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November 19 2013

08:00

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

When designing a website, one of the most common challenges is to develop an effective color scheme. In many cases the sites color scheme will be determined, or at least influenced, by the existing branding of the company. However, when you’re facing decisions on color there are plenty of options. While it is always an important part of the design, color can be used to make a website stand out and attract attention.

Here you’ll find 25 examples of web designs that use a lot of color.

Clique

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

MintTwist

Cyclemon

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

svkariburnu

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

PandoraBox

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Toasted Digital

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

White Rhino

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Actualizala

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Inova-Ria Games

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Edwin Eddie Diaz

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Activate Media

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Milkable

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Diplomatic-Cover

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Draftfcb

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

RVLT

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Greyp Bikes

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Polecat

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Brand Village

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Studio MPLS

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Macaw

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Made by Joyce

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Taasky

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

Fostr

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

ProcessWire

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

TriplAgent

25 Beautifully Colorful Websites

For more design inspiration please see:

August 26 2013

05:15

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography

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We are continuing to see more an more web designers realize the importance of typography. And with services like Typekit, Google Fonts, and Fontdeck, web designers are experiencing more freedom than ever to get creative with type in their designs. So for this post, we have another collection of inspiring web Typography to show you. Hope you enjoy!

Archie Wilkinson

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Code42

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Niche

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Whoa Nelly Catering

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Utrecht Down Under

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Bienville Capital Management

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Wondersauce

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Fif7y

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Blink

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Fillet

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Daru Sim

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Tinybigstudio

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Bridge

Bridge

Knuckles Industries

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

Telegraph Creative

15 Websites with Beautiful Typography use

October 26 2012

13:54

Dear Business, I’m scared for you.

Dear Business,

I’m scared for you.

It’s scary to see a much too large majority of businesses still viewing websites as a feature to their business. Yes, what was once a feature like ten years ago is now the price of entry to survive and thrive.

Last night I received an email from a prospective client that went something like this: “Can you give me an idea as for cost of a website only? We have a very limited budget. We just need someone to make it look the way we want.”

First off, asking a professional of any industry to design / build / make something the way you want is like asking a roofer to perform surgery. Ok, that’s not the point, but needed to throw that in there. Anyways, this had me thinking beyond the previous statement. People still view having a website as a small feature to their companies future. “Well I just need a website because my competitors do.” Yikes! Really? Ok, sit down, we need to have “the talk”.

As any respectable design business should, when we receive these types of emails, we try our best to understand the client and educate them as much as possible before sending them on their way. While I understand having limited budgets, digging deeper I’ve found many companies have “limited budgets” simply for the fact that they still don’t see the value in a website. Limited budgets often mean, “we don’t want to spend the money”, Not, “we don’t have the money.” Chances are you have the money, you’re just spending it in areas that you shouldn’t be and not saving more in other areas. The web and its technologies allow us to save money.

I’ll use my business as an example. If I were to put a price on my upcoming redesign of my company site [brianhoffdesign.com], I’d pay up to $100k for it. Seriously? Yep, dead serious. My website simplifies tasks which would normally need to be performed by a real person sitting behind a desk. This results in the hiring of more people – also takes time and time is money – paying them salaries, getting a larger office space. My website and blog does my marketing, so there’s one less person I’d need to hire. My website acts as a secretary and online forms help weed out and distribute new work. There’s another employee I don’t need. I’m getting more profitable as I type this, since this article will likely attract reactions. Pretty neat, right? Still have a limited budget?

I’ll jump around here a bit. I can talk about this forever. I’m tired of hearing about the slide of the economy and how those campaigning are going to fix it. Business is changing people. We buy and make decisions differently. “Oh, it’s sad too see Foot Locker file bankruptcy and close over 200 stores! The economy is so bad that people aren’t buying shoes like they did” Then why the hell is Zappos operating like a beast? If we’re doing so poorly as an economy, how are we making Apple the most powerful company in the world? Why not ask Blockbuster why people aren’t watching movies anymore? Oh wait, that’s right. Netflix.

Still thinking your website or online presence is feature? We’re no longer in the era of an ‘elevator pitch’. We run to the web to learn more about a company / product / service / idea. We turn to Collaborative Consumption before making trusted decisions. We don’t want to hear your marketing BS. We want real responses and reviews from real people that used your service or bought your product. We want to read your process through your blog. We’ve been in the making of a new Industrial Revolution and I’m scared to see so many still standing still and blaming depreciating profits solely on Washington. I know. I know that you know that “business is changing.” But do you even know what that means? Or are you just jumping on the Twitter and Pinterest bandwagon because your competition is on there? Do you truly understand the real value?

Your website is not a feature that you can half-ass. Spend some money. Protect your future. A good website works hard for your business. Much harder than many employees can offer.

