Article in Product Design UX UI, Under the Hood categories.
Our Top Sites For Design Inspiration
Fueled Creative Director Rob Palmer sends out a weekly roundup of the best sites out there now, based on design and meant to entertain and…
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.
Frame Store VR
Merrell has just designed a new hiking shoe, and their product launching is awesome. They’ve created the very first oculus rift virtual reality experience for their customers to get a first hand sense of the shoe. On the homepage of the site, an exciting video plays with clips from the actual VR experience, followed by reactions from the users and their responses to the product. As you scroll farther down on the page, there are high definition photos of beautiful views and rocky mountains. As a whole, this site does a successful job at exciting the viewer about their new product launch.
The Daniel Eckler site has a slightly robotic, slightly old-school feel to it. The homepage features a moving smiley emoji reminiscent of the late 90s screensavers, and each time it hits one of the borders of the page, it turns a different color. A number of other aspects to the site are also reminiscent of older computers - such as, your cursor becoming an oversized pixelated hand, the way our cursors looked on computers years ago. Throughout the site, translucent text scrolls on the page and as each letter slides over the background, the text is illuminated with different colors. This slight feature gives the “outdated” appearance, a new and modern feeling to it. Overall, the combination of old and new perfectly complement each other to create a nicely balanced design to the site.
Robin Mastromarino’s website is clean with subtle features that add to its web design. The website as a whole is dark and faded with very little color. Bold white font fills the center of each page to catch the viewer’s eye, and the only color on the site is in the navigation bar. A simple swipe up with your cursor allows the page to transition in an easy and smooth manner, and the background photo fades out in a smoky way - a faint cloud of smoke lingers on the screen between page transitions. The navbar in the bottom corner lights up in electric blue to represent which page you’re on, and gives the site a bit of life with its color.
Eye Zen Challenge
Eye Zen Challenge’s web design is nothing short of exceptional. It’s the ultimate website for any gamer. Colored in dark navy blue, the overall look to the site is slightly foggy, giving off a feeling that you’re up in space. At the center of the page, your cursor becomes a target as you fly forward in what seems like an aircraft or a jet. Large and small diamonds are hanging and flying in space and when hovering over them, they explode. The more diamonds you manage to hit, the faster you begin to move. The game requires both hands - one for your cursor, one for your space bar - which creates a truly interactive experience for the user. The intense action, impressive design, and high quality features on this site all make for a game to remember.
INRA 70 ans is a website that takes you into another world. The overall feel to the site is soft with an iridescent silver color to it. The entire site is built around a central DNA strand that serves as both a timeline and the navigation bar. Rather than taking on the shape of tiny atoms, the strand is made up of blocks, giving a geometric and slightly linear feel to it. When hovering over specific points on the DNA strand, the rectangular particles enlarge and change color, bringing the coiled shape to life. Everything appears above the fold and page transitions are smooth, allowing the continuity of the site to stay congruent with the image of the infinite convoluted DNA strand.
Nurture Digital is cool and fun with innovative web design and interesting features. The site is colorful and the transitions between pages are continuous and linear in movement. Each page features a different color scheme and letter: the first reads “N,” the second reads “U,” and so on until the word nurture is spelled out. This small feature creates a sense of anticipation as you scroll through each following page. Within the borders of the large bold letter, there’s a video playing in the background, allowing the letter to act as a window into which you can only see part of what’s going on. Your cursor also becomes a solid circle that follows your mouse as your hover on the screen, and within that circle you can see the video in the background as well. It’s almost as though your mouse becomes a peephole that you can peek into, or even a splotch of color that paints the screen as you drag it around on each page.