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20 inspiring everyday website examples by

A ROUND-UP OF WEBSITE DESIGNS WE LOVE.

Not another 20 best [insert relevant topic here] blog post! Well, um, yes actually, but this one’s different because it also gives you the secret to eternal youth. Ok, no it’s doesn’t… but it is quite a useful list and besides, we had fun and wanted to share!

To get the list down to 20 we set some criteria and asked ourselves if the sites were:

  • interesting
  • inspiring
  • intuitive and easy to use
  • useful enough for us to bookmark

Some sites you may already have bookmarked yourself and others may be completely new to you – either way, we hope our list helps take a fresh look at those you do know as well as an introduction to the ones you might not be so familiar with.

1. Zurb

Just as you’d expect from a progressive company like Zurb, their new re-design is great – simple and thoroughly engaging. We love their use of oversize imagery, white space, illustrations and block colour.

Visit http://www.zurb.com/

2. Mailchimp

Ahhh, beautiful Mailchimp – it’s got west-coast cool written all over it (though in fact they’re based in Atlanta) and is a pleasure to navigate around. Oh, and their copy is awesome. If you don’t know about them and have never visited, get clicking!

Visit http://mailchimp.com/

3. The Guardian

Guardian News & Media Group are renowned for their design excellence. The principles established for the print edition of The Guardian are deftly followed through into their desktop offering and mobile apps. If you want to see an effective page grid that can organise vast amounts of changing information, check this out.

Visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/

4. Vimeo

Welcome to the wonderful world of Vimeo. This scrolling landing page is beautifully simple, friendly and clear. The design detailing, illustrations and colour palette combine to create a memorable and stylish site.

Visit http://vimeo.com/

5. Apple

It would have been plain wrong not to include this legendary brand in our list; their design philosophy has proven to be phenomenally successful and their website is a masterclass in the use of white space, stunning photography and the art of less most definitely being more.

Visit http://www.apple.com/uk/

6. 37 signals

Web app development company 37 signals have a typographically led website that uses a monochrome colour scheme. This is useful because it means their message is easy to understand and graphics and other accent colours are given the chance to really stand out. We also like their unpretentious copy.

Visit http://37signals.com/

7. .net magazine

As you’d expect from a magazine site as well-known as .net, it’s choc full of fabulous content. And the site design deals with it beautifully. The use of a serif font for main headings serves the user well, making pages easy to read and navigate around.

Visit http://www.netmagazine.com/

8. Headspace

Take a deep breath and chillax… This calm and collected site employs an earthy colour-scheme allied with bespoke illustrations to create charming pages that are a pleasure to read. We feel better already…

Visit http://www.getsomeheadspace.com/

9. Topshop

Clearly aimed at the younger end of the market the Topshop website has attitude. White space, sans serifs fonts, image cutouts and graphic shapes keep things minimal yet edgy and ensure that the photography is taking centre stage. We’re liking the ‘We love‘ section for it’s rich content.

Visit http://www.topshop.com

 

10. Nest

This site highlights the importance of great product photography – its elegant pages (especially the ‘Our Thermostat‘ section) are a joy to behold. Typographic detailing, complementary graphics and a super-interesting product make this site a must-visit for any designer.

Visit http://www.nest.com/

11. Howies

The relaxed tone of the Howies site is reflected in it’s laid-back, thoughtful photographic styling, neutral colour palette and clean layout. It’s easy to navigate and we love the attention to detail, especially the characterful line drawings.

Visit http://www.howies.co.uk/

12. re-print.me

We love everything about re-print.me. Not only is it a great idea brilliantly executed, it’s beautiful as well. The site’s minimalism and originality is a lesson in how to communicate your message effectively and make it ‘stick’.

Visit http://re-print.me/

13. West Elm

Packed full of great homeware products, the West Elm site provides its users with styling ideas, interactive tools, how-to-guides, videos and tonnes more. A stand-out feature is the quality of its photography – clearly designed to inspire and consistently great. We like the textured backgrounds and headings that echo their obvious passion for natural materials and artisan crafted products.

Visit http://www.westelm.com/

14. Shortlist

As mens magazine website’s go, Shortlist is refreshing. Sharp content, stylish photography and an edgy graphic design sensibility set the tone for a site that’s no-nonsense and confident. We especially like the ‘Instant Improver’ section… in fact, gotta dash, we’re off to make giant Uncle Buck pancakes!

Visit http://www.shortlist.com/

15. Let’s Make Some Great Art

Rich imagery and texture galore make this one page book promotion site a real gem. It’s got fun examples and is a great advert for the use of hand rendered imagery – as the site itself says, the ‘book is packed with stimulating ideas’ and we think the site reflects this perfectly.

Visit http://www.letsmakesomegreatart.com/

16. Nike Store UK

Crisp, clean, cool and easy to navigate around. Image carousels, product filters, customers reviews and bags more make this site both eminently usable and beautiful. Awesome just about sums it up for us.

Visit http://store.nike.com/gb/en_gb/

17. London 2012 Festival

Part of the London 2012 group of sites, the London 2012 Festival is a particularly nice example that plays out the olympic branding to great effect. It’s an informational site with search, calendars and ticket booking facilities.

Visit http://festival.london2012.com/

18. Channel 4

We’re impressed with the consistently cutting edge styling of Channel 4′s digital offering. The main site links to their other services including 4 Seven, Film 4, More 4, E4 Music, 4OD and the Paralympics – and they’re all great. In a word (albeit a hyphenated one): super-slick.

Visit http://www.channel4.com/

19. Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a lovely example of a ‘crowd-funding’ platform for creative projects (US based). The site offers a multitude of ways to search for projects available for funding, as well as how to set up your own. With its friendly and encouraging interface, this is a site you could spend a lot of time on. We like HaloHEX6AGON and CruxSKUNK™.

Visit http://www.kickstarter.com/

20. The AA

With a wide range of services to communicate, and some important tools to keep front and centre the AA site has a lot to do. But its polished, cohesive design creates a structure that’s easy to find what you need whether it’s breakdown cover, car insurance, journey planning or top tips and advice on a veritable host of topics. Impressive.

Visit http://www.theaa.com/index.html

 

We think this list shows just how inspiring some everyday websites can be. Our top 20 are examples that don’t just look good, but also and perhaps more importantly are interesting as well as easy-to-use. And yes, we do genuinely have them all bookmarked!

We’d love to hear about the everyday sites you’ve bookmarked – please feel free to post a comment using our comments form.

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