August 27 2012

04:02

21 Beautiful Contact Pages

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Last week we showcased a list with 23 Creative and Inspiring About Pages, and today, to keep the focus on important elements of web design, we will show examples of contact pages. It is very important to have a clear way to let people get in touch with you, so designing a nice contact page is a way to show your audience that you care about communicating with them. From services to cafes and restaurants to design studios, we will show different approaches to the old contact page. The designs go from clean and minimal, to illustrated and colorful, so browse around these examples and let us know which one is your favorite.

Supereight Studio

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Spokes

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Touch

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Mostly Serious

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Envy Labs

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Colorkite

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Dewey’s Pizza

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Banger’s

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Kirschner Brasil

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

National LGBT Museum

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Rule of Three

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Mangrove

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

BVD

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

abm

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Julien Millies

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Lena Sanz

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

FoundryCo

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Always Creative

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Stuntbox

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Formrausch

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

Cafe Evoke

21*Inspiring Contact Pages

August 20 2012

11:07

23 Creative and Inspiring About Pages

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We believe that showing your personality in your design is very important. And there’s no better place to do this than on the about page. You can go for a clean and simple look, an illustrated and super colorful one, or even a typography based page. Whatever approach you take, it’s important that it represents who you are or what your business is all about. From services and studios, to even restaurants, we gathered some examples of inspiring about pages to give you some ideas for your next project.

Dewey’s Pizza

23 Inspiring About Pages

Paid to Exist

23 Inspiring About Pages

Cristian Ordonez

23 Inspiring About Pages

Mostly Serious

23 Inspiring About Pages

Envy Labs

23 Inspiring About Pages

These are Things

23 Inspiring About Pages

Zé Studio

23 Inspiring About Pages

FoundryCo

23 Inspiring About Pages

Me We

23 Inspiring About Pages

BVD

23 Inspiring About Pages

Transformation Projects

23 Inspiring About Pages

Lukas Doraciotto

23 Inspiring About Pages

Reputation Radar

23 Inspiring About Pages

EVB

23 Inspiring About Pages

Studio Saus

23 Inspiring About Pages

Kirschner Brasil

23 Inspiring About Pages

Café Evoke

23 Inspiring About Pages

Supereight Studio

23 Inspiring About Pages

Stuntbox

23 Inspiring About Pages

Copy Boy

23 Inspiring About Pages

Lotta Nieminen

23 Inspiring About Pages

Disrupt University

23 Inspiring About Pages

Work Away

23 Inspiring About Pages

August 13 2012

11:23

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

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Minimalism is the art of exposing the essence of something, eliminating non essential forms, features and concepts. In web design, minimalism is really appreciated, especially when it comes to menus and navigation. It is always inspiring to see how some designers apply the well known “less is more” concept to websites menus, and this is what we will show here today, minimal navigation menus. Enjoy.

Colorkite

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

Cristian Ordonez

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

Kirschner Brasil

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

Stuntbox

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

Derwent & Tamar Chambers

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

Copy Boy

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

Crafting Type

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

formrausch.com

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

FoundryCo

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

Envy Labs

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

south & eleven

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

Paid to Exist

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

mangrove

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

Aa.

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

Chad Miller

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

New Babylon

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

Fear the Grizzly

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

BVD

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

oak

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

Identity Print

20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design
20 Examples of Minimal Style Navigation Menus in Web Design

August 06 2012

05:08

22 Websites that are Beautiful and Useful

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Here at WDL, we like to keep you inspired by showing you beautifully designed websites every week with our web design inspirational lists. Today we decided to go a different route, and instead of picking a single “theme” of examples, we gathered examples of websites that are inspiring and useful for web designers. We gathered different tools and skill sharing websites to show you so you can be inspired and also discover a nice tool/service. From free lessons to learn how to code to monthly memberships to help you to learn more about design, in this post you will find here 22 examples of inspiring and useful websites. Make sure to visit all of them, enjoy!

responsify

Responsify is a browser based tool, which allows you to create your own responsive template.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

iconmonstr

Free simple icons for your next project.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Lore

Instructors, extend your classroom online with discussions, gradebook, and more.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Codeacademy

Codecademy is the easiest way to learn how to code. It’s interactive, fun, and you can do it with your friends.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Skillshare

Learn anything from anyone, anywhere.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Pokki

Free apps from your favorite sites, games, and more.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Work & Turn

We cultivate creativity through our workshops & lectures on design, type, visual arts & more. Join the list below to get exclusive session discounts & handy creative info, as well as to be in the know about events in your area.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Symbolset

Symbolsets are semantic symbol fonts. They work in modern browsers and anywhere OpenType features are supported.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Mobile Statistics

We make those numbers come to life to tell their story; what people are buying, using, downloading, and how all that develops over time.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Foundation 3

The most advanced responsive front-end framework in the world.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

ProjectFlow

A simple way to visualize and organize your projects.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

QUOjs

QuoJS is a micro, modular, Object-Oriented and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, and Ajax interactions for rapid mobile web development.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Brackets

Brackets is an open-source editor for web design and development built on top of web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

unroll.me

Unroll.me is the free and easy way to end unwanted subscriptions and rollup the rest into an organized overview made just for you.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

CSS Piffle

Design web site or mobile app without writing any html.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Chartbeat

Our real-time data tools are built for your website’s front-line, get-your-hands-dirty, action-focused people. Chartbeat is for doers.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

picto pro

professionally crafted vector icons coming soon!

