Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.
Whether you’re a web designer yourself, or you simply appreciate cool websites, the following examples are enough to impress anybody.
It’s quite possible that the average user doesn’t give enough credit to web design. Even so, this doesn’t mean that they can’t appreciate a truly awesome website, whether or not they know exactly what went into making it. You can’t just focus on getting everything right; the best websites will push the boundaries of design and technology for something that’s an experience, more than just a platform. Whether you’re a web designer yourself, or you simply appreciate cool websites, the following examples are enough to impress anybody.
As you’ll see below, no one category of website is superior. You could be checking out a museum in the Netherlands, or trying to buy a new skateboard – you just never know when you’ll come across a really awesome website.
A website for small yet sophisticated earbuds, Revols keeps the focus on the product with macro photography. Using larger-than-life photos means the user stays immersed in the site, and the muted, darker colors give everything a sleek look that says “these aren’t just your average earbuds”. To round out the site, oversized fonts make bold statements to match the close-up product shots.
2. Burger & Sauce
A UK-based restaurant chain, Burger & Sauce uses the power of photography to sell expertly made hamburgers. And honestly, it’s easy to understand why their website stands out – one look at their featured burgers, and anyone’s mouth would start watering. Over 80% of people decide what to order based on pictures alone, and this website absolutely capitalizes on that statistic. The power of food photography is real, and you can witness it working in real time on Burger & Sauce’s website. The burgers look rich and juicy, of course, but what really makes them pop is the dark background.
3. Fuse Animation
If your company creates animations, there’s no better way to show it off than by putting them on your website – and that’s exactly what Fuse Animation’s site does. Users don’t have to go searching for examples, though; there’s a video on the home page that starts playing as soon as you arrive. Designed by WebCitz, the Fuse Animation site features their photorealistic 3-D animations to full effect. Aside from the introductory video, there are gratifyingly detailed background images of their work, but the site never feels crowded thanks to ample white space between each photo element.
4. Frans Hals Museum
A Dutch museum (well, technically two museums with one website), the Frans Hals Museum website includes photographs of their displays, as you’d expect – but they frame everything within elements of digital design. Taken together, the site guides visitors through the pages by directing their eyes across pictures, text, and call-to-action buttons. One thing that sets this website apart from other museum sites is the color scheme. Most museums focus on colors that more or less match the aesthetic of their most popular exhibits, but Frans Hals uses a funky color palette of yellows, pinks, and greens that are almost pastel – but not quite. A tasteful amount of black lettering sharpens the effect, and what you end up with is a genuinely striking look.
What should an interior design website look like? Homecult shows us the way with their uncluttered graphics and subtle animation effects as the user scrolls through the pages. Visitors get the impression that these people know what they’re doing, and that isn’t just because of the sharp photos that showcase their work; it’s because the website is also expertly designed for a simple, intuitive experience. Their projects page lets the pictures do the talking, but doesn’t leave users hanging; simply hover the pointer over any image for a few essential details, or click for a more in-depth look.
This website is a lesson in how to use color to sell products. First, consider the product itself: electronic skateboards. Many of the designs feature a black board with orange wheels. Second, consider the website itself: gray tones and a white background keep things low-key, except for the bright orange “buy now” buttons. Now, the site design alone is pretty great, but the fact that they mirror their own products, and it fits the purpose of the site so well? Now that’s a great web design.
It’s especially important for creative agencies like Beauvoir to have an exceptional website – after all, how else will prospective clients be able to tell that they have what it takes? Well, Beauvoir certainly delivers. A bit of scrolling will take you further down the page, but what’s this? All of a sudden you’re scrolling horizontally instead of vertically! Now that’s outside-the-lines thinking. Users can also find sidebar menus instead of the traditional top-of-the-page menus, adding to the unconventional aesthetic. Large, almost overstated text projects confidence while keeping the brand message brief, and fully saturated pictures and videos inspire the imagination.
A digital design/branding agency, Buero112 tells a story in predominantly black, white, and gray – but not completely. The monochrome color scheme is broken up by the occasional line of text in a contrasting color, or a full-color photograph to delight the user’s eyes. By and large, however, the site sticks to an almost stark black-and-white theme. As the user arrives on the home page, they don’t have to start exploring on their own – the site immediately starts playing an embedded video that tells the story of the brand. One cool detail is the pointer. Not only does it appear as a dot within a circle rather than an arrow, but it responds to user movement with a slight “drag” effect for a more immersive experience.
These are just a few examples; there are plenty more out there to find!
Nobody visits a website purely to explore it, but it certainly doesn’t hurt when browsing a site feels like an experience in and of itself. That’s when you know you’ve got a winner on your hands – when not just the product or message, but the website itself sticks in your mind as an amazing discovery.
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