Unearthing the Past: Trends That Shaped the Internet
The internet, in its current form, has been publicly available for over 30 years.
In that time, we’ve seen access speeds increase from dial-up to broadband, software improvements to support video and HD graphics and internet browsers that can handle all of those changes.
In this ever-shifting realm, where trends emerge and fade at a dizzying pace, taking a moment to reflect on some of the forgotten relics of web design feels like peering into a digital time capsule.
It’s fascinating to cast our minds back to an era when the internet was a “wild frontier”, and website trends were still finding their footing. Here’s some of the website trends that once captured our attention and will bring back “fond” memories – for some of us at least….
Once upon a time, Flash intros were all the rage. Websites would greet visitors with flashy animations and interactive introductions, often accompanied by background music. These intros were designed to captivate users from the moment they landed on a page. However, with the rise of mobile devices and the decline of Flash support, this trend quickly became impractical and was left behind.
In the early days of the internet, website owners proudly displayed hit counters on their pages. These simple counters tallied the number of visitors to a site, offering a tangible measure of its popularity. As analytical tools became more sophisticated, hit counters fell out of favour, replaced by comprehensive data collection software such as Google Analytics.
Under Construction GIFs
Before the era of constantly updated content and real-time publishing, websites would often display “Under Construction” signs, accompanied by animated GIFs of construction workers or caution tape. These placeholders were a common sight as webmasters worked on updates or new sections. With the advent of content management systems and agile development practices, the need for these signs disappeared.
Splash pages were standalone pages that preceded the homepage, often serving as an introduction or gateway to the main content. While they were intended to make a bold visual statement, users quickly grew impatient with the extra click required to access the actual site. As user experience gained importance, splash pages gave way to more streamlined designs that prioritized efficiency and accessibility.
Blinking Text and Marquee Scrolling
Ah, the days of HTML tags that made text blink or scroll across the screen! These flashy elements were once considered cutting-edge design, but they quickly fell out of favour as users found them distracting and irritating. Modern web design principles now prioritize readability and user-friendly interfaces, leaving blinking text and marquee scrolling in the digital graveyard.
Reminiscing about these forgotten website trends, it’s clear that the internet has come a long way in terms of design, functionality, and user experience. As online technology continues to advance, new trends will keep emerging, forcing the digital landscape to continue its evolution. The key for successful website development is to stay ahead of these changes whilst acknowledging and learning from the trends that now reside in the archives of internet history.