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Countly

Monitor and analyze your mobile game behavior in real time.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Websites Like

Websites Like helps you find similar, related or alternative websites. We use our proprietary technology to give you the most accurate results every time.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

We Make

Born from the idea of creating a platform that fosters art and design within our community through hands-on experiences, workshops and design in action initiatives.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Startups, this is how design works

This handy guide will help you understand design and provide resources to help you find awesome design talent.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

Treehouse

Treehouse is the best way to learn how to design and develop for the web and iOS.

22 Inspiring and Useful Websites

July 30 2012

04:32

22 Beautiful Portfolio Websites to Inspire You

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From time to time, we like to showcase how designers and studios are presenting their work. So for this installment of Monday inspiration, we’ve gathered 22 excellent examples of portfolio and studio websites for you to study and gain inspiration from. In this collection, you’ll see a variety of styles and trends including minimal layouts, parallax scrolling, and illustrated designs. Whatever the approach, you’ll notice that each one of the sites captures the personality of the creative individual or studio it represents.

Hero

A portfolio WordPress theme from Theme Trust that uses a parallax effect in the home page banner to highlight the site’s key message in an engaging fashion.

Leo Tartari

Leo Tartari is an experienced designer born and raised in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

35mm Design

35mm Design is a collection of work by Steve Scavo.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Tobias Van Schneider

Tobias Van Schneider is a multi-disciplinary art director and user interface designer from Germany.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Safari

Safari specializes in the innovative production and swift delivery of social and mobile applications, technology systems, creative strategies, and more.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Tyler Smith

Tyler has worked in the web industry for 5 years, and is currently working for Refresh Media in beautiful San Luis Obispo.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Mohiuddin Parekh

User experience designer developing interface designs for web apps iOS and Android.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Julien Renvoye

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Marisa Passos

Marisa Passos is a graphic and web designer.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

BigNoise

We don’t just come up with cool ideas, we use a well-tuned, engaging process to make them happen… on time and on budget.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

SOUP.

WeAreSoup. We believe in culture, design & digital as means of sharing experience. We are focused on bringing companies into digital.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Oven Bits

What you want, we’ve likely done. We may be small(ish), but most of us draw on eight or more years of experience in mobile, web, and design.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Robby Leonardi

My name is Robby Leonardi, and I am a multidisciplinary designer based in New York City. I do illustration, graphic design, animation, and front-end development.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Etienne Ledemay

I’m Etienne Ledemay a French Art Director & Interfaces Designer

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Pavel Macek

I am Pavel and I am an User Interface Designer of mobile and web applications.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

4v

4v is a development and creation studio from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Pollen

Pollen – an ambitious European design studio that delivers cohesive, robust brand identities that break the mould and get our clients noticed.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Scribble Tone

We are a design team in Portland, Oregon that focuses on branding, interactive and type projects. As problem solvers, we thrive on fun and complex challenges.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

FoundryCo

We are a Branding & Digital agency pairing beautiful images with relevant messages.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

These Are Things

Welcome to the design and illustration studio of Jen Adrion and Omar Noory.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Bbbttery

Bbbttery is a multi-disciplinary studio that works with design, art and technology.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

Socket Studios

Socket Studios is the work of London based designer and web developer Paul Macgregor.

21 Inspiring Portfolio Websites

July 02 2012

07:00

January 31 2012

10:58

Help Wanted: Websites For Finding Design And Programming Jobs


  

There are a lot of advantages to freelancing. You will have more flexibility over the hours you work, you won’t have to commute to work any more and best of all, you are your own boss. It can be hard work landing a job. Not to mention making sure a project is completed successfully can mean working unsocial hours from time to time, however most people who leave their 9 to 5 jobs are happy with the freedom freelancing offers.

You can’t just sit at home waiting for the work to come to you though (unless you are an established freelancer with years of experience). You need to be proactive and go out and find work every month. The two most common methods of doing this are job boards and freelancing websites.

With job boards, the website owner or company posts details of the job or project that they need completed. It is then up to applicants to contact them with details of themselves, their experience online and why they are suitable for a project. Freelancing websites are a little more competitive, with many freelancers privately or publicly bidding for work from employers. Due to this, good feedback from previous clients can be an important factor on whether you are successful in a bid or not.

