Choosing the right content management system and web host, opting for a template, refining your content, and
But one major decision that takes time, diligence, and a great deal of inspiration is the design of your website.
From familiar corporations to small businesses, to international organizations, the following sites push the status quo on the web. Whether it's the design aesthetic, usability, interactivity, sound design, or value that the site provides, each one is a masterpiece in its respective industry and something to aspire to.
Not surprisingly, many organizations exist to highlight these sites and the contributions they make to the web.
To help surface some of the most inspirational designs, I gathered several award-winners that have made their way through several key awards organizations — including Red Dot, Awwwards, UX Awards, The Webby Awards, SiteInspire, Best Website Gallery, and FWA.
As you browse through the list, know that each site excels in its own way and seeks to serve a unique purpose. While one site may be an excellent example of visual design, another may be an excellent example of interactivity.
This means that not all of these sites may be "conversion machines" or blueprint ideas that you can easily copy over to your site. Rather, they're great ways to gain some website design inspiration and see the cutting-edge marketing that's happening in the different corners of the web.
Keep in mind that web designs are fluid and change often. Some of the designs in this list have changed since they were awarded, but we do our best to keep them up-to-date. We’re confident you’ll find a design here that sparks your creativity.
Usability and the utility, not the visual design, determine the success or failure of a website.
Since the visitor of the page is the only person who clicks the mouse and therefore decides everything, user-centric design has become a standard approach for successful and profit-oriented web design. After all, if users can’t use a feature, it might as well not exist.
We aren’t going to discuss the design implementation details (e.g. where the search box should be placed) as it has already been done in a number of articles; instead we focus on the main principles.
Heuristics and approaches for effective web design — approaches which, used properly, can lead to more sophisticated design decisions and simplify the process of perceiving presented information.
Please notice that you might be interested in the usability-related articles we’ve published before:
Designing A Perfect Accordion
Designing A Perfect Responsive Configurator
How Do Users Think? #
Basically, users’ habits on the Web aren’t that different from customers’ habits in a store. Visitors glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for. In fact, there are large parts of the page they don’t even look at.
If the new page doesn’t meet users’ expectations, the Back button is clicked and the search process is continued.
Users appreciate quality and credibility. If a page provides users with high-quality content, they are willing to compromise the content with advertisements and the design of the site. This is the reason why not-that-well-designed websites with high-quality content gain a lot of traffic over years. Content is more important than the design which supports it.
Users don’t read, they scan. Analyzing a web-page, users search for some fixed points or anchors which would guide them through the content of the page.
Web users are impatient and insist on instant gratification. Very simple principle: If a website isn’t able to meet users’ expectations, then designer failed to get his job done properly and the company loses money. The higher is the cognitive load and the less intuitive is the navigation, the more willing are users to leave the website and search for alternatives. [JN / DWU]
Users don’t make optimal choices. Users don’t search for the quickest way to find the information they’re looking for. Neither do they scan webpage in a linear fashion, going sequentially from one site section to another one. Instead users satisfice;
They choose the first reasonable option. As soon as they find a link that seems like it might lead to the goal, there is a very good chance that it will be immediately clicked. Optimizing is hard, and it takes a long time. Satisficing is more efficient.
Don’t Make Users Think #
According to Krug’s first law of usability, the web-page should be obvious and self-explanatory. When you’re creating a site, your job is to get rid of the question marks — the decisions users need to make consciously, considering pros, cons and alternatives.
If the navigation and site architecture aren’t intuitive, the number of question marks grows and makes it harder for users to comprehend how the system works and how to get from point A to point B.
A clear structure, moderate visual clues and easily recognizable links can help users to find their path to their aim.
Don’t Squander Users’ Patience #
In every project when you are going to offer your visitors some service or tool, try to keep your user requirements minimal.
The less action is required from users to test a service, the more likely a random visitor is to actually try it out. First-time visitors are willing to play with the service, not filling long web forms for an account they might never use in the future.
Let users explore the site and discover your services without forcing them into sharing private data. It’s not reasonable to force users to enter an email address to test the feature.
As Ryan Singer — the developer of the 37Signals team — states, users would probably be eager to provide an email address if they were asked for it after they’d seen the feature work, so they had some idea of what they were going to get in return.
Ideally remove all barriers, don’t require subscriptions or registrations first. A user registration alone is enough of an impediment to user navigation to cut down on incoming traffic.
