From the Internet Archives: The ancient design of your favorite websites

The A — Z of famous landing pages from a time long, long ago.

Leszek Zawadzki
Apr 12, 2017 · 9 min read
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Some time ago I was working on a lecture about the importance of unique value proposition in UX design process. One of the hints I wanted to give my students was that in many cases older (or first) versions of big brands’ UVPs can be better benchmarks than those that these companies are using today.

In many cases: the older the brand, the more its UVP is being replaced by a slogan.

And since I wanted to illustrate this process with an example, I thought — hm, let’s see what the first MailChimp’s UVP was, and if it changed much. So I went to Web Archive to look for some old version of MailChimp website and a few minutes later… I got sucked into this research completely.

Not to mention the feeling of nostalgia.

I jotted down a short list of websites that are popular today and then started taking screenshots of their predecessors. For some reason these companies succeeded, and perhaps it was their well-built websites what helped them with it. I believe there’s a lot that business owners, product-, UX-, visual designers, copywriters etc. could learn from studying the past.

My short list soon became the list so I thought I could share the results of this research. Hence this post.

So here they are, ordered A — Z. Sit back, relax, turn your clock back and enjoy.

Adobe

  • 2002
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  • 2004
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Amazon

  • 2000
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  • 2001
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  • 2005
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Apple

  • 2000
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  • 2001
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  • 2007
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Basecamp

  • 2004
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  • 2005
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  • 2007
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  • 2011
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Buffer

  • 2011
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Campaign Monitor

  • 2004
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  • 2006
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Chrome

  • 2008
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Dribbble

  • 2010
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  • 2011
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Dropbox

  • 2010
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eBay

  • 2000
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  • 2007
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Etsy

  • 2007
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Evernote

  • 2009
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Facebook (a.k.a. Thefacebook)

  • 2004
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  • 2005
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  • 2006
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  • 2007
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  • 2008
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Firefox

  • 2004
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GitHub

  • 2009
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GoDaddy

  • 2004
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Google

  • 1998
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  • 2005
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HubSpot

  • 2006
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  • 2009
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IDEO

  • 2000
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IMDb

  • 2001
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  • 2002
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Instagram

  • 2011
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  • 2012
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Intercom

  • 2011
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Jira

  • 2007
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jQuery

  • 2006
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Kickstarter

  • 2010
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Kissmetrics

  • 2008
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  • 2010
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LiveChat

  • 2006
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  • 2009
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MailChimp

  • 2001
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  • 2005
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Mashable

  • 2005
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  • 2007
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Medium

  • 2012
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Microsoft

  • 1996
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  • 1999
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  • 2002
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NASA

  • 1996
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  • 1999
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  • 2001
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  • 2004
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Opera

  • 1999
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  • 2001
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  • 2003
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PayPal

  • 2001
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  • 2002
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  • 2006
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  • 2010
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Pinterest

  • 2010
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  • 2012
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Product Hunt

  • 2014
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Reddit

  • 2005
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  • 2006
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Samsung

  • 1996
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  • 1997
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  • 2000
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Shopify

  • 2006
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  • 2008
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  • 2010
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Slack

  • 2014
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  • 2015
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Snapchat

  • 2012
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Spotify

  • 2007
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  • 2009
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  • 2011
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TNW

  • 2008
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  • 2009
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Tumblr

  • 2007
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  • 2009
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Twitter

  • 2006
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  • 2008
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  • 2009
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Uber

  • 2011
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Vimeo

  • 2005
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  • 2007
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Wikipedia

  • 2002
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  • 2004
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Xero

  • 2010
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Xing

  • 2007
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YouTube

  • 2006
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  • 2007
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Zapier

  • 2012
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Zendesk

  • 2010
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That’s it. A lot has changed, huh?

I’ll probably return to the initial subject of UVPs in the near future, so if you are interested ☞ follow me. Also, if you enjoyed this post ☞ ❤︎. Cheers!

If there’s a website you think I should also add to this list, feel free to leave a comment!

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Thank you, Alina, for helping me with putting it all together!

Startup Grind

Stories, tips, and learnings from and for startups around…

Leszek Zawadzki

Written by

Co-founder of The Rectangles — UX design agency. Lecturer at the University of Wrocław. https://therectangles.com

Startup Grind

Stories, tips, and learnings from and for startups around the world. Welcoming submissions re: startup education, tech trends, product, design, hiring, growth, investing, and more. Interested in submitting? Visit our submission form here: https://airtable.com/shrShpeN89HrzCzOB

Leszek Zawadzki

Written by

Co-founder of The Rectangles — UX design agency. Lecturer at the University of Wrocław. https://therectangles.com

Startup Grind

Stories, tips, and learnings from and for startups around the world. Welcoming submissions re: startup education, tech trends, product, design, hiring, growth, investing, and more. Interested in submitting? Visit our submission form here: https://airtable.com/shrShpeN89HrzCzOB

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