Thursday, August 23, 2018

20 Years Ago on August 23, 1998: Where'd the Search Box Go?

August 23, 1998: Another generic Sunday promo. Of course, the "bigger monitor" in the stock image is a CRT. (Looks like a 17-incher.)

Nothing really notable... except that I just realized that there's no AOL Netfind search box anywhere on this version of the page. (A web page without a search field. Unthinkable.)

I had to flip back to see when we took the search field out; it looks like we removed it a week or so after the August 14 design tweak (when we moved it to the left column).

Actually, I'm not 100% sure that was a functional search box to begin with: I still remember a meeting we had with some of the ad folks, who were touting the clickthrough benefits of ads with fake functionality (like entry fields or radio buttons that were just images, to trick users into clicking them). "Faux functionality," they called it. I called it evil.
[Series note: In the late 1990s, I programmed the content for the home page, which relaunched with a new design on July 14, 1998. I printed screencaps and saved them. 20 years later, I'm scanning them in and posting them with a little commentary under the tag #20YearsAgoOnAOLcom.]

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