Thursday, November 23, 2017

12 Ways to Design the Perfect Site Navigation

Header navigation menus can often be overlooked when it comes to inventive and creative web design. But as the primary way users explore and interact with your website, investing in engaging header navigation means site visitors spend more time on your site and end up seeing much more than just your landing page. There’s no point having brilliant web design on your inner pages if your header doesn’t make it easy (and fun) to click through to it.

So we’ve put together a roundup of websites which have made the most of their navigation menus with beautiful, sleek, and innovative design. Take a look below and get inspired!

1. Sistrix

Sistrix is the German company behind popular SEO software package Sistrix Toolbox. As such, their website (including their popular SEO news blog) gets regular traffic from digital experts. When that’s your target market, there isn’t much room for sloppiness when it comes to web design.

Keeping things sleek and stylish, the Sistrix navigation menu is comprised of four simple drop down menus: Toolbox, Blog, Resources and Support. Hovering over each header reveals a list of relevant links, each represented by a simple icon. This is a particularly smart idea when your website has as many pages as Sistrix’s has.

Just showing a block of text can be overwhelming when trying to navigate through a big website, but these well-designed icons quickly direct the visitor to where they need to go. Looking for help with mobile SEO? A simple smartphone icon draws the eye and gets you there much quicker. Streamlining the user experience for site visitors is one of the main functions of a good navigation header, and this is something the Sistrix site nails.

2. Supple

One of the key services offered by Australian digital marketing company Supple is their web design makeovers. This means that having a good navigation menu on their own is as much about demonstrating their design prowess as it is about helping visitors navigate their services. One of the key things that helps Supple’s header navigation stand out is the simple, yet eye-catching, use of animation and colour.

For example, their phone number is represented with a colourful animation that cycles between orange and black text. Beyond simply helping site visitors know what number to dial to get in touch, it adds a dynamic flair to the navigation menu.

Other eye-catching uses of animation is the hover effect on the navigation menu to expand the text like what >> what we do, how >> how we do it, etc. It’s small touches like this which make navigating the site fun, meaning visitors are likely to spend more time browsing through multiple pages.

3. Reiss 

When you’re a fashion brand, it’s smart to show off your latest designs as much as possible. While many drop-down navigation menus are purely text-based, UK fashion brand Reiss highlights their New Arrivals catalogue using images in the drop-downs for womenswear and menswear, two of their core product categories. It helps that they’ve invested in high-quality photography—with pictures that look this great, why not incorporate them as a key part of the navigation experience?

4. Vibrains

Vibrains is a portfolio for Emiliano Borzelli, a front end developer. When it comes to the site, it’s truly out of this world. Picking a clear design motif like ‘space’ gives a cohesive look to the whole site. Everything from the logo design to the key info icons utilise space imagery. A simply animated banner makes browsing the site feel like floating in outer space, but the absolute standout design feature is a fully animated animation of the solar system when you jump into the process section. 

With to-scale representations of our neighboring planets, it evokes the childlike fascination people have with space to keep visitors engaged with navigating through the site. If you’re as obsessed with this animation as we are, you’ll be glad to hear we tracked down the open source code for it on CodePen here!

5. Weecom 

Brazil-based digital agency Weecom utilise a hamburger-menu button to keep their homepage looking sleek and minimalist, with navigation options only popping up as you hover over the icon. It’s a pretty standard approach to navigation headers, but what we love about Weecom’s site is how scrolling down the page causes the hamburger icon to switch from top-left to bottom-right. It’s a simple, dynamic touch that proves how important it is to use navigation menus that work around the main content of the page.

6. Mashable

When you’re a content nexus like Mashable, it can be a tall order displaying all your content in a conventional navigation menu. Headings, subheadings, sub-subheadings—making sure you have clarity is key to providing a good user experience for your site visitors.

That’s where their mega-menu comes in. Once you hover over the ‘More’ tab a drop-down menu spanning the entire length of your screen becomes visible. This provides the space to include a series of columns—like ‘Channels’ or ‘Company’—under which your list of subheadings can be displayed. If you’re designing a site that’s hosting a lot of content, considering a mega-menu like this one is a strategic way to handle navigation.

