It’s easy to get stuck in a website rut when you’re making web design choices based on cost, time, and ability, as well as what’s needed for development, content, and SEO. But design is just as important as those other aspects when creating or redesigning a website. After all, design is what makes the first impression with site visitors.
If you’re in need of a web design creativity boost, we found three awesome web designs on Awwwards.com—where users rate websites across the Internet on their design, usability, creativity, and content—that you’ll want to check out. Each emphasizes a different website aspect and will hopefully give you ideas about how to improve your own website.
Design Inspiration: History of Icons
Design isn’t just about making something look cool. It can also be used for visual storytelling. History of Icons is a perfect example of this. The website utilizes an infinite scrolling design, which allows visitors to view everything on one page (rather than clicking through multiple pages). But more importantly, the design furthers the site’s timeline-style content.
Since History of Icons’ content tells the story of icon design during the 1980s and ’90s in a timeline, it uses minimal text with tons of imagery. By eliminating distraction around each stop on the timeline and providing lines that lead the eye downward (which tells site visitors to keep scrolling), the website can get visitors to read longer. It also embraces linear reading over the common Internet style of nonlinear reading, where there are multiple areas for the eye to wander.
For anyone who’s hesitant to create a simple website like that of History of Icons, know that 2015 is the time to take advantage of simple design. Everyone is thinking “simple” again with clean designs, easy-to-navigate pages, and entertaining options for consuming content (whether that’s video, timelines, galleries, etc.).
Blog Inspiration: Eurosport
A common problem among websites today is overwhelming blog structure. Whether it’s too many categories to choose from in the blog menu, posts without proper hierarchy, or a cluttered layout, a bad blog can turn visitors away from your site. If your goal is to make sense of the blog chaos, check out Eurosport.com.
Eurosport breaks its homepage into three manageable columns. From left to right, you can find today’s scores, top stories, and then a personalized feed of team stories. This layout makes it easy for site visitors to find the type of information they’re looking for, and it also emphasizes blog content with large photos and bold headlines. The mobile homepage is even simpler with blog content as the main focus and tabs for the other feeds.
When you click into a post, you’ll find that the post content takes up a majority of the page with a big header image and a fixed sidebar with related stories (The sidebar drops to the bottom of the post in the mobile version). Also, note that the post’s text is broken up into small paragraphs with images, which makes it easier to consume.
This is a good example of how to organize a blog. It should be easy to navigate so site visitors can find content they’re interested in, and pages should make the content the focal point, keeping sidebars and other distractions to a minimum.
Virtual Tour Inspiration: Inside Abbey Road
Released earlier in 2015, Google’s Creative Lab created an online walkthrough of iconic music studio Abbey Road, simply named Inside Abbey Road. Inside Abbey Road immerses its site visitors in a virtual setup of all three studios and the mastering room, allowing visitors to click through and examine the spaces. On top of that, the virtual tour includes maps, pop-up information and photo galleries, videos filmed within the studio, and narrated hot spots.
Virtual tours like Inside Abbey Road are popular in web design because they don’t require much thought on the user end. They’re point-and-click interfaces that rely on visuals and bold call-to-action buttons to guide site visitors throughout the design. Not to mention, it puts the site visitor in the driver’s seat, giving them the chance to navigate instead of being told where to go, which can keep them on the site longer than usual.
Of course, not every business can or will go the route of Inside Abbey Road, as creating an individual website to showcase a space can be both time-consuming and expensive. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take this same concept to a smaller scale and have a page on your website that gives consumers the chance to explore your space.
These three websites are just a few examples of the great designs available online, which means there are plenty more to help inspire your web design work. What are you waiting for? Go explore, and go learn.