Sean’s Top 10 Website Designs for 2014

Howdy gang!

I collected a top ten series of some of my favorite website designs right now. They were published within the last year, and are all super sweet. I provided a bit of commentary describing why I like or dislike it, and your comments are always welcome too!

Are you ready? Drumroll please…


10. Spintank

  • Beautiful, though somewhat difficult to navigate
  • Progressive design
  • Great type
  • Interesting layouts

09. Grain & Mortar

  • Cool site design
  • Unique display of company culture
  • Great work
  • Casual and down-to-earth

08. Orangina

  • One of the “sweetest” websites I’ve seen in a long time
  • Simple
  • Effective imagery
  • Awesome transitions/animations (css/js/html based, no flash)
  • Careful attention to detail

07. Gubb & Mackie

  • I had a strong, positive emotional reaction to this site. (Not just due to my love of fashion!)
  • Unique and interesting navigation style
  • Seamless page transitions; it doesn’t feel like pages are changing (though this could be a double-edged sword for usability, or not)
  • Sweet highlight labels for images

06. Grovemade

  • Love the navigation (explore everything, collections, or for specific Apple products)
  • Beautiful photography makes browsing the shop a great experience
  • The site design, colors, and simplicity make the products stand out, putting the focus obviously on the products instead of the site design (which is the main goal of any web design in my opinion).

05. The Cut

  • Love the massive typography
  • Responsive is a huge plus
  • Swiss-inspired
  • Simple

04. Anais Zamboni

  • Cool gallery layout
  • Sweet transition/animation effects

03. Melanie F

  • Incredible functionality
  • Perfect example of not being a slave to the tools (snapped scrolling, video backgrounds, appearance of cool shapes popping in, navigation menu, etc)
  • Static site that feels much more interactive than it is
  • Creative, immersive layout

02. Parent.

  • Simple
  • Great use of imagery
  • Feels very high-end (fade transitions, layout)

01. Cooking by The NY Times

  • My absolute favorite in this list!
  • Totally immersive (can spend minutes to hours browsing)
  • Tons of filtration options
  • Easy color scheme
  • Usability is some of the best I’ve ever seen
  • Layout is simple
  • Takes less than 3 steps to read the recipe (which is what you’re here for right?)
  • After logging in, you’re greeted with several options (so if you’re like me—not picky—and like something new and or random because you don’t know what you want, this makes it easier)

I’ve noticed that a lot of the sites I enjoyed the most were not closely aligned with many that I’ve seen on Dribbble, in that they’re incredibly usable and break design boundaries. By “design boundaries,” I mean that they’re not all the same, nor do they  have what seems like one Dribbble community inspiration.

Where do you go for design inspiration?

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