Since its debut in 1990, the internet has seen over a billion web pages—but it wasn’t always sleek interfaces. In this visual tour through history, trace the very earliest examples of what we today take for granted, from the first website to use surround sound to the first ‘upload-your-face’ function and YouTube-like page. Complete with year-by-year factsheets, Google insights, and commentary from the creators themselves.
The last three decades have marked an era of technological upheaval as frenetic and groundbreaking as there ever has been. From early desktop computers and mobile phones to virtual reality: the web is now virtually inseparable from all facets of human interaction and daily life. But it wasn’t always funny cat videos and sleek interfaces.
This collection is a visual journey through time, gathering the very earliest examples of what we today take for granted: the first website to use surround sound, the first drag-and-drop navigation, the first page-turn effect, the first website to use seamless video integration, the first viral site, the first parallax website, the first ‘upload-your-face’ website, the first site to incorporate a mobile phone, the first ever YouTube-like “website”, and many more.
It gathers more than 200 websites, and each comes with quotes and insights from the creators themselves—an invaluable peek into the minds of pioneers who paved the pixelized way for many to follow, including Jonathan Gay (Flash), Gabo Mendoza (Gabocorp), Yugo Nakamura (Yugop), Peter Van Den Wyngaert (NRG.BE), Joshua Davis (Praystation), and Eric Jordan (2Advanced).
This comprehensive visual history gathers 21 chapters that detail, for every year since 1998, the best websites and examples of hardware used at the time, and explore how user experience, usability, and technological milestones have influenced the development of the internet we use today. Year-by-year factsheets and smart Google insights orient the reader through major developments across such categories as world news headlines, highest grossing films, new soft and hardware, greatest website traffic, and many more.
For many, this collection will offer a virtual trip down nostalgia lane—but all generations will find a sweeping reference work as well as a celebration of how the earliest creative minds came to define the web, and eventually the world, as we know it.
Rob Ford founded the Favourite Website Awards (FWA) in 2000, a recognition program for cutting-edge web design. He is a pioneer of Internet awards and has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Guardian and various web-related magazines. He has judged many industry award shows, contributes regularly to web design sites and magazines, and wrote a regular column in Adobe’s flagship newsletter for seven years.
Julius Wiedemann studied graphic design and marketing and was an art editor for newspapers and design magazines in Tokyo before joining TASCHEN in 2001. His titles include the Illustration Now! and Record Covers series, as well as the infographics collection and books about advertising and visual culture.