7. Oars

Another example of a mega-menu, travel service Oars uses a clear navigation layout to help you find what you want. For example, hovering over Destinations showcases a mega-menu divided up into Oars’ local United States destinations, International destinations, National Parks and Rivers.

Another great addition to the mega-menu design is the use of images under Your Experience, Stories+Video and Plan+Reserve headers. Making the most of the space they have, these eye-catching image panels engage site visitors and encourage click-through.

8. Paper Collective

Specializing in stunning art prints for the home or office, it’s clear Paper Collective has an eye for good design. Accordingly, they’ve made clever use of a slide-out sidebar menu—meaning that navigating their site never obscures their homepage product images, but shifts them slightly to the right instead.

9. Olympics

Maybe we’re design nerds, but one of our favourite parts about the Olympic Games is seeing the logo designs each host city comes up with. Completely individual to the culture and design sensibilities of the time, they’re a great way to look back on past Games. 

This is something the navigation menu design for the IOC homepage seems mindful of—as you hover over the main ‘Olympic Games’ header each Olympic Games is represented alongside its specific logo. Laid out in a simple, streamlined way that makes navigation by chronology easy, this site sets a gold-standard for good menu design.

10. Next Stop

Next is a UK brand that sells everything from clothes to shoes, to flower arrangements, to furniture. As such, their navigation menu has to do a lot of heavy-lifting to display their comprehensive catalogue of products. One of the techniques they use is accordion tabs—when you hover over their Home & Furniture header you’ll see a sub-menu of tabs you can click through to see links for bedroom furniture, kitchen fittings and more! If your company has a wide range of products online, this method of dividing up headings, subheadings and sub-subheadings is a fantastic way to go.

11. ESPN

Smart navigation design means knowing what people are looking for and displaying that as easily as possible. For sporting media empire ESPN, most of their customer base are looking for one thing: the score.

With a keen awareness of this, ESPN has made the smart decision to display a Top Events navigation menu above their standard menu, giving quickview results for the latest scores in the most popular games. In combination with the standard menu (which utilises team logos under NBA, NFL, AFL, NRL & Cricket headers for easy browsing) it’s design that’s directly informed by how and why people use the ESPN site.

12. Bentley

Bentley is a brand which is held in high regard for their sleek car designs and, so it would seem, sleek web design too. A clever layout has made navigating the Bentley site a joy. Clicking the Models header in the top menu causes a sidebar to appear. As you hover over each car model range, you’re given a stylish sideview of the individual models on offer.

With a reputation for beautiful cars, it’s no surprise high-quality images feature so heavily in the Bentley navigation menu. It’s a lesson we can all learn when it comes to web design: if you’ve got it, flaunt it!


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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

5 Ways to Design for Customers and Search Engines

Business owners and web designers are pulled in many different directions when determining what features and content they should add to their website. Variables like site colors, button designs, animations, copy and messaging, user flow, search engine optimization, fonts, photos and video, page performance and more all play a role in how an overall design and user experience come together.

Of the variables mentioned—and there are certainly some that were left out—SEO is probably the most heavily weighted as most businesses want to be at the top of search results for their industry.

…by designing your site for Google, and not for your customers, you are actually hurting your rankings, not helping them.

However, designing for search engines can mean sacrificing too much of the user experience for the sake of appeasing the robots that crawl your site and determine ranking on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This, in turn, will cause visitors to spend less time on your site, or to leave the site before performing an action such as submitting a lead form.

Ironically enough, search engines like Google then factor in metrics like session duration, bounce rate, and average pages per session to determine whether your website is worth ranking. In other words, by designing your site for Google, and not for your customers, you are actually hurting your rankings, not helping them.

You should, instead, design your website with your customer in mind.

1. Start with User Experience

Start by asking yourself a couple of questions regarding the user experience (UX). For example, why do I want customers to visit my site? Am I trying to sell them something directly on my website, or am I trying to entice them to contact my business or sign up for a newsletter? Do I want them to visit various webpages on my site in a certain order (i.e. the home page, about page, services page and contact page) or am I simply wanting readers to visit blog articles?

How you answer these questions will determine how you create your user flow. You want to start with the first page in the user’s journey (i.e. the Home page), then connect pages within the user experience that ultimately lead a visitor to the final goal (i.e. submitting a contact form or making a purchase).

