Websites of the Month
It’s a question I get asked frequently: “What is a website that impressed you recently? Who inspires you these days?”
This actively managed list contains various sites of interest I have come across recently during my own searches of the web. These are all prime examples of the beautiful things that can be achieved with good, practical design. Every element matters, every detail counts, little noise without functionality, etc. etc.
Have fun browsing these…
As an extension of the exhibition at the Fondation Cartier, the Great Animal Orchestra gives you the opportunity to conduct nature’s vast musical ensemble. Guided by the voices of Bernie Krause in English, singer Camille in French and musician Orlando Morais in Brazilian, the site, developed by the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, unveils the mysteries of the acoustic harmony of the animal kingdom, offering an unprecedented interactive experience that reveals the ecology of the soundscape and the forces behind it.
Transact Pro is the first electronic money institution in Latvia with the right to render payment services. They have been providing online payment acceptance and processing services as well as debit card issuance services for corporate customers since 2004.
Their current web site has a beautiful video background with soft animations and transitions that work out very well. The content does not get overrun at all.
Not only does this proof video can be used in an effective manner on a commercial site, it is also testament to the current market leader position of Latvia when it comes to innovative IT solutions.
Located on Grande-Allée in the heart of Québec City, L’Atelier greets you in an industrial decor that is both «chic & laid back». Set on five levels, the restaurant provides a breathtaking 40 foot high view.
The full-screen background images simply make you want to eat at this place. This also was the inspiration for the opening screen of my home page.
In 2007, Discovery Channel began production of a reality show which would cover the activities of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s campaign against Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary off the coast of Antarctica. The Japanese claim that their whaling is legally research, which Sea Shepherd and others contend is a cover for banned commercial whaling. Sea Shepherd has been both criticized and praised for tactics of direct action sabotage which include throwing stink bombs of butyric acid, as well as ramming, boarding, and otherwise attempting to disable the Japanese vessels.
This site tells the story and shows true commitment to the cause by not shying away from the ugly images.
(For some reason Discovery has decided that this site should be only available in the USA, but nothing the use of a VPN does not solve)
Terna is one of the main European electricity transmission grid operators. They manage the high voltage Italian transmission grid, one of the most modern and technologically advanced in Europe. They play a central role in transforming the electricity market towards the use of eco-compatible sources, guaranteeing a secure and efficient supply to households and businesses.
Terna has created this site to introduce and explain the production, transmission and distribution of electricity. The contemporary illustrations and abundance of animations work on this site, but only just.
Bose Corporation does not need an introduction. Everyone knows about their audio equipment.
Angled animations are all the rage at this e-commerce site. And while usability is far from intuitive, Bose does get away with it.
In 2014, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Rising, the Warsaw Rising Museum invited twelve organizations to take part in ‘The Generation Relay’. These organisations are deemed to have symbolically assumed the virtues for which the insurgents fought. This young generation have declared they are building a world where there will be ever present Freedom, Love for the Patria, Loyalty, Valour, Honour, Integrity, Friendship, Tolerance, Protection of the Weak, and Conscientiousness.
Stirring background audio combined with crisp white aesthetics and direct emphasis on the faces. It is well worth browsing this site and take in some of the stories.
Persons of Interest
Every field has its individuals that are of major influence and inspiration. These are some of mine.
King of the Hill when it comes to visualization. Tufte has written several books on the subject and if you haven’t read those, you should not involve yourself with data visualization. Yes, it is that simple.
A very good source for UI Design Patterns that are thoroughly tested with A/B Tests. Jakub can overdo the email marketing a bit, but his good work, clear site and valuable insights let you forgive him easily.
Graphic designer extraordinaire Khoi Vinh is currently the principal designer at Adobe and he’s also constantly delivering awesome design related content on Twitter. He has one of the most visually interesting Twitter feeds I have ever seen, and it’s nice to get a ton of great stuff from someone who once led the design efforts at the New York Times! On Twitter @khoi.
“Research? We don’t need no research. We just use well-known patterns and best practices.”
Yeah, well, to me that is the wrong attitude and in the end it will bite you. Research is fundamental to good design. From the obvious places to lesser known but interesting spots, here are some I use regularly.
To be honest, I have never been a fan of Google Material Design.
“The application of generally accepted design principles in modern technology.”
This, of course, is the only way to do proper design, there is no other way! I do not need Material Design to tell me that… Oh well, I can understand why Google did it and if digital products improve because of it, all the better.
This is what you get when a group of fantastic designers takes a good look at an already great design system.
Material Design Lite looks clean, crisp, fantastic. A real improvement over the original, which, again, was not bad by itself!
A great resource for all things considered digital design.
It is one of the few newsletters I receive that I actually read every time. There is always at least one interesting link that warrants further exploration. Highly recommended.
Microsoft is onto something with this. Whether you like their products is another story, but Fluent Design will become the standard for office applications, I promise. The redesign of Office 2019 will be the next step to browser integrated office applications; the new ribbon looks similar to your average bookmark bar. The kneading has begun, once users get used to this visual pattern, the next step will be taken…
Interesting articles on design patterns by Smiley Cat.
“[…] about 68% of mobile shoppers abandon their cart without purchasing anything.”
Exactly, so studying check-out designs is a good idea for many a designer. Start here, highly recommended!
It’s all the rage… Augmented Reality. And it can be, but let’s start properly, shall we?
Yes, I know, once again Google is dictating, but let’s face it: they are quite on top of things.