Way Back When – How the Biggest Names Used to Look
Sometimes you have to pinch yourself to remember that the internet is less than 30 years old. If you need any reminder of how far we’ve travelled since then, the very first web page address appeared in 1992.
The early pages prioritised finding information and connecting with people who had the same interests as you. The academic origins of the web were evident in the lack of images or aesthetics. There was no real sense, back at the beginning, that anyone who wasn’t a geek of some kind or another would want to access it.
Amazon – 1995
Just one month after launch, this is what the original Amazon website looked like. Back in the beginning it only sold books, out of a garage. Jeff Bezoz chose the name Amazon because it began with an ‘A’ and would, therefore, appear high on the alphabetic entry list. (His original choice was ‘Cadabra’). The logo is featured, but otherwise there’s little visual enhancement. What’s clear is the lack of font options, images and tables for layout that were available.
BBC – 1997
This BBC website from 1997 shows just how fast web design was developing throughout the 90s. Already it looks more recognisable, with a reader-friendly font, colours and a range of clickable links. There’s even an image to draws the eye. It is however, much slimmer than current websites. The BBC site was only 620 pixels wide at its launch, making it half the size of its current incarnation.
eBay – 2005
This pioneering website started out as ‘AuctionWeb’ back in 1995. By 2005 eBay had found it’s iconic brand, but it was still very much focused on buying and selling. What wasn’t considered a priority at this stage was the conversion of browsing visitors, to engaged users. The lack of meaningful competition meant that concentrating on core function was enough.
Apple – 2012
Just 7 years later and the Apple smart phone, and iPad, has ushered in the ‘post desktop era’. Apple revolutionised the use of white space in website design. It was also a pioneer when it came to transforming the web from a text-based space to an image oriented platform. The brand now extends to every single element of the page, from the font to the logo, to the empty space on the right hand side of the screen.
Google – 2019
Google has just turned 32! Its revolutionary search engine appeared in 1997, offering ‘the quickest and most precise’ web searches in the world. It’s original business was about offering quick links. It still does that, but the quality of the experience is all together different. The search now extends beyond web pages, to all online content. But most noticeable is the ways in which content is delivered, using snippets, a carousel, paid for ads, and organic search.
Want Your Website to Look 2019?
If you’re worried that your website’s looking rather more 1990s than you’d like, call the Imagefix design team to talk about a refresh, or a brand new version. We create fully responsive websites that are mobile-friendly, use high quality imagery, and look stunning.