Once you have determined how visitors flow throughout your site, you’ll want to make sure that the copy, or site text, contains subject matter that is concise and informative, with keywords your visitors are searching for prior to landing on your site.

Do not keyword stuff, as readers will find this sort of copy very annoying and search engines will penalize you for such a style of writing.

You’ll also want to make sure that your copy uses proper grammar, and is easily readable (i.e. doesn’t use super long sentences or big words).

Finally, you want titles that describe the main points of the text so that visitors can skim through the copy to find what they are looking for.

2. Always Properly Manage Images on Your Site

Within the various paragraphs of text, you’ll want to link users to the next page or product that is a continuation of the copy. And, you’ll want the link—which is the next step in the user flow—to be as obvious as possible, such as a nice big button right under the last paragraph of text.

For example, if you write a paragraph talking about how great your organic men’s t-shirts are, link that paragraph to your Men’s Organic T’s products so that customers are taken to the next stage in the purchase funnel. In this scenario, it may be helpful to have the button read “Click Here to Buy Organic Tees” or to just have a picture of the product and a button within the picture (sort of like the format for a Google Display ad).

It also helps to include images alongside your paragraphs that represent the subject matter within the corresponding text, even if the images aren’t linked (though they should be). Just be sure to compress and/or resize your images beforehand in a photo editing software like Photoshop or GIMP to maintain faster page loading speeds. Larger images slow down your site as they are larger in file size.

Plus, be sure to add a title to your image so that the Google crawl bots know what is in the image. Google’s bots can’t see images but Google loves recommending images to people in search results, so Titles and Meta-tags with relative keywords are the way they can “see” what’s in your image.

Finally, be sure to look up how to save your images in “Progressive” format, as this helps speed up the loading process of larger images on your site. Proper management of images on your site appeases both website visitors and search engines alike.

3. Make Sure Your Website Focuses on a Niche

Make sure that everything important on your site is accessible within 3 clicks.

The key thing to remember at all stages of your web design is that people are looking for something specific when landing on your site, and are wanting to obtain that specific thing as fast as they can without having to be on your site too long or having to visit too many sites.

Your site should be centered around a specific thing or niche so that customers or visitors will know they have landed on the right site immediately. In other words, you are attracting a very specific type of site visitor with a higher chance of performing an action when they land on your site.

Once they have recognized that your site has what they want, you must make it easier for visitors to obtain the item they came for. This means not making your visitors navigate to 5 different pages to finally land where they were wanting to land or find what they were after. In other words don’t bury the lead! This keeps visitors from getting frustrated and giving up, thus exiting your site and increasing your bounce rates or exit percentages.

4. Keep Your Site Secure

People usually rate security as one of the most important factors when visiting someone’s site and deciding on a service. If your site is extremely slow, looks outdated, and doesn’t have any indication that it is secure, it will turn away visitors faster than the pages can load.

However, if your site uses an SSL Certificate to secure the transfer of information between customers and the site, you’ll immediately make visitors feel more secure and thus increase your chances of a conversion.

Some websites go so far as to add a logo of the type of security certificates or software they use to add more security to something like, for example, a checkout page on an eCommerce site. Surprisingly, this has been proven to comfort customers during the checkout process.

It should be noted that you should only add the logo of the security programs you are implementing, as adding a logo of a program you don’t use to create the illusion of security is highly illegal.

5. Offer What Visitors Want

In the end, it comes down to whether or not your site has something to offer its visitors. This is why so many marketing companies talk about the importance of good and consistent content. Think of content in a variety of ways – it can be blogs, videos, new products, or new images.

These things should be continuously added or enhanced throughout your site. Your website and web design should consistently be getting better each day.

Additionally, good content should be matched with a high-performance, easy-to-navigate site that delivers what they need fast and in an aesthetically pleasing way. Add to that the comfort of security, and you’ve got yourself a site that will not only perform well for visitors, but also for search engines.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Conversing with the Customer: Beware of using too many nouns

Not long ago, I wanted to upgrade my phone. To begin my research, I went to a webpage that I’d visited many times before. Right in the center of the white, nearly empty page was one word — APPLE. Ten minutes later, I joined 90 million other satisfied customers as the proud owner of an iPhone.

