Award-Winning Websites That Inspire Us
There are millions of websites on the ’Net, so how do you get yours to stand out from the competition?
While the answer to this question depends a great deal on the type of site you run, implementing a combination of design best practices and popular trends will typically put your site on the right track. That said, sometimes we need a little inspiration.
One way to get inspired is to research the sites of some of your business’s biggest competitors, as this will provide you with some elements, features and functionality to consider incorporating on your site. However, another way to get inspired is to take a gander at some award-winning sites.
For example, Website Magazine’s redesigned website was recently honored with a 2013 “Best Magazine Website” IAC (Internet Advertising Competition) Award, yet it was far from the only site to be recognized by the IAC. Get inspired by looking at the examples below to learn about other companies who won a Best Website award from the IAC in 2013:
Award: Best Government Website
Takeaways: This website’s navigation rocks. Not only does it have an easy to navigate drop down menu bar, but it also features parallax scrolling, which is currently a hot and unique design trend.
Award: Best Small Business Website
Takeaways: It is nearly impossible to overlook the location or contact information for this business, because The UPS Store prominently highlights all of its important information on its landing page, including directions, phone and fax numbers, email address, hours of operation and UPS Air pickup times.
Award: Best Advocacy Website
Takeaways: The use of images and text on this site may be jarring, however, this strategy gets to the point and demands attention. Moreover, the Lung Cancer Alliance’s site offers social login to its visitors, as well as features parallax scrolling.
Award: Best Employment Website
Takeaways: Fidelity puts an emphasis on unique images on its career site. Not only does the main image on this site include interactive tags, but its large drop down menu also includes a variety of images that makes the company more relatable and desirable to work for.
Award: Best Beverage Websites
Takeaways: As an alcoholic beverage company, it is very important for Coors Light to have a secure website in order to keep minors out, which is why the company implements an age-based security block upon arrival. That said, the company also features a big background image that includes movement, as well as a simple menu for visitors to navigate the site with.
Award: Best Travel Website
Takeaways: Disney uses a combination of high-resolution images and interactive maps to grab its visitors’ attention. Additionally, the company makes it simple for visitors to let their friends know about their dream vacation by featuring a share menu directly on its rotating images of travel destinations.
Award: Best Automobile Websites
Takeaways: Not only does the large, high-quality image on the Jeep website demand attention, but the image is also interactive, which allows visitors to gain insights about each vehicle by simply moving their curser around the image. Furthermore, this site features very clean and easy to read menus on the top and bottom of its landing page, which includes a local feature to help visitors find nearby promotions.
Award: Best Retail Website
Takeaways: Garrett’s site is simple but fun, as it features an interactive photo, prominent call-to-actions and most of the business’s other important information above the fold. In fact, without scrolling, site visitors can click on a variety of icons to take actions such as create their own tin, register to the site, browse gifts, find a nearby shop, join the company’s mailing list, read Garrett’s blog and leave a message to the company.
Award: Best Employment Websites
Takeaways: The Six Flags’ employment website is colorful with a bright menu bar. That said, the real star of this site is its use of videos, which are prominently featured for each of the career categories.
Award: Best Consumer Goods Website
Takeaways: This site not only features delicious recipes, but also high-quality images and large call-to-actions. Moreover, the site uses parallax scrolling, which enables visitors to learn recipes step-by-step as they scroll. It is also important to note that as visitors scroll through the site, they are exposed to additional interactive content, including videos, social sharing features, as well as recipe ratings and reviews.