Article in Under the Hood category.
Our Top Sites for Design Inspiration
Each week at Fueled, creative director Rob Palmer shares his pick of the best-designed websites and we share them with you to entertain and inspire.
Every week at Fueled, our London-based Creative Director, Rob Palmer, shares a handful of inspirational websites with our teams in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. This weekly email acts as a virtual water cooler, encouraging us to congregate across time zones and discuss what brands and blogs are doing to push new trends in web design.
Sons of Gallipoli
Never before has a history lesson been this entertaining. The Sons of Gallipoli, sponsored by Turkish industry giant Kale Group, is an ode to the Gallipoli Campaign of WWI in Turkey. From a full-length documentary you’re able to screen in high-definition to an interactive map of important battle sites to an archive of photos, this is a comprehensive look into a piece of history. Where most content like this would have us snoozing in our seats, the Sons of Gallipoli site is so full of rich content and interactive elements that all we want to do is keep zooming in on photos and clicking through the animated map of the Mediterranean. An added feature that emphasizes the user-friendliness of the site is the ability to have the documentary continue playing as a thumbnail in the corner of your screen as you explore other pages. This allows visitors to engage with the story in multiple ways simultaneously, optimizing both engagement and education.
“Digital goes material” is the catchphrase of the newest piece of wearable tech in the field of smartwatches, Wove. The Wove watch’s home site is deservedly design-focused, highlighting the creative and coding capabilities of the product in dark but bold typography as the user scrolls through each page. It is scrolling through each of these specs, however, that is noteworthy. The watch unfolds and animates automatically with each transition, initiated with a click, while interactive elements like the ability to move the watch around in a 360-degree view provide a unique depth of insight into the product. The 3-D layout of the watch is also a plus, highlighting the modern aesthetic of the site and product. Though Wove is currently not for sale, the in-depth and interactive look that this site provides is a huge factor in convincing us to be among the applicants to purchase one.
Save the Rainforest
Save the Rainforest is a website sponsored by the Norwegian branch of The Rainforest Foundation, an international charitable organization dedicated to preserving these forests and protecting the rights of the indigenous people. The site is an interactive masterpiece, with a 3-D topographical map that allows the visitor to scroll through and explore the icons that pop up. Clicking through these provides both video and photographic content about the rainforest’s creatures, the indigenous people, and the threats the forest is facing. The ability to move through each screen with a 360-degree view is a feature that draws you into the environment, while the additional natural sound effects make it a fully immersive experience. Save the Rainforest is the ideal blend of interactivity, engagement, and artistry to motivate people in rallying for a good cause.
Technics, a brand from the Panasonic Corporation that specializes in hi-fi audio products, presents a clean, minimalistic site that lauds the brand and its history of innovation. This is the global home site, but users can easily navigate to their country’s site for browsing products for purchase or to the Technics 50th Anniversary website. The original design qualities of this site include scroll-induced transitions between pages that are accompanied by illusionistic graphics. These animations are like the pulse of sound wave, highlighting the specialty of the company while providing a visual impact devoid of sound. A muted color scheme avoids distraction from the content in bold typeface and keeps the site streamlined. One of the more entertaining features was the scrollable timeline of Technic products under Achievements, taking you through a history of music and sound as Technic products displayed in outline sketches.
Camper Campaign Fall/Winter 2015
The newest Camper shoe campaign brings us this site, which is separated by style/category of shoe: Alaska, Ski, Wood, Metal, Gemstone. Each theme has its own content, separated into “Experience” and “Campaign”. The Experience is the interactive section, an innovative way to explore the product through gameplay that incorporates a view of the shoe. All of these are cursor-dependent, making them simple but effective in entertaining the visitor and engaging them with the product on a new level. The Campaign section is full of high-res images and video that consistently maintain the relevant theme both in color palette and content. The entire site is a futuristic, highly creative means of introducing a new product line, with the emphasis on product design mirrored in the stunning visuals and innovative web design elements.
As this site declares the moment you land on the home page, this is all about experiencing Norilsk, the northernmost city in the world, through the perspective of its citizens, both past and present. You’re invited on a visual journey from the beginning, with a video sequence that alternates with each visit but always highlights a part of the city. Exploring the history of the city by choosing “Then” from the split-screen title page brings you to an interactive timeline. Clicking through each span of dates not only brings up archives, video, and other informational content, but also induces an engaging animation of the physical development of the city. Choose the “Now” option and you can experience modern Norilsk, from the 360-degree view of each part of the city to videos taken from the perspective of the citizens. The effective use of first-person video, innovative layout of content, and overall use of visual tactics makes this site an engaging look into a historic city.