3. Manage To Focus Users’ Attention #
As websites provide both static and dynamic content, some aspects of the user interface attract attention more than others do.
Obviously, images are more eye-catching than the text — just as the sentences marked as bold are more attractive than plain text.
The human eye is a highly non-linear device, and web-users can instantly recognize edges, patterns and motions. This is why video-based advertisements are extremely annoying and distracting, but from the marketing perspective they perfectly do the job of capturing users’ attention.
Dibusoft combines visual appeal with clear site structure. The site has 9 main navigation options which are visible at the first glance. The choice of colors might be too light, though.
Letting the user see clearly what functions are available is a fundamental principle of successful user interface design.
It doesn’t really matter how this is achieved. What matters is that the content is well-understood and visitors feel comfortable with the way they interact with the system.
5. Make Use Of Effective Writing #
As the Web is different from print, it’s necessary to adjust the writing style to users’ preferences and browsing habits. Promotional writing won’t be read. Long text blocks without images and keywords marked in bold or italics will be skipped. Exaggerated language will be ignored.
Talk business. Avoid cute or clever names, marketing-induced names, company-specific names, and unfamiliar technical names. For instance, if you describe a service and want users to create an account, “sign up” is better than “start now!” which is again better than “explore our services”.
Strive For Simplicity #
The “keep it simple”-principle (KIS) should be the primary goal of site design. Users are rarely on a site to enjoy the design; furthermore, in most cases they are looking for the information despite the design. Strive for simplicity instead of complexity.
From the visitors’ point of view, the best site design is a pure text, without any advertisements or further content blocks matching exactly the query visitors used or the content they’ve been looking for.
This is one of the reasons why a user-friendly print-version of web pages is essential for good user experience.
Don’t Be Afraid Of The White Space #
Not only does it help to reduce the cognitive load for the visitors, but it makes it possible to perceive the information presented on the screen.
When a new visitor approaches a design layout, the first thing he/she tries to do is to scan the page and divide the content area into digestible pieces of information.
Complex structures are harder to read, scan, analyze and work with. If you have the choice between separating two design segments by a visible line or by some whitespace.
It’s usually better to use the whitespace solution. Hierarchical structures reduce complexity (Simon’s Law): the better you manage to provide users with a sense of visual hierarchy, the easier your content will be to perceive.
Communicate Effectively With A “Visible Language” #
In his papers on effective visual communication, Aaron Marcus states three fundamental principles involved in the use of the so-called “visible language” — the content users see on a screen.
Organize: provide the user with a clear and consistent conceptual structure. Consistency, screen layout, relationships and navigability are important concepts of organization. The same conventions and rules should be applied to all elements.
Economize: do the most with the least amount of cues and visual elements. Four major points to be considered: simplicity, clarity, distinctiveness, and emphasis. Simplicity includes only the elements that are most important for communication. Clarity: all components should be designed so their meaning is not ambiguous. Distinctiveness: the important properties of the necessary elements should be distinguishable. Emphasis: the most important elements should be easily perceived.
Communicate: match the presentation to the capabilities of the user. The user interface must keep in balance legibility, readability, typography, symbolism, multiple views, and color or texture in order to communicate successfully. Use max. 3 typefaces in a maximum of 3 point sizes — a maximum of 18 words or 50-80 characters per line of text.
9. Conventions Are Our Friends #
Conventional design of site elements doesn’t result in a boring web site. In fact, conventions are very useful as they reduce the learning curve, the need to figure out how things work. For instance, it would be a usability nightmare if all websites had different visual presentation of RSS-feeds. That’s not that different from our regular life where we tend to get used to basic principles of how we organize data (folders) or do shopping (placement of products).
With conventions you can gain users’ confidence, trust, reliability and prove your credibility. Follow users’ expectations — understand what they’re expecting from a site navigation, text structure, search placement etc.
A typical example from usability sessions is to translate the page in Japanese (assuming your web users don’t know Japanese, e.g. with Babelfish) and provide your usability testers with a task to find something in the page of different language. If conventions are well-applied, users will be able to achieve a not-too-specific objective, even if they can’t understand a word of it.
Steve Krug suggests that it’s better to innovate only when you know you really have a better idea, but take advantages of conventions when you don’t.
10. Test Early, Test Often #
This so-called TETO-principle should be applied to every web design project as usability tests often provide crucial insights into significant problems and issues related to a given layout.
