Your Old Crap Website | 90s Web Design

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

Archive for June, 2010

RSPB

Posted by monkeon on June 28, 2010

I measure the validity of a website for this blog by how close it comes to Homer Simpson’s first website…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7otDLzQCug

The RSPB’s website looks a pretty unlikely candidate at first, apart from the slightly surreal-looking tern that is flapping fast but going no-where, like it’s trapped in some sort of time vortex…

Nor do we find anything particularly strange on their webcams…

No, for the holy grail of web design, we must go into the kids section of the site, where we can see that we are getting close by this beauty…

We then must click “fun” and oh lordy me…

To see it in its full animated glory, click here.

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Rizla

Posted by monkeon on June 21, 2010

The new Rizla site contains the first “You need javascript and cookies turned on to view this site” warning I’ve seen on a new site in years, which is nicely retro in itself.

It also asks for your location before you can enter. I would have thought that they’d have a slightly higher rate of paranoiacs visiting their site than most, and so this might put many of them off entering. WHAT DO THEY WANT TO KNOW WHERE I LIVE FOR?

Meanwhile, in 1998, you were welcomed to their site with a spinning Rizla, which I could happily watch for hours (or seconds if I was sober)…

A very 90s thing was to list all the awards you have won…

Can you imagine how awful the web would be now if this trend had continued, what with all the SEO charlatans experts wanting to abuse the process and giving out awards to every site on the internet just to get a reciprocal link?

The interesting thing about Rizla’s marketing is seeing how close they will get to admitting that their target audience is more stoners than smokers?

Man, I tell you, if I was designing a website when stoned, I’d probably put in a caption competition where I couldn’t even tell what’s going on in the picture, let alone one that allows for people to skew what it is about with a funny caption…

…then, just before a white out, I’d probably mumble something about Elvis playing the Rizla game and how mind blowing it would be if he was to speak when the page loaded…

Talky Elvis Wav (via the internet archive)

“Am I Towely from South Park”?

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Lego

Posted by monkeon on June 13, 2010

I have a real soft spot for the old Lego site, since whereas the new one knows its market by having flashy tie-ins with Pixar and the like, the 1997 one is based around the stoic, reliable, dull Lego of my youth.

For example, the travelling exhibition is on the wonderfully dry subject of gates.

Not dinosaurs, aliens, or any of the other exciting things to get a child’s imagination going. Gates. Dull, practical gates.

Equally, whereas the games section of the new site involves defending castles and racing cars, the old site again has a relaxing minimalist approach. What is their exciting idea of a game?

The wonderful Build A Duck.

It’s just a shame that the prize is the bit-too-exciting Lego Submarine, rather than something more practical and in tune with the website, such as a Lego CD rack or Lego toilet roll holder.

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Taco Bell

Posted by monkeon on June 7, 2010

The current Taco Bell site serves its purpose in making you salivate by showing you a well photographed slab of fatty food. It also has the lovely feature that when you roll over their logo, its purple bell (pfft) goes “ding dong”.

In the old site, you were welcomed instead by what seems to be the Mexican equivalent of Lolcats…

One of the many diverse aims of the old site was to start a collection of new lingo…

Send your entry in and you can can win a chance to see your entry in bright pink comic sans font live on the web!

Let’s see how the people of 1997 spoke…

Sadly, having gone through them all A-Z, none of the terms in the list were rude in any way.

If only they had a page on the site where people *could* post rude things live on the site, something like an un-moderated forum…

Crikey!

Another feature that has sadly been lost in time is this humiliating pre-YouTube pre-HappySlapping video of a staff member falling into a river…

Which, to be honest, is rather more exciting a feature than the following…

Do not be confused by the X-Files styling of the page, for these stories are very much tales of the expected…

Lots and lots of stories, all about driving to Taco Bell. Poofoo gazing.

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