As a marketer, Apple’s minimalistic marketing may be appealing to you, and you might even be tempted to try a similar approach. But here’s the catch. You are not Steve Jobs, and your company is not the largest tech provider in the world. Apple has earned the right to use a single noun on its landing page. You and I have not. In fact, very few brands can get away with simply using a noun or two as their value proposition because a webpage must provide very good reasons for the customer to continue to stay and engage, rather than click away.  And that requires a complete thought.

In today’s Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO of MECLABS, compares the value propositions of three different webpages —  AppViewX, Core Hospitality FurnitureVideo Brewery — and shares tips on how to more effectively communicate your brand.

His first caution — beware of using too many nouns.


The post Conversing with the Customer: Beware of using too many nouns appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

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6 Tips For Sending Your Email Newsletter At The Right Time

Have you ever noticed that it seems like every single company seems to send their email newsletter at the same time?

Usually they’re sent very late at night or extra early in the morning.

Which is, funny enough, when most of their audience is sleeping, so we wake up with an overstuffed inbox each morning.

I am guessing that you have also run into this somewhat minor annoyance.

But it literally is one of my biggest pet peeves.

If you are like me, the deleting of most of these newsletters has become part of your morning ritual.

It is pretty refreshing to send them all to your trash folder and get back to inbox zero.

I mean I love reading about data driven marketing tips but not at 7 in the morning.

We are constantly plugged into our email accounts with those supercomputers we call phones.

The days when you would check your email once in the morning and once at night is over.

But, alas, some companies still seem to be sticking to that email schedule.

This strategy is as outdated as that jewel colored iMac or Gateway computer sitting in your basement.

And all the effort you put into great content will be wasted if you pick the wrong time to send.

So I set out to find when the best time to send an email newsletter is, in the most scientific way ever, by signing up for 100 different newsletters and recording all of their send times.

1. Send it from 11-12PM, 1-2PM, or 2-3PM

If you were looking for the best time to send an email I would recommend selecting a time where there is little competition.

Like a time when almost no emails are being sent.

I mean why would you want your newsletter competing for your audience’s attention with a bunch of other emails?

That is just a recipe for low open rates and a drop in subscribers.

So to avoid that I would shoot for a period when no other emails are sent.

In fact, from 11-12PM, 1-2PM and 2-3PM not a single email was sent in our study.

Like not a single one:

Now you may be asking what is the best chunk of time out of those three periods?

And I would have to say that 2-3PM has the most potential.

From 11-12PM and 1-2PM are too close to the lunch hour and could get lost in the shuffle.

Unless your newsletter deals with a fun topic that they would want to read about on that break, I would avoid those two.

Instead try from 2-3PM.

Your audience will most likely be back from lunch by then and feeling a bit recharged.

They have already cleared their emails from the morning and are maybe looking for a little procrastination opportunity.

And boom, your email newsletter is there to help them out.

2. Or from 10-11AM

Now if you don’t want to be the only one sending an email during a certain time period, I have a perfect time for you.

This is another period where almost zero email newsletters were sent out in our study. In fact there were only one email sent out in that whole time period.

And I think that your email can handle a little competition.

This period happens to be from 10-11AM.

As you can see in the graph above there were a few other periods when only a few emails were sent.

But I do not think that they will be as fruitful as from 10-11AM.

For example, from 9-10AM is when a lot of people’s workday starts and 4-5PM is when it usually ends.

That means you are going to be fighting a lot more for their attention than just a few emails.

So to avoid these outside distractions I would choose from 10-11AM.

By then your readers will be settled into their desk, the coffee has kicked in and they are probably at inbox zero.

It is almost a perfect time for an interesting newsletter to pop up in their mailbox.

Additionally, I do find it a little odd that from 10-11AM has been pushed by experts and thought leaders.

But exactly one email was sent.

It really does not make sense, but it does present a new opportunity for your email newsletter to shine.

3. Never between 6-7PM

After carefully counting on both of my hands I was able to determine the worst time to send an email.

This time period was so crowded that more than 10% of all the emails in the study were sent during this hour chunk each day.

That is almost triple what an average hour should have received.

If you have read the graphs above you saw that 6-7 PM got the most emails of any period.

As you can see in the graph above if you decide to send your newsletter in this time period you are going to have some competition.

