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This day’s portion

The Yale School of Art School website

This is what it looks like. It’s a mess. I get that. That’s the point. I am missing the point.

A website with a bright colours, random boxes and a repeated background image of a dog

The Yale School of Art website

But this is fucking terrible, non?

Other things I get:

You want to rail against conformity. That all web design looks the same. That all web design is so tastefully minamalist. That you feel web design can be so righteously accessible. That writing “proper” markup is so worthy.

And wasn’t the web fun before, when viewed from an ironic distance of, say, 20 years? When you didn’t have to bother with things like structure, readability and accessibility. Free expression! Look at that background image of a dog. Isn’t that funny? Wasn’t 11 pixel type cool?

I found the fees page in the end.

Bills for tuition, room, and board are available during the first week of July, due and payable by August 1 for the fall term; and during the first week of November, due and payable by December 1 for the spring term. The Office of Student Financial Services will impose late fees of $125 per month (up to a total of $375 per term) if any part of the term bill, less Yale-administered loans and scholarships that have been applied for on a timely basis, is not paid when due. Nonpayment of bills and failure to complete and submit financial aid application packages on a timely basis may result in the student’s involuntary withdrawal from the University. Tuition, fees, and cost of attendance

Enjoyed the budgie on a tennis ball gif while reading this though.

So misconceived. The real challenge would be to create a site that was both usable and expressed something new. It’s as rebellious as mashed potato.

Buy ironic brutalist design!

Nice work if you can get it.

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A while back, I got nostalgic for old web design (or lack thereof) until I removed the rose-colored glasses and realized that it wasn’t always that great. It worked during the time that mostly everyone had small monitors and 800x600 or 1024x768 resolutions, but long lines of text demarcated only by sporadic horizontal rules don’t work well on wider screens. What I really missed was the personality oozing out of those sites, but we don’t need to re-implement some of the more jarring aspects in order to distinguish ourselves.

I think that a lot of these sorts of sites, especially the ones you see on Neocities, are made by younger people who never actually lived through this era of the web. Maybe they caught the tail end of it but throwing together a table-based layout and putting hundreds of animated gifs everywhere doesn’t automatically make the page any more authentic than ones that take advantage of tools made to address the hacky workarounds of the old days.


Yes. I do get the attraction of the retro-feel of these sites, and that’s all OK on Neocities. In a way it demonstrates how web design has matured – it has a history and an ironic way of interpreting that history.

But as you say, the reasons for why things looked like that back then – immature CSS, undeveloped typography, a more wild west feel – have either passed or are laughable for an organisation such as Yale to wear. And for an expensive agency to be able to peddle this nonsense – well, what a racket.