Today we would like to show you 18 websites perfect for finding design and programming jobs. The first 9 are on this page, and the others are on the next. Just follow the link at the bottom of the post to continue on with this hopefully useful resource.

Help Wanted Websites

1. Freelance Switch

A great freelance job board that’s updated regularly. It publishes online jobs where location isn’t an issue and location based contracts from around the world. Design, development, writing, illustration and flash positions are all listed.

Freelance Switch

2. Smashing Jobs

Used by top digital companies such as Google, Apple and Linked In; Smashing Jobs lists full time and freelance design and programming jobs.

Smashing Magazine

3. Sensational Jobs

It’s not updated frequently however there are still good design and developer jobs published on Sensational Jobs every month.

Sensational Jobs

4. WP Hired

A good place to find theme and plugin development work for the WordPress platform. Freelance and full time positions are advertised and you can also upload your resume so that employers contact you for work.

WP Hired

5. WordPress Jobs

A job board from the makers of WordPress, WordPress Jobs lists designer, programmer and blogging positions. There are also employers who simply need their WordPress installation upgraded.

WordPress Jobs

6. Authentic Jobs

Online since 2005, Authentic Jobs lists positions from companies such as Facebook, Skype, Sony and Electronic Arts. Full time, contract, freelance and internship positions are available for design and development projects.

Authentic Jobs

7. Coroflot

A design website that features jobs for a range of different design jobs from large well respected companies. Users can upload their portfolios so that employers can contact them directly.

Coroflot

8. WooJobs

Another WordPress jobs board that is actively updated. A range of WordPress design, development and support positions are advertised here.

WooJobs

9. Krop

A creative job board for designers, directors and freelancers. Users can create a portfolio and resume so that companies can contact them directly.

Krop

Don’t give up yet! That perfect freelancing design or programming job may still be lingering right around the corner. There are still more opportunities on the rest of the job boards and websites we have left. Read more here.

January 30 2012

05:07

21 Inspiring Examples of Dark Colors in Web Design

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We all know that color is a key aspect of web design, and here at WDL we like to show you how designers are using colors in their projects. We’ve already showcased lists showing colorful websites and sites using white, so today, to keep you inspired around colors and how to use them, we decided to gather a few examples of websites using dark colors.

Nicola Potts

Dark Colors in Web Design

Cantiere delle Marche

Dark Colors in Web Design

Luhsetea

Dark Colors in Web Design

Ascension Latorre

Dark Colors in Web Design

Dataveyes

Dark Colors in Web Design

CJS

Dark Colors in Web Design

Edoardo Leo

Dark Colors in Web Design

The Autumn’s Rain

Dark Colors in Web Design

Scandalous Dirt

Dark Colors in Web Design

mideast tunes

Dark Colors in Web Design

Soup.

Dark Colors in Web Design

Pioneer Steez

Dark Colors in Web Design

Azure Stoneworks

Dark Colors in Web Design

Under the Psycamore

Dark Colors in Web Design

Hello Cihan

Dark Colors in Web Design

OmagOma

Dark Colors in Web Design

Angelo Studio

Dark Colors in Web Design

Trippo

Dark Colors in Web Design

Tombras

Dark Colors in Web Design

Marco Pizzichemi

Dark Colors in Web Design

Josh Sullivan

Dark Colors in Web Design

Source:

The Best Designs
CSS Design Awards
Awwwards

January 27 2012

10:00

Guided Tour Through Web Design History

Web design has been with us for a bit longer than 20 years now and sure, it is easy to criticize poorly designed websites nowadays, but few people really know how and where it all started. Things when web design started were really different – actually so different than such a website would be a shame today: weird colors, cluttered information, tables all over the place, Vegas lights and so many other things that everybody despises today. It is never too late to know a bit more about the history of web design, so let’s take a look at the most important changes throughout it.

Twenty years ago nobody knew what they were doing when designing a website. It was all something new and you couldn’t talk about strategies, research, laws, theories and typography. It was all chaotic. And it all started in 1989, when the first browser called World Wide Web was released, in the same time as the first website. However, it is not possible to see the first website ever, as there isn’t much information about it, but a website looked pretty much like this one and was used to give out basic information.

It all continued on a very slow path until 1996, which is considered by many the beginning of a new era in web design. Designers started using background colors – most of them really vibrant and painful to look at – but some of them kept it simple and decided to go for white – and even used some other fonts than the default ones. In this era people started overusing the animated GIFs we all hate today.

In the screenshot below you can see the Yahoo! website back in December 1996. This is one of the good examples of that year, but trust me, not all of them looked this good. You’ll see other websites below from 1996 – I am sure you can’t look at them  for too long and would be able to make a very long list of mistakes. People were not doing this back then, because the web was quite new and they were really happy with the websites they had – these were huge achievements for them back then.

