Top 10: 1990s bad web design (and early 2000s)

By Matt Cornock

Web design has come a long way since the original 256 colour dithering of late-1990s web design and the myriad of weird and wonderful things it brought with it. In the late-1990s and early 2000s personal homepage were on the rage with companies like Tripod (Lycos) and Geocities (Yahoo) offering 5 free webpages with free site building tools. Here’s a top ten list of bad web design elements that we’d hope and pray no longer feature on sites ten years on:

  1. Animated tiled background GIFs.
  2. Scrolling text courtesy of the <marquee> tag in IE.
  3. The font tag and associated sizes prompting managers to shout “Make it bigger!” and ‘size=7’ being unleashed.
  4. A different text colour for each paragraph. Frequently luminescent on a black background.
  5. Table layouts (with thick borders intact), or worse…
  6. Frames and “Your browser does not support frames” as the website description in search engines.
  7. Animated cursors and cursor trails.
  8. Meta-Refresh for page forwarding, borking your ‘Back’ button.
  9. Phrases like “Sign my guestbook!!!”
  10. Big square button effects.

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