Article in Under the Hood category.
Our Top Sites For Design Inspiration
Fueled creative director Rob Palmer shares his pick of the best websites, based on design, this week.
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.
The Forecaster - Interactive Tour
In this interactive timeline that complements the newly-released documentary, The Forecaster, go further in-depth into the subject and star of the film, economist Martin Armstrong. Due to the newspaper format, each piece of textual content is eye-catching and sensational. Huge blocks of text demarcate important events in economic history that are relevant to the film and Armstrong’s life, making them feel just as important to the visitor. Visual content is interspersed throughout, such as exclusive video interviews and documents, that are both entertaining and make it feel as though you are getting a true insider’s look beyond the film. The ability to filter content at your discretion, grouping by key events or type of content, makes it a customizable experience that is both accessible and engaging. Rarely have we seen such an interactive and comprehensive timeline acting as a film’s complementary website.
Si Le Soleil
Become a part of the action in this site that chronicles a sailing trip from France to the Canary Islands with unprecedented style. Though the site is only in French, that didn’t stop us from becoming totally immersed in the stunning visual content and design. The silhouette of the ship in a compass on the left-hand side of the screen is a constant reminder of the site’s intent, and as you scroll through each page it is accented with animations and illustrations. Brief and simple textual content on the right is complemented with photographs from the journey just below. Clicking through these panels brings you to more behind-the-scenes looks at the journey, including exclusive video. From the wildlife to the onboard cuisine to the journey’s obstacles, you become a part of the entire experience through the excellent layout and interactivity of the Si Le Soleil website.
Gobelins Sound Experiment
This site comes courtesy of Interactive Design students at Paris’s GOBELINS, l’école de l’image. What they have managed to accomplish here is an interactive musical adventure. However cool you thought the iTunes visualizer was, this series of music-initiated, responsive projects blows that right out of the water. Each project, represented on a musical staff on the home page, leads you to a screen that either includes its own music or lets you import your own. Once the music begins playing, watch in amazement at the different animations that take their cue from the tunes. The graphics and music combined create an entrancing user experience that captivated us for an embarrassing length of time. Unlike your average visualizer, each project has its own identity and soundtrack, making it a varying and more enjoyable experience. Warning: You will most likely be just as glued to your screen so all we can say is remember to blink occasionally.
Who knew shoe shopping could be such a visually stunning adventure? Rudy’s, a Paris-based shoe company, is redefining online retail shopping with a site that incorporates video and zoom-in animations for each pair. Complementing these motions are high-resolution images that together bring the utmost clarity to the experience of purchasing a product online. Upon entering a product view, you are able to zoom in on each angle, while scrolling down the page initiates a sequence of high-quality images, accented by chic and simple typography. The original use of animations to highlight the product makes the entire experience more engaging and interactive, distinguishing Rudy’s from the rest of the online retailer pack.
Bartaile is an online retailer making their products personal with this site. Scrolling through the homepage or clicking through the title slides brings you to a model posing with a Bartaile bag. However, these aren’t your average models: Each is a confident woman with a story to tell. Click into the model’s page to literally hear this story, as an audio recording plays in the background and you can scroll through her look and the Bartale accessory. The farther you scroll down, the more muffled the voice becomes, as though you truly are moving away from the speaker. This interactive element both personalizes the visitor experience and enhances the overall creativity of the site. Other aspects, like the high-quality images and chic and simple aesthetic complement the content and leave a lasting good impression.
True Digital, a Bristol-based digital marketing agency, has a home site that is both technical in its design and simple in its user-accessibility. The home page contains all of the agency’s case studies, represented with playful, 3-D, bright orange animated figures that complement the lighthearted font and color scheme. This orange acts as a kind of company trademark, reappearing throughout the site and creating a consistent brand theme. Each page is easy to scroll through, with concise content that tells the visitor immediately what True Digital is and what they’re about. Playful features like the 3-D orange figures (including ones that blink back at you under the “Us” page) lend a feeling of familiarity and personalization to the site. The site’s simplicity, but also its intricately-designed details, welcomes and impresses visitors while displaying the agency’s clearly honed skill-set.
Anything that starts with a high-res video of tantalizing fare like fried chicken and smothered french fries is guaranteed to have our undivided attention. Enter Omaha restaurant Block 16’s website and that’s precisely the scene on their home page. But wait: there’s more. Click into the Menu page and drool-worthy images accompany their featured items, along with other hypnotizingly stunning images located throughout the site. The streamlined typography and textual content highlights the visuals of the restaurant’s fare, emphasizing the function of the site as promoting a restaurant. Unlike other restaurant websites, however, the use of video and overall wealth of high quality visual content elevates Block 16 above the rest of the pack. Oh and let’s not forget that sizzling hamburger located on the bottom of every page.