Yahoo!'s website in December 1996

McDonald’s webpage was incredibly hard to look at, although there was not much text. The background red combined with the yellow created a very powerful visual – truth is that everybody associates this color combination with McDonald’s today, so it might be also thanks to their first webpage.

McDonald's website in November 1996.

aol.com in December 1996

Aligned to the left and with a maximum width of around 600 px, Apple’s website was not very smooth back then – unlike today. However, their design was still one of the best available on the web and looking at it didn’t affect your eye’s health at all, unlike some of the other ones.

Although not as fancy as today, Apple's design from March 1997 was one of the best on the internet.

Shortly after this era, another one started: the era of Cascading Style Sheets. Although not even half as advanced as today, CSS made a huge difference back then. There were still many wrong colors being used, but the layouts started getting better and you can see in the screenshot below some of them even used a grid system, if you are not so demanding and precise.

Yahoo’s June 1998 website was actually looking good and it was one of the best of its generation. But what would you expect from the king of the web during the 90s?

Yahoo! Kept a white and clean background, but still had blue link colors.

Google’s 1998 webpage, although the service was still in beta, looked really simple for that period, a trend which the American giant has continued with, right up until today. The main functionality of Google was and still is searching, therefore there was no reason to clutter the site too much.

Google Beta (1998) had a smooth design.

As you can see in the screenshot below, Apple’s webpage evolved a lot from 1997 to 1998 and already started looking like what was going to be one of the pioneers of the minimalistic approach. Big visuals, not a lot text, no advertising and an interesting layout – this all started shortly after CSS1 and continues to this day.

Apple.com in July 1998

Even AOL’s website looked better by April 1998. They started to have a grid system, used the colors of their logo and personalized their menu by using buttons.

AOL in April 1998 (not all the images captured)

The colors were becoming even more popular because designers thought they will keep the people on their web pages. They didn’t think the same colors would make it impossible to look at the page for more than a few minutes. However, as said before, the good that came from this was the fact that it associated colors with brands – blue for Microsoft, red and yellow for McDonald’s and so on.

Another problem were the fonts. Times New Roman and Courier New were very popular (Comic Sans was already released and soon to become hugely popular). Although there were many other options, people preferred to use these two typefaces in everything, from web pages and invitations to e-mails and documents. Writing with black was popular and everybody kept it like that. If there was something which needed to stand out, red was the color of choice. Otherwise I am sure you remember the blue underlined links (which you can see in most of the examples shown here until now). Because typography was not an important part of the design, bold and italics were not very used either to make text stand out.  A font that was widely used in the 90s and is still very popular today was Arial, which can even be seen on AOL’s website.

Leaving too much empty space was madness back in the 90s, also because centering a web page was not very popular. You can see Yahoo!’s first website (shown above) and notice how much empty space there was on the right side. People also started using background images, but because the images were not big enough, in many cases they started to repeat them and this created an awful visual.

Buttons also started to appear and become more and more popular, because they allowed designers to further customize the menus and put the focus on the navigation, while icons were also used all the time – it was the first time when visual elements had a use. This was also the period when animated GIFs exploded and everybody used them. There were almost no websites without them and people really appreciated the effect they created.

The year of 1999 was the year of a change. People started to design smarter and thought more about usability, grid systems, layouts and even colors. Most of the websites with vibrant background colors were redesigned and started looking better (McDonald’s got rid of that vibrant red from the background one year before).

CNN's webpage in August 2000 (not all the images captured)

Microsoft in February 1999 (not all the images captured)

Shortly after this, bright colors were on the way out and creating contrast between the background and the font color was critical. Most of the designers started using white as the default background color and it worked really well. Designers started designing in pixels instead of inches like they had been before. Maybe the most important thing was the fact that the content of a page was ordered, with the menu being in focus most of the time.

The importance of typography increased as well during this period, with people thinking a bit more about the target audience. Comic Sans becomes popular for child websites (although for a period it was used for everything) and some other fonts come into focus. There was no option for embedding back then, so designers were constrained, but at least they started to experiment more with what they already had.

Websites were not flexible at all back then and because of the many screen sizes available, it was difficult to design something to look good for everybody – responsive design was just unheard of. The use of buttons started to decrease as well because people learned how to properly play with font and colors – typography’s importance increased even more.

GoDaddy's website from December 2002 even had a dropdown navigation.

By August 2002, Apple’s website looked a lot like the one they have today. The navigation was a dropdown, they used big images for the featured article/product and four small boxes for other products at the bottom – a lot of similarity with Apple’s current website. The Cupertino-based company showed everybody how they should design a simple, but effective website.

Apple in August 2002.

