Ten Websites That I Love

I do a LOT of research when I’m putting a new site together. I look at the top sites in the industry (it’s amazing how often an industry doesn’t HAVE a “top site”…) so I can design the new site for Richmond Media that fits in well with the standards of that industry. I usually study the design against modern design trends, look at the analytics and other boring stuff. So I decided to create a list of sites that I like that has nothing at all to do with SEO, modern design practice, or anything like that. These are websites that I think look cool, nothing more. And now, in no particular order…

McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company

 

McKinsey & Company

I love the contrast between the dark blue and white. This site breaks a lot of rules, and I love it!

Amazing horizontal “drop downs” make the site very compelling. I don’t even know what they do, I just know that I love the website.

 

 

Mosaiko

Mosaiko

 

Mosaiko

I did a double take when I first saw this one. I absolutely LOVE the 3-d look, like the header is a shelf. The 3-d check mark over the active is also very, very cool.

The only drawback is that the site is justified to the left. I actually had to expand the screen capture to make it look decent in the thumbnail. But hey, if that’s the worst thing about an incredible piece of web design…

 

 

Visit Philly

Visit Philly

 

Visit Philly

I found this while doing research for the Kings’ Creek Plantation timeshare website. This was a little over a year ago, I remember marveling at the chutzpah of a designer who had the courage to use images THAT big, that take up THAT much space.

But hey, who cares if you have to scroll down three feet to get to the text on the page? We’re talking aesthetics here…

 

General Motors

General Motors

 

General Motors

A client gave me the URL to this site. Unfortunately, his vision wasn’t quite as all encompassing as the site he showed me.

Look at the link very carefully, it’s basically a full screen MOVIE that even animates underneath the translucent content area. I also love the way it’s set up like a graphic user interface. Utterly gorgeous.

 

 

Oxford Inns & Suites

Oxford Inns & Suites

 

Oxford Inns & Suites

Wow, talk about low key… This site would have been a killer back in the dialup days, but today it’s actually a refreshing departure.

Click through the site for a medium sized surprise. It’s like a slideshow, with the tiny bit of actual content embedded in a horizontal (sort of) navigation. I guess Romanians don’t have the same requirements for relevant site content as the rest of us.

 

Twelve Restaurant & Lounge Bar

Twelve Restaurant & Lounge Bar

 

Twelve Restaurant

I like designing restaurant websites, it’s one of the few industries left that allows a little freedom on design. This is kind of strange, it’s justified to the left, but the feel is so big that you don’t realize it right away.

With all of that graphic space, the slideshow of the food looks kind of modest. I love this site, and it has influenced some of the work I’ve done lately.

 

 

Clarity HR

Clarity HR

 

Clarity HR

Another one of those sites that could have been designed in 2002, but it still has a really cool, elegant simplicity.

Both bold and understated at the same time. I love the airiness of this design. It just goes to show that it’s not always about going big.

 

 

Tytorean

Tytorean

 

Tytorean

One thing that most professional web designers love is working in black, because we rarely get the chance to do it. You can do a lot of different things, and bright colors just blaze out of a dark design.

This site uses 3-d and fog elements to create a virtual world, and the whole thing looks kind of spooky.

 

 

Sanderson London

Sanderson London

 

Sanderson London

How could you NOT love this design? That incredibly funky green, and the sofa inside that looks like a kiss…

Once you get into the site it gets a lot more standard, but it must be nice to be sooooooooo confident that you don’t need to use text for Google to rank the Home page.

 

 

…and to wrap up, I am going to show one of my sites as number 10. Just to illustrate that a website doesn’t have to be enormous, or get a gazillion hits to look good, I chose a rather small site I created for a real estate management firm.

 

Diversified Investment Realty

Diversified Investment Realty

 

Diversified Investment Realty

This site doesn’t get much traffic, they use it mainly to show potential clients available properties. But I liked the design I ended up with (you cannot IMAGINE the process of getting the two principles to let me stage their picture).

I like this site because I had virtually no artwork, so I took about 10 pictures and built the website.

 

I hope you like this little list of sites. Please send me links to websites that you like, maybe I’ll do a follow up…

3 Responses to Ten Websites That I Love

  • Hey! Tks for appreciating my work… I’m talking about http://www.mosaiko.com.br/_en/

    Just some curiosities about that:
    1) I’m not a designer! I’m a front-end developer that loves photoshop. I started this idea with the banana, just for fun… so, months after I decided to use on a new layout for my portfolio.
    2) The 3-D look was made on Photoshop too… not using 3-D rendering software, so, if you take a deep attention on lights and shadows, you’ll can detect some amateur mistakes.
    3) I aligned on the left side, just because a lot of sites are centered. I’d tried to be completely different from the rest. Sorry.
    4) This layout is too old, made in 2007 – now, I’m working on a new one.
    5) My english is very bad, sorry! :-)

    • ddye says:

      Moisés! Thanks for responding! I remember first seeing this site a few years ago. I keep a bookmarks folder of sites I like, and it was still there when I wrote this. You did a great job on that site, it has inspired a few designs of my own in the past couple of years.

      Keep designing, you have a great talent for it. Send a link to your new site once it’s done, I’d love to see it.