way
C. No

When you think about Thorntons, what do you think?

Personally, I would have said “Chocolate” and not a lot else.  However, in 1999, they were more a much more diverse company.  Here’s the website’s navigation…

… and here’s a pie chart I made depicting their website’s subject matter by amount of pages…

Finally, let’s look at the news section to see what Thorntons were up to – perhaps they have launched some specially designed chocolates for millennium parties?

Duck-billed dinosaurs!  Thorntons of 1999, I love you.

Web Design Leeds


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Posted by monkeon on March 30, 2010

Aquafresh have always been keen on educating kids about toothcare via their website.

At the moment, they have loads of games, such as this fun one where you can write the word “poo” on a sign in the Tooth Fairy’s garden…


But what entertained the kids back in 2000?

Ignore the creepy speaking-at-the-same-time trick, which is like that episode of Doctor Who on the bus, and be shocked instead at all that dumbing down in only ten years…

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Lunn Poly / Thomson

Posted by monkeon on March 29, 2010

Sadly, the Thomson site has always been pretty professional (ie boring), so we’ll look at which now redirects to the Thomson site.

There’s one really one thing I want to criticise on this web site.  I think any designer should be able to tell you what it is straight away.

Can you tell what it is yet?

No, it’s not making the focus of the site more about Henry Lunn than about holidays.  I like that about it since I can’t afford a holiday and I have nothing much to do other than to sit around experimenting with my facial hair and Henry’s moustache is quite an inspiration.

Can you tell now?

Yes, that’s right.  They are using Comic Sans. Agreed by most designers to be one of the worst fonts in the world.

How much does a website cost

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Posted by monkeon on March 28, 2010

The chocolate fire guard award for most pointless feature on a website

If you were building a website for a far-right, immigrant hating party, what feature do you think they might not need…

If you answered a “Translation service for non English speakers”, then you would be right. Writing the instructions on how to use it in English only makes it even more pointless.

Nick’s Cartoon Time

Look – a cartoon gallery. I wonder what sort of jokes made Nick Griffin do a LOL in 2001?

I don’t get it.

One minute, I’ll just check Google..

Nope, not the best observational comedy, then.

I always thought those “Love is..” cartoons were the shittest,  but this “Hate is…” one takes the biscuit.

If you can find a worse cartoon on the web, feel free to link to it in the comments.

Website Design Leeds

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Posted by monkeon on March 27, 2010

The sad tale of the Cadbury Tree

The Cadbury site of 1996 contained a tree.

“The illustration of the cocoa tree is used to symbolise the continuing development of the Cadbury World Wide Web site. As the web site expands, so new cocoa pods will appear on our tree.”

Let’s now have a look at the tree in 1997

Yay! A new pod for the exciting Chocolate Market Review page!

I wonder how much it’ll have grown in 1998?

Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!  Some bastard has cut it down. Where’s Swampy when you need him?

Oh well, at least there is an exciting new product launch…

I bet by 2010, Fuse bars will be the best selling chocolate in the world.

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Posted by monkeon on March 26, 2010

Durex currently use their website to give simple and informative sexual health information. The tone is relaxed and friendly, yet serious.

Let’s now see what the tone used to be in 1997…



And a final “Deary Me” goes to…

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Posted by monkeon on March 25, 2010

First of all, take a look at the warning banner for it is a thing of beauty…

I’m both sad and surprised that the banner to download Microsoft Internet Explorer didn’t say “Internet Sexplorer” to make them a matching pair. “Pair! Fnar fnar.”

By “Politically Incorrect”, he just means mildly sexist – as, to be fair, there doesn’t seem to be any racism or homophobia within.  He’s not actually very good at being un-PC at all.

Likewise, his employment policy actually does seem rather PC, as there are strippers from all over the world working there, and, who knows, perhaps even a couple of transsexuals (I couldn’t tell).

This animation is quite well done. Whatever he is pointing at, it is breast height.

It might be the colours…
but the design of the site rather reminds me of the sort of hyperactive mess that M.I.A. uses for her work…

See what I mean? I wonder what sort of mad man designs something like that?


Finally, let’s delve into the “Meet the Angels” section of the website.  But first, heed Peter’s warning…

You know the film “The Ring”?

Each of the “angels” on his site has a personal profile.  Some highlights (best read in the voice of Graham from Blind Date) are as follows:

1. Her interests include the bizarre combination of horse-riding and science fiction. Anyone for a STAR TREK? (Geddit?!)

2. Sporty Marie, our babe from Down Under (meaning Australia, and not her preferred…) is a cricket and rugby fanatic. And thats how she likes her men. Batty and with balls.

3. Ria is just 18. She’s from London. Apart from a fascination with flying, she likes being spoilt rotten. And down at the club, she certainly does. (Get spoilt rotten.)

4. Star is one of our bigger girls. Of course we’re talking personality, because that’s all that matters, right?

5. Angel is 19 years of age and quite literally bosom buddies with Star. (Check out the pics from our launch party if you want to see what I mean). Angel reckons herself to be a fine actress, and is headed for the movies. We all find her quite moving, but in a very different way.

*Vomits into a top hat*

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The Vatican

Posted by monkeon on March 24, 2010

To celebrate the Pope’s recent failures, I thought I’d check out how the Vatican’s website looked in 1998.

Rather appropriately for an organisation who have difficulty dealing with change, they have kept it more or less exactly the same for 12 years. It’s just shrunk a bit.

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Toyota / Mercades

Posted by monkeon on March 22, 2010

Toyota: Transformers – Cars in disguise (as other cars).

There’s not a lot of interest on the Toyota site of 1998, but bear in mind how high-tech car adverts like to be, and then look at this animation. It will blow your mind:

Mercedes: How to use a website

Most of the Mercades website has vanished from the archive. However, we can still treasure this useless tip on how to use their website:

You can’t see the icon any more.  My guess is that it was of a chocolate teapot.

Posted in Mercades, Toyota | 1 Comment »


Posted by monkeon on March 21, 2010

Dear Mr Asda,

I was looking at your 1996 website and I found a typo:

We can only imagine how amazing this game would have been as, alas, it wasn’t saved in the internet archive.

Tip: To escape a nasty trolley, run up the stairs.

How much does a website cost

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