The use of icons and boxes increased. As mentioned earlier, icons were a good way of focusing the users attention (especially on navigation links), while the boxes were used to help the user find his way around the website and also for structuring content. Luckily, the use of animated GIFs decreased by this period and they would never be as popular as they were a couple of years before.

Another era started in 2002, when the so-called web 2.0 concept appeared for the first time. The use of colors became more theoretical and everybody used them to make the websites more appealing, rather than flashy. The use of Flash – right then on its way in – was popular until 2008 when its use decreased dramatically. Flash animations became more and more popular and most of the websites started looking more professional, as we would say today.

Forums were already spread around and most of them had the same look and feel, like in the image below.

Softnews Romania in February 2003

Shortly after this, the hover effects started to appear and they were a hit. Everybody was using them because they created focus and helped the user navigate.

Footers were also increasing in popularity and they were always used to display copyright information, privacy policy, terms of use or contact information.

Color palettes started to become harmonious and be used wisely. They started to create impact and designers knew that, if used correctly, colors can make a huge difference, especially then when not everyone had this information. The use of typography increased and, combined with colors and contrast, made the text interesting – for the first time in web history.

Responsive web design still didn’t appear at this point, but at least there were no more problems with background images. Now it was easy to calculate everything in pixels and repeating background images disappeared (they appeared again later on to create what we now refer to as patterns). Also, using background images instead of solid colors went low-key and designers preferred to avoid it.

Probably the first real interactive website was one for Coca-Cola. They showed the world how to use colors smartly and how to integrate them with flashy, visual animations that kept the users on their page for ever, even if there was not really too much going on there.

The web as we know it today started in 2005, when everybody realized cluttered sites are not popular, and started to keep them as simple as possible. Single pages appeared and made a huge impact because they were just what lots of users needed. Single pages gave design a fresh look and simplified the navigation. Designers started playing with font sizes and color and combined them so that text was in focus – integrating multiple fonts was tried for the first time in this period. The “back to top” button was also seen for the first time in this period and many websites adopted it, as it made navigation easier.

By mid 2006, Yahoo!'s webpage was simple and effective - no flashy elements.

In this period websites were becoming more than just a way of supplying basic information. They were part of an identity, soon even a part of a strategy and people visited them not only for information, but also for relaxation and inspiration.

In 2008 another era started, which lasted for only few years (although some signs of it are still online today). This was the retro period, where old fashioned elements started becoming popular. No, not the GIFs and the tables, but retro colors, text, illustrations and other elements could be seen all over the place. This is also when the minimalistic design approach started, but it was nothing more than an idea yet.

forefathersgroup.com incorporates lots of retro elements

The minimalistic approach started to become more than just an idea in 2010. We are currently in the minimalistic era, where it all has to be designed fast, it has to stay simple and still do its job and create an experience for the user. At the same time, although many websites turn to this concept, each one of them has to have something special – so that people will remember it and come back. Now it’s a lot about colors, typography and contrast – the best one being between white and black.

How simple can a website be? Apple's the best example.

There are things we can notice everywhere. The color palettes are congruent and are not thrown out there just for the sake of it – they are used with a purpose. Hierarchy was introduced as well and it is not only shown through position, but also through font size, font type and colors. Balance is also a key word in today’s web design and creating a positive, attractive atmosphere on the website is the purpose of any designer. Responsive web design is popular today and there is no such thing as not being able to make a website look good on all the screens.

The typography goes beyond limits and being able to embed fonts made it even more challenging and interesting. Although too many fonts can lead to a bad design, if you know how to use them you will learn the key to getting people to read your text. Buttons are still used (think of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and RSS) and are the way to navigate through pages, although they are not widely used anymore in menus. The problems with images and resolutions disappeared as well.

There is also a new style in town for background choices. There can be images, patterns or even solid colors – in today’s web you can integrate them with everything. Animations are not popular anymore, but are still used here and then – however, they do not affect the loading speed of the sites as much as before.

With more than 20 years since the design started to develop, it is easy to see that everything moves fast and that everything keeps improving. It is amazing how you can think that nothing can be better, and then in a few years something new comes and everybody is excited about it. The internet went from rough to beautiful and useful and will most definitely continue on its path upwards. Lots and lots of changes will continue to be made and the question is: are you ready for them? Are you ready for when a crazy designer will see an opportunity to push the web even farther? Will you jump on his bandwagon or will you just continue to do things the way you do already? If the history of web design has taught us something, it is the fact that we always continue to evolve. You should always be ready and willing to do the same when the opportunity arises…

September 12 2011

04:02

24 Excellent Examples of Responsive Web Design

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With the ever increasing popularity and wide spread use of mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that websites are being viewed across various screen sizes. And it looks like the days of designing a site for one minimum resolution are almost gone. That’s why “responsive web design” is such a hot topic lately.

If you’ve yet to incorporate this concept into your web designs and you’re looking for examples, or if your simply in search of some responsive inspiration, you’ve arrived at the right place. Here are 24 excellent example of responsive web design in action.

