Often web design trends seem to fall out as quickly as they’ve arrived. But sometimes, design elements come along that immediately feel timeless. Right now, we’re really liking sites with dynamic animation, a fun interactive element, and intuitive user experience. Check out some of our highlights.
Our favorite bit of recent web design comes from the data geeks at Polygraph. Years ago, the New York Times famously introduced a new, compelling form of online storytelling with their story, “Snow Fall.” Polygraph takes the scrolling, morphing functionality from this story and applies it regularly to data, as they did in a recent analysis of the definition of “Punk Music.”
Polygraph’s beautiful presentation of data broadens their audience to include those of us less prone to get excited about numbers alone. And their style of scrolling functionality offers just enough visual clues to make navigation fun and simple for anyone.
We often find ourselves perusing their articles on subjects that don’t even interest us simply to experience their engaging animation.
The world famous Royal Albert Hall in London has a wonderful website, featuring a clean layout, rich photos, and a pitch perfect icon. But our favorite functionality is the Heroes of the Hall page, an interactive collage of the concert hall’s most celebrated performers. Click on a face to learn about a performer’s history with the hall, and even watch a YouTube performance.
The execution has its flaws, but we admire the ambition. It’s a fascinating page meant to keep visitors entertained several layers deep in the site.
This site also employs a new favorite visual trick: When you hover over a linkable photo, the adjoining photos fade to a translucent gray, giving your subject its moment in the sun.
In the world of e-commerce, no one seems to be elevating our perceived idea of what a retail site can do quite like U.S. surf brand O’Neill.
O’Neill’s team are pros at designing for memorable user experience, from custom filtering and tailored recommendations to seamless integration of blogs and social media.
The look and feel of their site is near-perfect and, coupled with gorgeous blog content across several subjects, creates a user experience that their entire industry has wasted no time in mimicking. By integrating some of the web’s best surf videos and articles into their online shop, O’Neill has made their e-commerce site a destination.
We’re constantly inspired by innovative web design, and we love exploring under the hood to learn how the best design gets developed.