Test not too late, not too little and not for the wrong reasons. In the latter case it’s necessary to understand that most design decisions are local; that means that you can’t universally answer whether some layout is better than the other one as you need to analyze it from a very specific point of view (considering requirements, stakeholders, budget etc.).
Some important points to keep in mind:
according to Steve Krug, testing one user is 100% better than testing none and testing one user early in the project is better than testing 50 near the end. Accoring to Boehm’s first law, errors are most frequent during requirements and design activities and are the more expensive the later they are removed.
testing is an iterative process. That means that you design something, test it, fix it and then test it again. There might be problems which haven’t been found during the first round as users were practically blocked by other problems.
usability tests always produce useful results. Either you’ll be pointed to the problems you have or you’ll be pointed to the absence of major design flaws which is in both cases a useful insight for your project.
according to Weinberg’s law, a developer is unsuited to test his or her code.
Are you looking for a professional web design service?
Viet Seo is a professional website design company with more than 5 years experience, we are confident to bring you the best quality website that exceeds your expectations. If you are in need of website design, do not hesitate to contact us now according to the information below to find out about our professional web design services.
Website design services A strong website design can set the first impression for, As you look into redesigning your website, you may wonder the importance to website design. How does it impact your audience and your business? Let’s look at five
But don’t take our word for it—check out our website design case studies that prove it.
We’ve worked with businesses of all sizes throughout their website design projects, from small local contractors to home service franchises, and have a team of in-house website designers ready to take on your next project.
Your website needs to harmonize functionality with beauty, enticing visitors to explore pages while supporting your commercial and marketing efforts. It’s a careful balancing act between utility, aesthetics and tangible results.
In a digital world, your website may be more important than your storefront. A good website serves as the home-base for digital marketing campaigns and lead generation initiatives.
Potential customers will find your site from organic search, social media, ad campaigns and through routes you may not have even considered yet.
When they arrive, it’s your web design that will tell them what you’re all about & why it should matter to them.
How Our Design Process Works
VIET SEO’s website design services can help you find that perfect balance and create a website that serves as the centerpiece of your online presence.
Our web design and development team uses the latest search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience (UX) best practices to craft mockups and websites tailored to any business and industry.
As an agency working with clients in a wide range of industries, including health care, technology, software, finance, manufacturing, education and more.
We have the in-house knowledge to cater our professional web design services to your brand. Whether you need a consumer-facing e-commerce website, business-forward site to promote B2B services or something else altogether, we’re ready to help.
Collect website assets
Maintaining brand consistency is important in a website redesign, as returning visitors should recognize immediately that you’re still you, just with a new look.
You’ll provide the logos, colors, typefaces and other elements that define your brand so our designers stay on-brand throughout the process.
Launch the site
With your site polished and ready to go, now’s the time to launch it. We’ll work with you to determine the right day and time to go live with the new-and-improved site.
Your consultant can create a go-live plan that helps ensure it’s crawled correctly and communicated across your audiences, including submitting your new sitemap to be indexed by the leading search engines.
Responsive Web Design
It’s a mobile-first world, which means having a mobile friendly website is critical. Search engines reward websites that are able to deliver strong UX to a wide variety of users (mobile, browser, desktop, etc.), making a responsive website an important element to any SEO strategy.
VIET SEO development teams consult you on every aspect of responsive web design, ensuring that your finished responsive website is ready to engage users across all device types, from mobile to PC.
Driven by responsive website design best practices, we help your site rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and deliver a better user experience to the widest audience possible.
Performance metrics such as page speed are important criteria for search engine ranking. Routine site checks are essential to ranking higher in SERPs, holding search positions for top-performing landing pages and directing more organic traffic to your site.
Website audits assess your website’s performance to better understand what changes need to be made with a site redesign to better serve your marketing needs.
VIET SEO teams thoroughly check technical factors that could impact your search ranking and outline actionable steps to improve them.
Graphical components give your site life, adding eye-popping visuals that draw in visitors and appeal to their senses.
VIET SEO’s experienced designers work with your team to ensure every graphical element aligns with your brand guidelines and standards, creating a website that fully reflects who you are and what your message is.
Landing Page Design
VIET SEO’s production teams collaborate to create landing pages for your website that boost SERP rankings and bring qualified organic traffic to your site. A team of professional writers create landing page copy that’s carefully researched and crafted to rank for targeted search queries.
Graphic design teams produce detailed page layouts that showcase the finished look of your landing pages before they are published on your site.
Our website designers thoughtfully select each graphical element to create the best user experience and support your marketing and commercial goals.