Reveal: A Responsive WordPress Theme

hanging up the moon

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Sunday Best Designs

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Fork

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Yaron Schoen

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Full Frontal

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

10K Apart

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

More Hazards More Heroes

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

warface

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Social Marketers Summit

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Atlason

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

White Lotus Aromatics

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Cappuccino Digital

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Reverse Büro

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Progetty

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Jet Cooper

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Bloom

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

yoke

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

food sense

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

francesca nini

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Forefathers

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Stonehenge Veterinary Hospital

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Patrick Grady

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Frontend 2011

Responsive Websites

Responsive Websites

Source:

The Best Designs
unmatchedstyle
Awwwards

Interesting articles and tools:

Responsive Web Design Techniques, Tools and Design Strategies
Responsive Web Design
Tool: Responsive
Book: Responsive Web Design

August 15 2011

04:41

25 Examples of Footers in Web Design

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As a user I really like to find a well designed footer in a website. I think it is nice to know that the designer was thinking about everything when putting the layout together, I feel happy to find a beautiful design “from header to footer.” And by that I don’t mean that the layout must be fancy, I just mean that is nice to find a nice image, illustration or simply well organized info and maybe some nice and elegant icons. So based in all that, today we decided to gather a list showing a few examples of footers in web design. And I have to say that this time around – we already showed footers here twice: nov/2010 and dec/2009 – it was harder to find interesting examples to show. Guess footers are being forgotten lately, what do you think?

me & oli

Inspiring Footers

La Bubbly

Inspiring Footers

Poogan’s Porch

Inspiring Footers

GiftRocket

Inspiring Footers

Linda Dong

Inspiring Footers

Insite

Inspiring Footers

Made by Vadim

Inspiring Footers

Eric Paul Snowden

Inspiring Footers

Studio Chirpy

Inspiring Footers

sproutlet.io

Inspiring Footers

Head Lamp Creative

Inspiring Footers

upperdog

Inspiring Footers

Deda

Inspiring Footers

1minus1

Inspiring Footers

Nudge

Inspiring Footers

Soho Fixed

Inspiring Footers

Guy Gyngell/a>

Inspiring Footers

Corkcicle

Inspiring Footers

Pandr

Inspiring Footers

Bristol Archive Records

Inspiring Footers

yuru

Inspiring Footers

Brand New Conference

Inspiring Footers

Touchtech

Inspiring Footers

El Passion

Inspiring Footers

I am Tiago

Inspiring Footers

Source:

The Best Designs
Awwwards
unmatchedstyle

August 08 2011

04:32

22 Inspiring Examples of Contact Forms and Pages

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Contact forms or contact pages – depending on how you choose to make it available – are an important part of a website. The contact section is actually the part where you allow your users/clients to get in touch with you, to reach you and to hire you. For this article, we gathered some examples of how websites are showcasing their contact section. From colorful letters forms to clean and simple contact information, you will see several inspiring examples of how to display your contact information.

Reverend Danger

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Tim Biskup

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Insite

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Kettle

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Cory Etzkorn

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

GiftRocket

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Cabedge

Contact Forms

Studio Chirpy

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

murray & murray

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Loysel’s Toy

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

headlamp

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Growcase

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Christia Wwoo

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Paperlux

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Whitespace

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Select Properties

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Shaw & Shaw Photography

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Forefathers

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

IQ Creative Intelligence

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Syropia

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Fakta

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Dolce Caffé Font

Contact Forms
Contact Forms

Source:

The Best Designs
Abduzeedo – Sites of the Week

July 25 2011

04:27

20 Inspiring Examples of Single Page Websites

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Since we really like single page layouts and the last time we had them around was back in March, we decided to gather a new list to inspire you! We will show several different approaches to single page layouts – from minimal and clean ones to super colorful pages using parallax scrolling effects – there is certainly some that will get your attention.

Sean Gaffney

Kevin Whitaker

Single Pages

Kevin M Heineman

Single Pages

Dreams Are Made by Pedaling

Single Pages

Osura

Single Pages

Bennett Feely

Single Pages

Riot

Single Pages

CoFinery

Single Pages

Nudge

Single Pages

Supereight Studio

Single Pages

TM Design

Single Pages

More Hazards More Heroes

Single Pages

Academy for Global Citizenship

The Drift

Single Pages

TypeMedia 2011

Single Pages

this is Marcela

Single Pages

Design Beast

Single Pages

Dentsu Network

Single Pages

Finely Sliced

Single Pages

Fabio Neural

Single Pages

Source:

One Page Love
The Best Designs

July 18 2011

04:18

20 Excellent Examples of Icon Usage in Web Design

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Here on WDL we love icons! From Icon Tutorials to a list with the Best Free Icon Sets of 2010 and a 15 Must-Have Minimalist Icon Sets, we already showcased a lot of great icons around here to boost your inspiration. Today we decided to gather some examples of icon usage in web design to show you how icons can make a difference in a layout, giving a page a nice touch, in both interface and experience. Check out the examples we got and start to think about giving icons a new try on your next design.

