In Wonders of Web Design, we talked with Will Agrella, Associate Creative Director at Adrenaline, to discover some of the best practices in modern web design. Through our enlightening discussion, we uncovered how brands have really upped-the-ante, applying fresh thinking to solve a myriad of business challenges. While there are millions of sites populating the internet, there are some that stand head-and-shoulders above the rest, creating beautiful, illuminating, surprising, and emotional encounters. Here are some of our favorite websites with some insights into why we think they work so well.
30 species. 30 pieces. is an online exhibition of 30 of the world’s most interesting but endangered species. More than a striking online art exhibit, 30 species uses design to entice the user to explore pressing environmental issues – habitat loss, human impact and species decline. The website utilizes layered storytelling, video, motion animation, and audio elements in a clickable, unfolding format created to inspire and engage with the elements. This interface creates an emotional experience for users, creating a greater connection to the sustainability of our planet.
I Fly 50 is an online magazine in honor of the fiftieth edition of IFLY KLM Magazine. The site deploys intuitive user interaction, enhanced with inspirational music and clickable factoids about each destination. It is essentially an ultimate travel bucket list highlighting the 50 most beautiful destinations. From the snow monkey spa in Jigokudani, Japan to the color palette of The Palouse region in Washington state, KLM uses beautiful imagery of magical places across the globe. One truly satisfying element? By favoriting places, users are entered into a sweepstakes to actually take them there.
Be More Human is Reebok’s dive into active lifestyles that have a bigger human meaning. With the tagline, “The more effort we put in, the richer our stories become.” The site features “the world’s first test to explore and discuss our human-ness,” an interactive section on the impact of exercise on your brain, and inspirational stories of people using sport to fight for their future. The numerous video segments telling stories of struggle and triumph will inspire anyone to get off the couch and get out there!
Absolut has created a socially connected, interactive site that is chock-full of fun. Appealing to people’s musical taste, the site creates playlists based on your preferences and moods that allows you to share them with your friends. The technology helps you discover new songs based on what you listen to in Spotify. Want a chill night at home? Absolut has a soundtrack for that. Going out with friends? Here’s your playlist. And of course, the vodka brand tops it all off with drinks that match your tastes. Yes, this site is an advertisement for vodka, but the brand’s channel alignment hits just the right note.
All of the websites we’ve highlighted have one thing in common – they all tell a story. But these stories are not about the brand or companies. The stories are really about us – what inspires us, makes us think, and reflects the way we live or want to live. Sites that appeal to us aesthetically through visual and auditory cues draw us in and make us see ourselves in their unfolding. They appeal to our brains because they engage us in the storytelling experience. We feel like the sites are made just for us. And that’s really the point, isn’t it?