A Website to Live In


Have students critically investigate our collective nostalgia for early web design from the perspective of “living in it” as a virtual background.

Tips & Tools

Use the Web Design Museum as a starting point. 

Have participants pre-select their website background so that they come to class with it already on. 

Include documentation for how to change the background in whatever video-conferencing software you use.

Don’t forget to take a group screenshot. :) 

Exercise Steps & Discussion

Part 1: Choose Virtual Background

Spend time choosing a virtual background for Teams/Zoom/WhateverYouUse that you will “live in” for the workshop.

But what do I change it to?” your students will say. 

1. Go to the Web Design Museum.

2. Browse the galleries and take a journey through nostalgic web design. 

3. Ask yourself if there are textures, colors, backgrounds, ads, or buttons that interest you. Would you like to live inside one of these old website screens?

4. Save your favorite as a high-quality PNG. Alternatively, take a high-quality screenshot if you cannot save the image.

5. Upload your background and look at yourself in the background you’ve uploaded. You will live inside this screen during the workshop. 

Part 2: Discussion

Ask students why they chose their virtual backgrounds. Facilitate a conversation using the questions below.

Reflection Questions:

- What visual elements attracted you to choosing this website?
- What do you notice are different in the websites from the Web Design Museum? 
- How many advertisements do you see? (Follow-up) How does this compare to the websites of Web 2.0 today? 
- What about the websites feels like “bad” web design practice?
- What even is “good” web design? 
- What do you want to bring back into your own design work from these websites? What do you want to leave behind? 

Kollektiv Crèmbach, Charlotte & me in our websites to live in.
March 2021

Meme to aid discussion & contextualize the exercise.
Source unknown but found from Silvio Lorusso’s Twitter.