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Take me to the useless webs

Hidden treasures in web space that are created for pure joy, not profit

Lovely, creative, and useless websites for your inspiration

As an interaction designer, it’s a pure joy to find a great website with great storytelling, motions, and graphics. But personally, there are ones that stand out more to me — the useless websites created without the purpose of serving businesses, promoting oneself, goods, and services, more for experimental purposes. The successfully useless websites ended up making me stay on the website longer to try them out or registered themselves with me for a long time.


Those are some of the treasures I’ve found, and I’m planning to keep this list updated when I find a new one. While I started writing this posting, I realized many of them I used to know are now closed, which is understandable since most of them are the result of pure experiments, not for profit. Hope I can encounter many more fun projects, but also keep seeing them live.

> last updated : Jun 27, 2022


PointerPointer

This is my favorite one, and honestly, I want to meet a creator of this website and ask what made him/her come up with this idea, and how it was built.

As you leave your cursor on any part of the website, it’ll pull up a photo that someone is pointing at your pointer. I’m sure you’ll end up staying on this page for quite a long time!

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Cybeer

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This has been one of my favorites, but seems like it’s down :( But to keep a record of it, when you go into their website you’ll see a beer tap, with an empty beer glass. And it will give you a QR code, and as you scan it with your mobile, now you can pour beer into the empty glass that you see via the mobile! Yeah sounds fun, but you actually get nothing.

Paper Planes

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I’ll speak highly of this one for its unique interactions and experiences. You’ll see a small planet with flying paper planes. They’re messages from random people out in the world, and you can catch them to read, or you can throw one by yourself. It’s a 21st-century version bottle message.

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Drive&Listen

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I should confess my standard of ‘useless’ is vague, and this might look somehow quite useful. If you’re down for something random as your WFH playlist, what about heading to your dream city on a ride? I actually stayed on the website quite a long time.

Another one with a similar concept — WindowSwap allows you to open a new window somewhere in the world.

Checkbox Race

This reminds me of the chrome dino game with its simpleness, but I’d give more points to checkbox race by the fact that it brought familiar checkboxes into a part of the game.

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Receiptify

It’s inevitably lovely when digital meets analog. Still in a digital format though, but this website prints your log of music on a receipt.

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At last, the Useless Web

Yes, the title of this posting came from this website. This site will lead you to a useless website in their archive. Unlike mine, their curations are better in terms of the ‘uselessness’ of the websites, so check it out!


Closing

For me, those useless websites were actually great sources of inspiration and references. Their lovely interactions that keep users on their sites somehow give a hint of what people need or look for.

We’re seeing more and more dynamic digital experiences with webVR, AI/ML, and visually creative experiences made with p5js and THREE.js, so looking forward to seeing more of those useless, but creative and lovely websites!

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Written by

Seungmee Lee

Interaction designer experimenting with code and design.

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