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Ten Years Ago
Ten Years Ago

Dive Into What the Web Looked Like 10 Years Ago With This Site

Ten Years Ago
Ten Years Ago

When it comes to the internet, our memories can be short. It’s hard to imagine life without reddit or YouTube, which didn’t come around until 2005, or Gmail, which was technically a beta product until 2009. And responsive web design wasn’t really a thing until 2012. The internet of a decade ago looked a lot different than it does now.

New website Ten Years Ago makes it easy to look back into the weird world of mostly forgotten web history, as The Next Web reports. The site peers into the World Wide Web as of July 28, 2007, showing the now-simplistic-looking early designs of sites like YouTube, Amazon, The New York Times, and reddit. And old-school web design isn't the only retro treat. You also get to enjoy the advertising of 2007, back when John Mayer was enticing people to watch Live Earth and fans were eagerly awaiting The Simpsons Movie.

The site is powered by the Internet Archive’s Way Back Machine, which captures web pages as they appear now so that they can be used as citations later. Ten Years Ago is a useful tool in that it gathers together sites captured on the same day, so you can recreate what you might see if you were trawling the web on that day in July 2007. Back when even Apple, one of the most design-obsessed companies around, had a website that looked a little clunky.

Chances are, the web will look even more radically different a decade or more in the future. Will we still remember what YouTube looked like now? Probably not. Enjoy thinking of the web design of 2017 as cutting-edge while you can. Someday, it will seem ridiculously outdated.

[h/t The Next Web]

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© NEXT architects
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Design
This Footbridge in the Netherlands Transforms With Rising Waters
© NEXT architects
© NEXT architects

Twenty-six percent of the Netherlands lies below sea level, making the country vulnerable to floods. This is especially true of the 2000-year-old city of Nijmegen, which straddles the Waal river. The town is home to many examples of flood-resistant infrastructure, but one footbridge there works a bit differently. Instead of building it around the threat of rising waters, the designers of the Zalige bridge made a crossing that changes along with its environment, according to Co.Design.

Commissioned as part of the Netherland’s Room for the River infrastructure program, it connects the Waal’s northern bank to a small island that’s part of a public park. NEXT architects, in collaboration with H+N+S Landscape Architects, made a bold choice when designing it: The path curves up and down, and at one point is level with the park’s floodplains. When the river resides at normal levels, pedestrians can walk the bridge in its entirety. Only when water levels rise is the reasoning behind the unusual shape revealed. The flooded path leaves behind a series of raised concrete blocks sticking out of the water, and to keep moving, people must hop from one block to the next.

The bridge opened in 2016, but it made news again this January when Nijmegen saw its highest water levels in 15 years. As the river rose, the Zalige bridge could be reached only by using the stepping stones. Residents flocked to the site for a closer look at the water, ignoring instructions from authorities to avoid the park as flooding continued. Eventually the water became so high that even the blocks were completely submerged, but not before demonstrating the bridge’s innovative approach to an old problem.

NEXT writes on the project webpage, "As a crest above the river, the bridge emphasizes the dynamic character of water by letting people see and experience the changing river landscape."

People biking on path.

People walking on bridge.

People walking on path.

People walking on path.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images: © NEXT architects

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Universal Pictures
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entertainment
The Entire Plot of Back to the Future in One Handy Chart
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Never seen Back to the Future? Now you don't have to (though you really should). Laughing Squid spotted this graphic by statistician and data viz expert Nathan Yau that tells you everything you need to know about the plot of the 1985 movie in 16 chart-heavy panels.

There's the basic science of the DeLorean (a flux capacitor, a cool car with a nuclear reactor, 1.21 gigawatts of electricity, a speed of 88 mph), the introduction of dangerous terrorists, and some time travel. Awkward Oedipal subplot? Check. A visual representation of Christopher Lloyd's memorable "Where we're going, we don't need roads" line? You bet.

Now, we just have to wait around for Yau to digest Back to the Future Part II for us. If you like his visualization style, there's plenty more to tide you over while you wait; he has previously visualized how many years you probably have left to live, how jobs types correlate with divorce rates, and more. You can see his work on his site, Flowing Data.

A 16-panel comic shows the plot of 'Back to the Future' using line graphs.
Nathan Yau

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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