“Rather than knowing the same five apps and sites I’ll visit every day, the web of old was more likely to surprise and delight,” writes Jason Underwood on Inside Design by InVision.
In his article titled Where did the web’s personality go? he briefly explores the history of the World Wide Web from a design perspective — when there were barely any “best practices” or UI/UX recommendations — and compares it to the web of today where most websites largely look like and operate the same way.
However, Underwood thinks that users may be ready for a change. He mentions The Outline, a media site whose design “was an immediate differentiator”.
I remember being immediately attracted to The Outline when I first came across it a couple of years back for two reasons: 1) its content and 2) its design.
The site is crazy colourful and makes use of multiple fonts and large images. It also has little line animations, like in between sections or when you hover over links.
It didn’t exactly conform to best practices for media websites at the time and was both praised and criticised for its design. But this made it stand out.
“The sites we visit are simple and familiar because they had to be to accommodate the world growing into the internet,” writes Underwood.
“Now that we’ve become masters of the tool, it creates opportunities for the web to get strange again.”
I’m excited for strange.