Clarity – Clean Portfolio WordPress Theme

Icon Usage

Movmt Studio

Icon Usage
Icon Usage

I am Tiago

Icon Usage

B3 Studios

Icon Usage

Worry Free Labs

Icon Usage

Studio Nudge

Icon Usage
Icon Usage

Peter Nappi

Icon Usage
Icon Usage

iMyGarden

Icon Usage
Icon Usage

Cake Sweet Cake

Icon Usage
Icon Usage

AppVita

Icon Usage

Keith Cakes

Icon Usage

Square

Icon Usage
Icon Usage

photovine

Icon Usage

enixel

Icon Usage

Grégory Sujkowski

Icon Usage

Syropia

Icon Usage
Icon Usage

Clases Inglés Madrid

Icon Usage

claimtz

Icon Usage

Pandr

Icon Usage

Moredays

Icon Usage

Source:

The Best Designs
Site Inspire
Sites of the Week – Abduzeedo

July 11 2011

05:41

20 Fresh Examples of Color Usage in Web Design

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Colors are very important to print, graphic and web design. Colors are actually important to everything, from spring to summer, clothes to balloons and so on. To show the power of colors we already showcased colorful websites here a few times, including a showcase published in March/2011 and October/2010. Today we gathered a new fresh round of websites using colorful elements to show you. From complete colorful layouts to discrete elements, you will see that colors can give your website a really neat look.

Typemedia 2011

colorsites

More Hazards More Heroes

colorsites

Into Brazil

colorsites

Radial

colorsites

CAU

colorsites

Girl Effect

colorsites

Goodfoot App

colorsites

egopop

colorsites

Bjarke Clauson-Kaas

colorsites

Zaarly

colorsites

Worry Free Labs

colorsites

ala

colorsites

5emegauche

colorsites

Pandr

colorsites

1minus1

colorsites

yurbuds

colorsites

Zeitgeistbot

colorsites

Shout Digital

colorsites

Theo Thermometer

colorsites

Red Pop

colorsites

Source:

The Best Designs
Site Inspire
Awwwards

July 04 2011

07:10

20 New Examples of Minimal Websites

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As we mentioned in our last showcase of minimal web designs back in May, minimal layouts are the new black and we are glad about that cause this way we can show you more and more new and inspiring minimal websites. Today we decided to gather a new list of fresh minimal websites to inspire our readers, so enjoy it and remember, less is more.

Pure – Minimal WordPress theme

minsites21

Assembly

minsites01

deladee

minsites02

us design studio

minsites03

Hocus Focus

minsites04

vnsaga

minsites05

Touchtech

minsites06

Aker Brydge

minsites07

Nizo

minsites08

Vonrosen

minsites09

weltunit

minsites10

Daily – Dustin Heerkens

minsites11

Studio Antwork

minsites12

François Deladerrière

minsites13

Grain & Gram

minsites14

Andfold Studio

minsites15

Ryan Todd

minsites16

Chance Graham

minsites17

Infinise

minsites18

Headlamp

minsites19

Fox Johnston

minsites20

Source:

The Best Designs
Minimal Sites

June 27 2011

04:16

25 Examples of Capital Letters Usage in Web Design

Advertise here with BSA


Letter case – in orthography and typography is the distinction between the larger majuscule (capital, caps, upper-case, upper case, or uppercase) and smaller minuscule (lower-case, etc.) letters. The usage of capital letters can have different meanings – in emails CAPS can sound rude, but when used properly, especially in web design they can be pretty effective to get attention and to showcase main information, menus, and titles. So here we gathered a list with 25 examples of websites that use big bold letters to showcase their info.

Matthew Byrne

capletters02

Dan Ogborn

capletters03

LeetGeek

capletters04

mediaBOOM

capletters05

mediaBOOM

capletters01

MacMillan Lynch

capletters06

CenWood Kitchens

capletters07

OwlConcept

capletters08

Union Station Neighborhood

capletters09

Twofold Creative

capletters10

Tapp3 Media

capletters11

Greenluv

capletters12

Perkins

capletters13

Idea Exhibit

capletters14

Mercedes House

capletters15

Booki.sh

capletters16

Unfinished Business School

capletters17

Yurbuds

capletters18

ultranoir

capletters19

Brand New Conference

capletters20

9elements

capletters21

Messages for Japan

capletters22

Deda

capletters23

Two Fish Illustration and Design

capletters24

Nate Croft

capletters25

Source:

The Best Designs
unmatchedstyle

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