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What Website Do You Wish You Made Yourself?

30th January 2019, By WDL | Design, Web Development

“What Website Do You Wish You Worked On?”

Recently, I was inspired by a Net magazine article which posed the question: what website do you wish you made yourself and why? This question stuck with me and made me consider what my colleagues would say and why (we design and build websites after all!). So, with this in mind, I sat down with some of our team to find out what website project they would have liked to be a part of and why!

1. John Lewis & Partners

Oddly enough, our Senior Project Manager, Daniel, had been considering this recently when he was using the John Lewis website.

John Lewis & Partners, known more commonly as ‘John Lewis’ is a high-end department store that sells homeware, furniture and fashion. As you would expect, in addition to their brick and mortar stores, John Lewis also operates an e-commerce website.

Q. What are your immediate thoughts?

Immediately, you realise that the website is not only beautifully stunning but functional, too. It is incredibly easy to navigate and find the key things that you need.

Q. Is there anything you like about the design and functionality in particular?

Essentially, what really works well is the combination of the two. The design is simple and aesthetic: it combines beautiful product photography and light fonts with a well-considered composition in order to highlight key areas of the website. When this is paired with an equally simple, bug-free build, you end up with a website that has a smooth user journey and (from a business perspective) makes the conversion process easier.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to add?

I actually don’t mind paying full price for something from them because I enjoy the whole buying process and the service you receive.

2. Basecamp

Basecamp, formerly named 37signals, is a web-based project management & team communication tool that allows users to easily manage projects and collab with clients all in one place. In addition to this, it is also a personal favourite website for our New Business Consultant, Rob, and one he would love to have been involved with.

Q. What are your immediate thoughts?

Basecamp work really hard on simply promoting the Basecamp brand and it is well known within the circles (essentially, professional services!) that may be interested in using the product. As a result, you expect visitors to know about Basecamp and what it is. You can see this on the website as it immediately displays CTAs to encourage sign-ups.

Q. Is there anything you like about the design and functionality in particular?

Basecamp’s design has always led with a personal, human approach. They try hard to not come across as ‘webby’ or ‘too techy’ but aim to be approachable while maintaining their business focus. They achieve this by using illustrations on the website which add softness and move the brand away from that overly technical light (that may be off-putting for some users!). They also use a bold typeface which gives the brand authority and credibility to their business-focused approach.

In terms of functionality, there isn’t much to say as the website is essentially a marketing site that promotes the Basecamp product and encourages users to sign up.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to add?

I really like the graph graphic at the bottom of the website. While it could be perceived as slightly arrogant, I think it actually validates the product really well. If over 2 million users have signed up for the product, then surely that means it’s a fantastic product worth trying out?

3. Beavertown Brewery 

Beavertown Brewery is a British brewery based in London that was founded in 2011 and has an iconic eye-catching design that sets them apart from the competition. Despite also being a popular beer, their website is also a personal favourite for our Senior Digital Marketer, Andy.

Q. What are your immediate thoughts?

The website is eye-catching, nicely animated, and on-brand – everything Beavertown is known for.

Q. Is there anything you like about the design and functionality in particular?

The use of illustration really stands out, and is something that a number of competitors have started to imitate. It helps the brand seem fun, personal and something that people can relate to (everything that is inherent in their product!). The functionality, for me, is really my favourite part about the website as the parallax draws attention to the product and gets the user to focus on it, helping generate brand awareness (which seems to be the ultimate goal of the website).

4. Airbnb

Founded in 2008, Airbnb has now become widely known as the no. 1 online marketing for short-term lodging in residential properties. It is available in over 191 countries, 34,000 cities, and has over 2.5 million listings worldwide. Their website is paramount to their business as it is regularly viewed by thousands of users, and (unsurprisingly to those who know him), is a personal favourite of our Senior Designer, Richard.

Q. What are your immediate thoughts?

At first glance, you can see how form and function work together to create a site that is on trend with the lifestyle and promotes their product through the use of holiday photography. Overall, the site is a genuine pleasure to both use and view.

Q. Is there anything you like about the design and functionality in particular?

Immediately, the design evokes holiday nostalgia through beautiful destination imagery and desaturated imagery to create a style that users can relate to. In addition, this imagery also creates a strong desire to travel and visit the destinations on offer (subltly encouraging users to use Airbnb’s service).

In terms of the functionality, it truly is second to none for me: you have a clear form where you input the relevant information for your travel needs and immediately you are provided with home listings. This is aided with the addition of a simple filter which lets you specify your own criteria to help find the perfect home in your search.

Essentially, everything feels effortless and intuitive to use, and finding properties via the map is actually fun to use. It makes you want to come back again and again even if you don’t have a holiday to book.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Everything is done so clearly and concisely which is a real testament to how functional and clear the design is. Since user added content from millions of users can vary, the layout of the design manages to make each individual home listing work in such a uniform way that you can find the info you need whether its a 1-bed apartment or a 10-bed castle on its own island.

5. Neon Adventures

Neon Adventures is a venture capital firm that has investments in finance, property, lifestyle and an arm in philanthropy. It focuses particularly in consumer sectors and businesses with an online angle, so as you would expect, their online presence is pretty important.

Q. What were my immediate thoughts?

The website is visually stunning with its video and greets the user with powerful copy: “thinking makes so”. It immediately evokes powerful positive emotions of ‘can do’ which is something that resonates with their client base and makes them want to delve further into the website.

Q. Is there anything I like about the design and functionality in particular?

For me, I was grabbed by their fresh, modern design which places a strong emphasis on the user imagery which typically features people. This helps the website and company seem approachable and gives them a down-to-earth feel. In addition, the functionality is unique with swift transitions in-between pages which gives you an engaging user experience and makes the website feel alive (and not static).

So, with that all being said, let’s extend the question to you: what website do you like the most and which do you wish you could have been a part of?

Are you interested in having a website developed? Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help.

30th January 2019, By WDL | Design, Web Development

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