File Under: Humor, Visual Design

Forget New Twitter. Check Out Old Facebook

1997 called. Your CRT is ready.

The tech press is abuzz, debating the merits and failures of the new (new new?) Twitter web and mobile designs.

If you’re like most, you aren’t even seeing Twitter’s new website just yet, so if you’d like to contemplate something a bit more fun on a Friday morning, consider what Twitter might have looked like had it been around in 1997.

You might remember 1997, the heady early days of web design — 1-pixel spacer images, animated gifs, tables with gray borders and a magical new idea called “cascading stylesheets.”

How would Twitter have looked in that world? We’ll never know, but thanks to a new art project dubbed “Once Upon” you can see what Facebook, YouTube and Google+ might have looked like had they been around in 1997. Once Upon was created by artists Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied, who describe the project as “three important contemporary web sites recreated with the technology and spirit of late 1997, according to our memories.”

That’s right, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ redesigned in the spirit and look of 1997. As an added bonus the demo site has been set up to limit bandwidth at a 1997-esque 8 kB/s so it loads just as painfully slow as it would have on dialup.

Naturally all three sites are “best viewed with Netscape Navigator 4.03 and a screen resolution of 1024×768 pixels, running under Windows 95″ (that resolution actually seems a bit large for 1997, but that’s okay). If you can’t find a Windows 95 machine in the closet fear not, the demo site will work in any web browser that supports frames.

[via Today and Tomorrow]