That was the service that really loved to make you go into epileptic seizures with lots of blinking text and crazy colors. It was painful to visit, let alone read any of the content people bothered to post on their sites.
So fast-foward to today… and guess what? We really haven’t moved very far away from what Geocities had left us with.
What it comes down to is that there is a distinct lack of creativity and originality when it comes to basic website design. Whether you use a predefined WordPress template or something that you’ve coded yourself by hand using Windows Notepad, chances are that the website design you’ve come up with LOOKS LIKE EVERY OTHER FREAKIN’ WEBSITE OUT THERE.
Go ahead. Click that link.
What do you see?
The exact same basic layout of every site that you’ve ever visited.
Go now. Take a deep look.
Then come back and think about your own website. How many of those cliche’s are you guilty of?
- Logo in upper-left corner
- Horizontal menu bar with standard menu items, such as Home, About, Contact Us
- A leaderboard image rotator that doesn’t actually lend itself to any practical matter other than “it looks good”. And we all know that nobody actually clicks on the rotated images.
- Highlighted boxes.
- Arial font of varying sizes
- Footer boilerplate text
On the other hand, let’s face facts — the reason that Every Website Looks Like Every Other Website is because after years and years of User Experience testing…. these layouts work. Site visitors aren’t confused by what they see. There’s no challenge to their ability to find what they’re looking for.
And all that is good. You never want to make your website unusable just because it “looks cool”. You just want it to work, and for your visitors to find what they’re looking for.
So, in the end, maybe having the Worst Website Ever isn’t such a bad thing after all, is it?