Four Innovative Websites of October

As an award-winning agency recognized by our peers for outstanding digital work, we are always striving to push the envelope on design and development. One of the ways we stay fresh and current in our own work is by taking a close look at great design and development in the world around us. By acknowledging and understanding best-in-class practices of those we admire, we up the ante on our own work and become better designers and developers. In the following post, we went across the pond to take a look at what’s happening overseas:

THENERO design

http://www.thenerodesign.com/

Online portfolio of Marco Grimaldi, digital art director and visual designer.

What I Like The Most:

That in-your-face typography! Since this is a pretty minimal site, other features must be played up to keep the overall design from looking too boring. Thus, the bold, high-contrast typography makes Grimaldi’s main message heard. The user is immediately greeted with an introductory paragraph that tells us key details about the designer. Scroll a bit further and – bingo – there’s the rainbow party of a “contact me” link. After all, isn’t that the ultimate goal of having an online portfolio?

Le Mugs

http://le-mugs.com/

Official website of Le Mugs restaurant in Saint-Raphaël, France.

What I Like the Most:

This nifty site already has so much going for it, but I want to hone in on its extraordinarily awesome menu slide. More than just a pdf of its paper menu, the user is invited to scroll down and discover the many different options for herself by clicking on a representative course image (note that this can be seen in desktop only). The animations that activated during scrolling top off my A+ user experience. For once, I was excited to look through a restaurant’s online menu rather than read a ho-hum print.

849 Paul Smith + Caran d’Ache

http://www.carandache.com/849paulsmith/#!/

Product site for the Paul Smith + Caran d’Ache 849 ballpoint pen.

What I Like the Most:

Now this website goes all out with its scrolling and animations! Many of the animations pieced together or fell into place as I scrolled down. Because of this effect, the site had a definite “cool” factor that tied everything back to showcasing the pen. The only downside is that this experience is optimized for tablet screens and larger. When I was able to scroll through the sleek one-page site, however, I felt like I was living in the space-age while looking at this futuristic-looking pen. Conclusion: I need one.

Histography

http://histography.io/

Interactive timeline of all of history across 14 billion years, from the Big Bang to 2015.

What I Like the Most:

Can we geek out together about how well this timeline consolidated large – and I mean LARGE – quantities of data? The magic of scrolling (horizontal bar at the bottom) allows us to quickly flip through entire chunks of time periods, jumping from the Age of Reptiles to the Renaissance in one second. Or we could even choose our own time brackets to explore. And within a time period, we could further filter by category (art, music, wars, etc.) in the sidebar. Finally, I like the vertical organization of individual events that easily shows just how much happened in a single year. A couple of caveats though: not mobile-friendly, and not visible from a Firefox browser, but perhaps those features are soon to come.

Which website did you find the most innovative?

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