What the heck ever happened to the 90’s?

9 04 2008

I remember being a senior designer for a company (who shall remain unamed) with a friend of mine James Peek (sparkos.com) doing all sorts of design work but mainly for online sites.

Back then, 100kb was considered big for a site, and even deal breaking if you were the Government.

Nowadays, I’m willing to bet no one hardly ever thinks about the size of the page, well at least that’s the impression I get anyway.

Look at this!:

Apple.com (on 9/4/2008) – 576Kb

ebay.com.au (on 9/4/2008) – 596Kb

Microsoft.com (on 9/4/2008) – 264Kb

Adobe.com (on 9/4/2008) – 716Kb

Amazon.com at a scale tipping (9/4/2008) – 1MB

See now the way I see it, it’s almost broadband bloat. It’s almost a given to many designers that broadband will be in place for the end user, so we have no issues about making half megabyte sized web pages or worse (tutt tutt Amazon.com).

I recall the day when a friend of mine was gloating about how he developed a space invaders clone within 1, yes ONE kilobyte!

Now maybe I’m being a bit of a fuddy duddy, but surely SURELY 1Mb front pages are a bit irresponsible and just plain lazy. Back in the day, I along side my fellow pixel pushers, used to go to great pains to ensure the graphics were web optimised, so they would be light, and load quickly, thus not annoying the wholly bejoinkers out of the end users.

Heck we even got so tricky as to use background colours in our …. *grimmace* table cells to save pixels downloaded.

I think James even managed to do a client side web page editor in flash with under 150Kb at some point, AND it had font controls even!!!!

Of course this all raises the next question, with the advent of mobile browsing, and all that it entails (dodgy wireless broadband radio cards and so on) are we heading back to the 90’s? do the now current interface designers need to take some lessons from us old hands, and start to think about getting our websites on a bit of a pixel diet?

I think so…. I think so indeed.

ps, well done James for your site still being trim taught and terrific at a miserly 84Kb.