We have become so used to using web sites just to buy stuff that it is easy to forget that the web has more to offer. So this month we’ve included some because-it’s-interesting sites, some micro-sites and some just-for-the-sake-of-it projects.
Many of these are about selling or promoting products and services too, but in a more oblique way that is frequently more engaging than a straightforward sales site.
Micro sites can be a great way of including content that doesn’t fit in neatly with the rest of the main site, or is temporary, or to show a lighter, more fun side of a brand. And a well thought out micro site can act as a gateway to pull in even more visitors to its ‘parent’ site.
Your World Your Way
Your World Your Way is an interactive portal for the University of Auckland. An optional questionnaire customizes the experience, and clearly a lot of effort has gone into this in terms of the questions and possible answers, and the presentation. It is engaging and enjoyable to use, and the information provides links to the main University of Auckland website.
This micro site is to celebrate 10 years of barber shop chain Blind Barber, which started as one shop with a bar in the back room, in New York’s East Village. An entirely black and white design provides a clean backdrop for color photos and videos, and some great scrolling animations give a pleasing flow to the content.
Brews & Grooves
Brews & Grooves pairs records with different beer. Although a ‘fun’ project, it is still a well designed piece of work with some vintage style typography and some pleasing rollover animation effects. It is an effective advert for those involved in creating it, as listed in on its ‘credits’ page.
As part of a new campaign to promote it’s ‘Bloom’ perfumes, Gucci have created a Gucci Bloom game. The player has to pick up flowers and perfume bottles, but miss a flower and the vines get in your way.
808303Studio is a digital musical instrument that emulates a Roland TR-808 drum machine and TB-303 bass synthesizer, created in conjunction with the Design Museum (London). It’s fully programmable and there is even short video tutorial with A Guy Called Gerald on how to use it.
Aelfie is a home furnishings brand with a focus on bold patterns and bright color. Their site reflects this with its use of block color, irregular grid, drawings, and type that feels a little off-kilter. It creates a hand-made feel that embodies the brand aesthetic rather well.
Media Election 2020
As we approach one of the most significant, not to mention acrimonious, elections in US history, Media Election 2020 uses AI to analyze the volume of media attention each candidate receives, in real time.
Magazine website Curbed has now become a part of New York magazine, and had a redesign in the process. It follows a discernible grid, but distorts it just enough to create an edge. The highlighter color frames, and underlines on rollover, add movement and ‘cool’.
The WFN (Women’s Funding Network) is an alliance of funds and foundations working to promote gender equity and social change internationally. The site is clean, with strong typography and a sophisticated color palette.
The Fabric of America
Internet, telephone and TV service provider Xfinity is behind the Fabric of America project. It is a collection of voice recordings, the idea being that each voice, and each person’s story, is a thread that makes up the flag that we see on the screen.
Minimal Ceramics is a concept site, showcasing the work of London based potter, Tom Crew. The design of the site reflects the simplicity of the showcased work, using great photography and simple typography.
Normal Now is part of an awareness campaign to highlight to consumers the positives of electric cars. Taking a fun approach to engage consumers in a serious subject, it uses a fake retro tech style.
Superfood Gin is a gin made using superfood botanicals, that claims to be fruity and fresh rather than crisp and peppery. The soft color palette, along with the soft lines and curves in the background illustrations, reflect this well.
Maison Louis Marie
Maison Louis Marie is a natural fragrance company. While this site does nothing really groundbreaking, it does it well. Botanical drawings on a white background, along with clean typography, help create a refined, luxury feel.
Think Economia is a platform taking a fresh look at economics and the future of economic growth. It doesn’t sound like the most exciting subject, but it is presented here in a playful and intriguing way.
From Uprock, a Russian design studio that also offers courses in web design, Chernobyl is a thought provoking exposition of the Chernobyl disaster. The design aesthetic is muted, allowing the images their deserved impact, and the brief sections of text to be absorbed.
Declamatuus is a lingerie company selling gift sets. What stands out here is what you don’t see — live models in underwear. Instead the outline of the body is created with animated particles.
Odisea Expedition is a documentary series following two friends, a surfer and a snowboarder, as they explore remote parts of the world. The photographs and video are everything here, and all other elements are kept minimal to avoid detracting from them.
Riffyn Nexus is a ‘Process Data System’ for storing and analyzing scientific data for laboratories. It is a very corporate site and yet it is put together in such a way that doesn’t feel dull.
Maison du Net
This site for digital design agency Maison du Net takes a risk mixing corporate with cutesy, but it works. Offset frames and underlines create interest without overdoing it, and the very bright green is used sparingly enough to liven things up without being overwhelming.