So I would avoid sending your newsletters during this period based on the jump in competition.

When you compare it to the times we already highlighted above there are 50x more emails during this period.

Even some of the times that got 5x more emails are looking pretty good to me right now.

Unless you want your open rates to plummet from that increased competition I would avoid sending from 6-7PM.

It does kind of make sense why brands would decide to send their weekly email at this time.

Their audience has made it home from their jobs and starting to relax. They should be pretty open to receiving a newsletter about their hobby, interest or activity.

But again, you are brawling in their inbox with a ton of other well-crafted emails for their attention.

Or it will be ignored and rolled into the next morning’s inbox clearing.

4. And avoid after 9PM or before 7AM

One of the easiest ways to fall into that morning deleting spree is to send your email late at night.

Like when your audience is sleeping, so they will see it in the morning.

I never really got the idea behind this practice.

Other than that brands think we want to read about the newest social media marketing tip at 6am.

I know that is the last thing on my mind at that time.

Now if it was an email about coffee being delivered to my bed that would be a different story.

But alas, I saw a ton of companies using this somewhat outdated topic.

We can access our emails at literally any time, the novelty of waking up to news or a newsletter no longer exists.

Or it is so far down the list in their inbox, they will never even see it.

Between 9PM and 7PM more than 60% of all emails in the study were sent.

With nearly 40% of them were sent between 9PM and 2AM. Or about double of what should have been sent if all things were equal.

That is a lot of emails your newsletter is going to be fighting.

Plus your audience is most likely not even awake, and the people who are up at that time probably don’t want to read your newsletter at that moment.

That means, you guessed it, that it will be put off until the next morning.

From there it goes right into the morning delete spree or simply forgotten about.

And all your hard work on the newsletter goes ignored.

Do not let your content be wasted because you chose the wrong time to send a great email.

5. Wednesdays & Saturdays Have Potential

Just like in the previous sections you are going to want to pick a day that has the least competition.

By sending your email on a day like this it is going to stand out like a beacon of good content.

The best day to send your email is Wednesday, with Saturday coming in at a close second.

As you can see they were some of the days to receive the least emails overall.

In our own tests we have seen Wednesday perform well, with some newsletters getting double the open rate of previous days.

I think that Wednesday is the perfect day to send your email newsletter.

Especially if your newsletter is related to their job or work.

They will feel a lot less guilty about losing themselves in your content for a few minutes.

Plus if it is really amazing they will want to share it with their coworkers!

And that means that if your topic deals with a fun hobby or interest I would send it on a Saturday.

Your audience will a lot more receptive to reading about something they could do later that day.

Or they will have a lot more time to absorb all of your fantastic content.

Either way both of these days are a great point to start testing to find what your own best day!

Before we go on I think it is important to highlight why I did not select Sunday as the best day.

I really think that it is too much of a wildcard day and the email could be lost in the shuffle of that day.

Then it gets pushed into the Monday morning mass inbox cleaning.

And although you may have loved to read the content you just don’t have time to.

This has happened to me too many times to count and I am guessing many people can relate.

6. Thursdays are the Worst Day to Send

Finding the best day to send an email was a little difficult and not very straightforward.

Thankfully the worst day was a lot easier to find.

And that day was Thursday.

thursday is the worst day to send an email newsletter

It received more than double the amount of emails when compared to Wednesday and Saturday.

Exactly 25% of all the emails were sent on a Thursday, with no other days really coming close.

That put it well above the 70 or so emails I received per day on average.

Some experts proclaiming that Tuesday and Thursday are the best days to send a newsletter probably cause this.

I am guessing that people have been blindly following this advice for the past few years.

And now we are in a situation where the best day to send an email has actually become the worst day.


So there you have it, the best and worst times for you to send an email newsletter!

I now need to go click unsubscribe on about 100 different emails.

Or I may just cut my losses with that email address from now on.

But that sacrifice of an email address was definitely worth it because I was able to get some interesting findings.

Those findings will hopefully keep you from sending an email newsletter at the wrong time or day.

