6 Websites That You Should Be Taking Inspiration From
Regular internet users visit, on average, ten websites every day. Some of them will be the same ones that they hit up every day like Facebook or Google, but they’re still seeing a huge amount of new content every year. When you’re seeing that many new websites all of the time, your standards will start to go up. A design that might have impressed you the first time you saw is probably pretty dull now that you’ve clicked on it a thousand times. Image carousels were all the rage a few years back but now analytics data shows that almost nobody clicks on them and they just get in the way of the rest of the content, making for an irritating user experience. The same goes for widgets. When we first got the capability to add them to sites, web designers were chucking them in all over the place for the sake of it, but now they just look tacky. The sheer amount of sites means that the majority of them are inevitably going to be pretty rubbish. Finding an innovative design that makes a statement is getting harder and harder, but it can still be done. Check out these websites that are probably better than yours, and see if they inspire you.
Minimalism is the new trend in web design at the moment. We’ve all got used to the possibilities of web design and now people have started to realize that less is more. Stripped back websites that only show the necessary information are very popular, but the Amsterdam shoe company ETQ has taken that idea to the extreme. Their shoes all use minimalist designs and they’ve reflected this in their site. When you hit the homepage, all you see is a white banner along the top with the company name, and large pictures of the product. Hovering over the picture brings up a bit more information on the shoe. This incredibly effective design takes the phrase, let the product do the talking, very literally and it really works.
The L.A Times
Newspaper websites aren’t often known for their good design, which is surprising because you’d think a newspaper would know something about layout. However, the L.A Times has been championed for the simple, yet elegant design of its online version. Their web design agency created a site that mimics the experience of reading a paper. It makes it easy for readers to navigate and find the articles they want, and it’s close enough to reading a traditional paper so that the older generation can get on board with it as well.
Inside Abbey Road
Abbey Road Studios in London is one of the best known recording studios in the world that has given birth to some of the most iconic records ever, as well as that famous Beatles album cover. Before Google stepped in and created this amazing site, most of us wouldn’t get the chance to go inside and have a look around. Their interactive website uses their maps technology, combined with animation, videos, and pictures to give you a tour of the whole studio. It’s like an interactive documentary that runs seamlessly on Google’s great platforms and drives traffic to all of their sites in the process.
The online portfolio Pitertsev that showcases the work of lots of different creative agencies has gone against the grain of minimalism. It’s a bold move, but in this case, it worked out. There’s a lot going on when you first land on the homepage and a small icon pops up instructing you to scroll. There are multiple bars, scrolling across the screen, offering up everything that the website has to offer. It reminds me of one of those sushi bars with the revolving belt in the middle. When you see something you like the look of, grab it with your mouse and the wheel stops turning for a second so you can click on it. The site is great fun to navigate and the fact that it doesn’t direct you towards anything in particular gives it a great exploratory feel.
This is another Amsterdam based company. C-Roots is a creative agency that has taken advantage of their website and used it as a way to showcase their skills. Usually, when you get the homepage of a site, you’ll have a few main articles and then a toolbar along the top that has all of the main sections of the site. The landing page of C-Roots website is a lot different. It’s just a simple circle in the top left-hand corner with a few branches, or roots coming off it. Each time you click one of them, more roots shoot off it until you find the section you’re looking for. It’s an incredibly interesting way to navigate a website that makes a refreshing change from the boring old toolbar.
Signes Du Quotidien
This brilliant graphic design website makes navigation incredibly fun. The site opens with a small black box in the center that you have to click to open. Once you press on the box, four colored balls pop out and shoot off to the sides of the screen. You can access each different section of the website by dragging a colored ball into the box. Once you’re done, take it out again and put another one in there. The navigation becomes like a little minigame but they haven’t compromised usability, if anything, it’s far easier than a normal website layout.
These sites are all different, but they are equally as successful. The key to their success is that they haven’t blindly followed the website trends that are popular at the moment. Instead, they’ve taken some of the best elements of those trends and put their own creative spin on it. They’ve thrown convention out of the window and let their ideas do the talking. That’s what you need to do if you’re going to create a website that stands out from the crowd.