Website design is an area that is constantly developing/changing and therefore, designs quickly become out of date. Every year, we see new website design trends that are fueled by the latest online technology such as HTML5 and CSS3. This year, we have already seen a lot of new trends and also, a lot of fantastic looking websites are sure to be the envy of every webmaster out there.
Obviously, design is a subjective process but typically, the best looking website designs are visually appealing to 99.9% of people as they follow standard design principles that are easy on the eye.
So, let’s take a look at the best looking websites of 2013 and hopefully, you can take inspiration from them and use aspects of their design in your own projects.
#1 – The Build
The Build is a fantastic website that is built around video. Because of this, the website is very animated in its design although it should be noted that no flash is used throughout the site; it’s all HTML5.
As soon as you visit the website, you’re transported into an experience that differs from any normal website. You’re introduced to the site with a video introduction after which, you’re presented with incredibly entertaining and well made videos.
One of the things that makes this design so great is the clever use of imagery and bold typography. It must have taken a lot of time and effort to build but the result is well worth it.
#2 – Grotesk
Portfolio websites for graphic designers always tend to be impressive but this one definitely stands out from the competition. This website is extremely minimal in its design and uses a lot of white space but this is what makes it so bold and eye-catching.
It’s the use of the white background, bold black typography and vivid imagery that makes this design stand out.
It also uses some clever colours in the design too. For example, when you roll over the tiles, they turn a vivid green colour that in theory, seems like it wouldn’t fit in with the design but in practice, works perfectly.
The layout of the website is also clever as it takes inspiration from Pinterest to achieve a board-like format. The use of subtle rollover animations and animations between pages also adds to the experience.
#3 – The Big Bend Brewing Company
The Big Bend Brewing Company is based in West Texas and clearly, the company has invested heavily in a great website design. Much like the first website we mentioned in this post, the website makes use of bold, full screen imagery to bring you into the experience and really, a lot of the design is down to the quality and style of this imagery.
In terms of the way the website works, it’s a parallax design which means that is uses the scrolling mechanism in order to navigate around the website. The use of typography in the website is great once again and is also consistent throughout the design.
The information is laid out in a clear manner and the website literally guides you through that information thanks to the use of the parallax design. Again, the subtle use of animation using HTML5/CSS3 really helps the website to stand out from the crowd.
#4 – Inception
If you’ve seen it, you’ll know that the concept of the movie Inception is quite difficult to explain. Well, this website tackles that problem as it actually guides you through the whole movie in an “infographic-like” format.
Again, this website uses a parallax design to take you through the information which is presented in an extremely visual way. All you have to do is scroll and you’ll be taken through the whole movie from start to finish.
In terms of the design, it’s a pretty simple looking website and is extremely consistent throughout. It uses a bold blue colour as the background with vivid colours used throughout the design for the important information. The website makes use of HTML5/CSS to slightly animate various aspects of the site and create a smooth scrolling effect.
This website shows exactly what great design should be; a clear way to show information.
#5 – Belancio
Belancio is a design agency that works for some of the biggest names in the world including Sony, MGM and many others. So, obviously, their website needs to be up to scratch and to be honest, it really is.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the website is pretty simplistic in its design and uses colours extremely well. The site uses bold background colours (such as the dark yellow in the image) which really helps it stand out and catch your eye.
The homepage of the website is extremely simple and has very little text, although the use of typography through the site is fantastic and helps to create the visual impression of a luxury brand/company.
A lot of the design elements of this website are extremely subtle, such as the rollover effect of the logos on the homepage but this adds to the design perfectly. It’s this attention to detail that makes the website really stand out.
To be honest, there are a lot of great websites out there and this year, I expect we’ll see a lot more of them. But these were the best looking websites of 2013 we found. There are literally billions of sites out there and if you’re willing to invest heavily in the design of your site, you’ll create an exceptional experience for your visitors and ultimately, rake in the customers.
Design isn’t all about how the website looks but also, how it works. Does it convey the desired message in the most simple, clean way? If not, you still have work to do. Yes, it needs to be visually appealing but if things aren’t clear and if the information that the visitor is looking for isn’t there, the design is rendered pointless.
Joshua is a design enthusiast and has dabbled in graphic design all his life. He currently works for the graphic design and print agency, Discount banner printing in the UK.