April Fools' roundup

Ben Moss.
April 02, 2013
April Fools' roundup.

ThumbnailIt’s April 2nd, and news sites have gone back to reporting the news instead of inventing it. Yesterday’s annual festival of invented headlines, some convincing, some lame, many frighteningly plausible, was as popular as ever with websites.

We played two pranks of our own: the introduction of certification for U.S. designers, and Apple turning to Flash for website security. But is All Fools’ Day popular with everyone? Are there some people who’d prefer to simply turn off the internet and work offline for the day?

Why do we feel the need to prank each other? Are we playing Devil’s advocate on serious points we can't normally discuss, or are we simply indulging in the ridiculous?

In case you missed them, or weren’t sure if they were genuine news stories, here’s our roundup of the gags we enjoyed the most yesterday.

Google Treasure Maps

Google also tried to entice us away from work with a One-Eyed Willy style treasure map. Google Maps supposedly allowed you to collaborate with Goonies across the globe to track down the treasure of Captain Kidd. I really wanted this one to be true.

Cat testing

We don’t think anyone actually fell for this, but it’s a great idea: user testing feedback offered by cats. usertesting.com did a great job of making us laugh while promoting their service.

Google Nose

Every year Google seem to blow their PR budget on high production value pranks. One of several in 2013 was Google Nose Beta, an implausible addition to Google's range of search products.

YouTube shuts down

In the current economy, businesses everywhere are shutting down. Including, supposedly, YouTube who admitted that their entire raison d'être over the last eight years was to find the 'Best Video in the World'. Obviously, YouTube was still up this morning, but they did a great job of selling this one.


Twitter announced that it would be splitting its site in two: a full paid version that would cost $5 per month, and a free version called Twttr with all vowels removed.

Virgin’s glass bottomed plane

Virgin Atlantic released a story that they were introducing glass bottomed planes, giving everyone a window seat. Actually, once you got over the terror of takeoff and landing, this one could have been pretty cool if it had been true.


WestJet’s Furry Family

Airlines seem to be very keen to get in on the joke. WestJet introduced their ‘Furry Family’ service, allowing you to carry your pet in the airline cabin. Sadly, they didn’t quite have the nerve to stick to the prank, and fessed up before the end of their video.

Aer Lingus

Irish airline Aer Lingus have ‘introduced’ a number of changes, including boarding by clan, staff in hurling uniforms, live Irish folk music in the cabin, and traditional Irish folk dance during the safety briefing. Just like WestJet, they couldn’t maintain the poker face either.

Nokia’s microwave oven

If it hadn’t been announced yesterday, we might have fallen for Nokia’s microwave oven announcement. With features such as eye-tracking technology to stop the turntable when it’s looked at, and apps to let you rate food, maybe they should build it, it might rescue their bottomline.

Sony Animalia

Sony entertained us with a new lineup of tech targeted at ‘domestic fauna’.

Google Blue

Parodying the hype surrounding new product launches, Google (again) pokes fun at itself with the ‘launch’ of Google Blue: it’s Google Mail, only blue. If they know that tech launches often seem as full of hot air as this, why don't they do something different?

Scope Bacon

Scope mouthwash released Scope Bacon, a bacon flavored mouthwash.

A special message from POTUS

A special message from President Obama? Are we at war with North Korea? Is a meteor on a collision course with the Earth? Strangely even the leader of the free world got in on the act, with whitehouse.gov releasing an unusual presidential announcement.

Did you fall for an April Fools' prank this year? Do you enjoy All Fools' Day or wish it would go away? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image/thumbnail, laughter image via Shutterstock.

Ben Moss

Ben Moss has designed and coded work for award-winning startups, and global names including IBM, UBS, and the FBI. When he’s not in front of a screen he’s probably out trail-running.

Read Next

3 Essential Design Trends, December 2023

While we love the holidays, too much of a seasonal theme can get overwhelming. Thankfully, these design trends strike a…

10 Easy Ways to Make Money as a Web Designer

When you’re a web designer, the logical way to make money is designing websites; you can apply for a job at an agency,…

The 10 Most Hated Fonts of All Time

Remember when Comic Sans wasn’t the butt of the jokes? Long for the days when we actually enjoyed using the Impact…

15 Best New Fonts, November 2023

2023 is almost over, and the new fonts are still coming thick and fast. This month, we’ve found some awesome variable…

Old School Web Techniques Best Forgotten

When the web first entered the public consciousness back in the 90s, it was primarily text-based with minimal design…

20 Best New Websites, November 2023

As the nights draw in for the Northern hemisphere, what better way to brighten your day than by soaking up some design…

30 Amazing Chrome Extensions for Designers and Developers

Searching for a tool to make cross-platform design a breeze? Desperate for an extension that helps you figure out the…

Exciting New Tools for Designers, November 2023

We’ve got a mix of handy image helpers, useful design assets, and clever productivity tools, amongst other treats. Some…

The Dangers of Doomscrolling for Designers and How to Break Free

As a creative professional, navigating the digital realm is second nature to you. It’s normal to follow an endless…

From Image Adjustments to AI: Photoshop Through the Years

Remember when Merriam-Webster added Photoshop to the dictionary back in 2008? Want to learn how AI is changing design…

3 Essential Design Trends, November 2023

In the season of giving thanks, we often think of comfort and tradition. These are common themes with each of our three…

30 Obsolete Technologies that will Perplex Post-2000s Kids

Remember the screech of dial-up internet? Hold fond memories of arcade machines? In this list, we’re condensing down 30…