Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / July 5th, 2007

MySpace Helping the Web Design Industry Take a Giant Step Backwards

Remember the old days of Web site design?  There were front page theme Web sites, animated gif’s as far as the eye could see.  Links to contact pages were almost all little mailbox icons.  And then there was music…ah, the music.  Nothing said “welcome to my site” like a midi file of wind beneath my wings. 

Luckily, for the credibility of our industry, we left that all behind in 2000 along with our Y2K survival kits.  That is, until MySpace came along.  Sure, it started fine.  It is obviously the product of professional designers who took painstaking time to layout the way a profile page should look.  But no, our nation’s adolescence wouldn’t be confined in a template.  And now things have gotten ugly.  1998 ugly.

I spent a few minutes looking at the profiles of the promiscuous this morning, and I was shocked at what I saw.  I’m not talking about the language and the questionable photos (yes, I’ve apparently become an old man).  I’m talking about the designs.

It all starts with the background.  Most of the profile pages have those great backgrounds that don’t scroll with the site.  Then they added some little widgets that always seem to break the design of the site by pushing things off to one side, all while you’re serenaded by Beyonce’s latest joint.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, many people decided to show their patriotic sides by adding animated firework gif’s.  Where on earth can you still find those things?

MySpace DesignAt site’s like this monstrosity, that’s where.  Not only do they have an entire section dedicated to animated graphics, but they also have corrupted our youth with sparkly cursors, gaudy rollovers, and entire themes with all of these things in one!

I beg you, please use the theme that MySpace provides!  As more and more employers, bff’s, suitors, and family get online to look at your portfolio, take a moment to think about what that animated fireplace graphic says about you and your style.