Beautiful websites are something that Cosmic takes pride in crafting, so our designers got together to discuss their favourite website designs of 2015.
Cosmic's Ben, Justin and Jamie identified some of their favourite websites that they had seen over the past year, and they have been curated (in no particular order) for you here with reasons as to why they were liked so much.
Unfold.no is something we can only describe as a perpetual loop of never ending websiteness. While that may not be the most technically accurate phrase, it's the best way we could describe the website.
The website features a fairly unique concept in the fact that the user does not need to scroll up to get to the top of the page once you hit the footer; you can just keep scrolling down and end up at the top again.
We love this design as it incorporates bold, bright colours and interesting graphics which make for an all round fun browsing experience.
Blackdown Hills Natural Futures is a website that really encapsulates the local nature aspect of the site. A colour palette of lots of natural colours is used - shades of green and brown really give it that earthy feel.
The large map with custom pointers featuring their logo is a nice touch, and along with the large images used this is a clean and concise website.
Digest is a great example of a visual website - large images are used throughout with short snippets overlaid on them. We love this kind of layout as it keeps the reader entertained by the visuals at all times - the saying is that "a picture speaks a thousand words", and this is a fine example of that.
The site has clear call to action buttons all over which make for easy navigation,
Thelma Hulbert Gallery's website has a clean and precise design which makes the imagery and accent colours really stand out. The subtle colour palette tied in with the bright accent colours in addition to large imagery throughout the site which is a must have on websites currently.
Images make decision-making much easier for the reader, so using high quality, impacftul images which make your website look a great deal better.
The FiberSensing website is one of the most interesting we've seen in a while. The site does an incredible job at keeping the reader entertained by using visuals to their maximum potential.
The very first thing you see are what look like a space-type setting where the screen moves in relation to your cursor position. While it's something fairly trivial, it kept us occupied for a few moments while we zipped our mice around our desks watching the animation take place.
This is another website which uses large impactful text alongside full width, high quality images. The images used on this website are extremely good quality and a theme can be found throughout the website with them. An interesting mixture of photos and animated graphics are used which nicely breaks up the site content to give the user a refreshing experience.
The use of black and white on the Artware Fine Art really brings attention to the great artwork featured on the website.
The home page features a large, rotating carousel of images which can be opened into individual art pages which is a nice touch and engaging for the user.
The significantly small use of colour throughout the website structure works really well as more focus is drawn to the art rather than the style of the website.
The blocky layout is something we're seeing more and more of lately - a mixture of high quality images and blocks of text/call to action buttons in bright, eye catching colours. The home page uses a clean layout, couples with large images of music stars such as Katy Perry and Beck. These pictures along with the vivid text boxes dotted throughout make for a fluid and cheerful looking website.
Large call to action boxes are definitely 'in' right now - these are used throughout to make navigation much easier for the website visitor, and we also really like the use of a dial to replace a traditional navigation.
The Great Discontent is another website that uses large images and blocky call to action boxes on the home page. The different column widths helps break up the content nicely and draws more attention to the more important articles, like the top on for example which includes a very large image of musician Open Mike Eagle.
The website also uses little colour throughout the design, similar to Artware Fine Art. The reader is drawn to the high quality images as not a lot of text is shown on the home page which is very common nowadays.
Business Linked Teams uses a great palette of colours taken from their branding for their website. The home page uses the ever-popular block layout with easy to understand call to action boxes and high quality, professional photographs.
The three different branding colours are used in various places throughout the website to bring life and vibrancy to the design which is great for the visitor. Websites like Business Linked Teams prove why it's imperative that you have the highest quality of images possible - they do the website so many favours so it's definitely worth your time and money investing in some professionally taken photos.
The StokkeAustad website is using a feature that is swiftly gaining popularity; video headers. This is an interesting concept and gives a different view on how their design team work in their environment and it's definitely encapsulating for the visitor.
Beneath the video header are the usual block type elements that are used as sign posts to their varios projects and work.
The design of the site itself is one of the most sparse we have seen; it's virtually all white with a little text here and there - the rest is made up with image call to action boxes and sliders which means the user has to do much less work and much less reading to get to their desired location.
What did you think of our top ten? If there's one you think we've missed or should take a look at, send it to us in a tweet to @Cosmic_UK!