Just remember:

  1. Send newsletters during these time blocks: 11-12 PM, 1-2 PM & 2-3 PM.
  2. Between 9 and 11 AM is another great block of time.
  3. If your newsletter is related to their job, send it during the workday.
  4. Do not send newsletters at peak work movement hours, like 8 AM and 5 PM.
  5. Emails sent during the night or early mornings are a bad idea.
  6. Thursday is the worst day to send an email.
  7. Mondays and Fridays should be avoided as well.
  8. But the best day to send a newsletter is on Wednesday.

And finally, it is important to remember to test all of these findings with your audience first. These tips should always be used a testing points for your new emails, not set in stone facts.

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics combines behavioral analytics with email automation. Our software tracks actions of your users across multiple devices allowing you to analyze, segment and engage your customers with automatic, behavior-based emails in one place. We call it Customer Engagement Automation. Get, keep and grow more customers with Kissmetrics.



About the Author: Ryan McCready went to the University of Arkansas and graduated with a degree in economics and international business. Now instead of studying the economy he writes about everything and enjoys stirring the pot.

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20 Best New Portfolio Sites, November 2017

There are basically two kinds of portfolio websites nowadays: those with asymmetrical layouts, and those with background images that change when you hover over the name of a project. At least, that’s kind of how it feels this month.

Now, these are not bad-looking sites by any means. There are just a lot of them. I thought we might be done with the bandwagons for a while; but they’ve come back with a vengeance.

I’ve tried to minimize the number of sites in this month’s lineup that look almost exactly the same. Even so, we’re going to see a lot of minimalism, post-minimalism, and asymmetry. Enjoy!

The Great Agency

The Great Agency (which sometimes also calls itself “Alexander the Great”) could teach us all a thing or two about animation. While not every brand will want to use this much animation, it all feels smooth and fluid; it compliments the rest of the site’s visuals nicely.

Daniel Arsham

On the down-side, Daniel Arsham’s site could be a little confusing at first, with unconventional navigation, and a screen-saver (Remember those?) that pops up a little two fast.

One the other hand, it’s a whole new concept. It’s actually kind of cool to watch the whole page split in two to reveal a bit of the project underneath. Take a look at this one for ideas. And maybe implement them with better usability.


The oh-so-confidently named stillcouldbeworse brings us a nice little dark website with what might be one of my new favorite navigation patterns. Click on “Projects” to see what I mean.

Okay, it wouldn’t work for site where vertical space is at a premium, but I still think it’s cool. The overall style of the site feels a bit ’90s, but has a clearly modern implementation.


7D8 has adopted minimalism to the point of near-brutalism. A bit more grey and mono-spaced type, and they’d go right over the edge. As it is, it’s just highly stylized minimalism, and it’s looking good. I’m still not sure about that “four corners” navigation that some sites do; but I’m willing to say that 7D8 makes it work.

Brave New World

Brave New World has a familiar layout, with the addition of some nice parallax effects. And scrolling text on diagonal vectors. It’s actually way better than it sounds, even if it does remind me a little too much of the marquee element of old.


Sometimes, I include a site just because they did one cool thing I haven’t seen before. In Parametro’s case, there’s a mind-map-style presentation on the home page. The rest of the site is good—if typical—minimalism. That thing on the home page is just plain cool, though.

Liah Moss

Post-minimalism ain’t so bad when it’s loaded with color! Liah Moss demonstrates this fact by combining artsy minimalism with a touch of the ’80s. The predictable layout is offset quite nicely by good type, and enough bright pastels to… man I’ve already made too many Morticia jokes. Someone’s going to have to come up with something in the comments.

Sophie Hustin

Sophie Hustin is a painter and sculptor with a simple, dark site to show off her wares. It’s a bit presentation-like, but pretty enough to make it onto this list regardless.


Wild is a digital branding studio that really, really loves their white space. And who can blame them? Empty space on your screen can feel weirdly refreshing, or panic-inducing, depending on what’s actually supposed to be there.

Anyway, there’s also some pleasant type, and an interesting approach to the portfolio

Biscuit Filmworks

Biscuit Filmworks has embraced a portfolio style I’ve seen a lot lately: the list-of-projects-with-changing-background-on-hover. I need to make up a name for that.

What this site does differently is the color scheme. I’m not entirely sure how they managed to make the entire site look a bit like a sepia filter in abstract, but they did.

Lotta Nieminen

Lotta Nieminen’s portfolio has that almost magazine-like aesthetic (and text size), but combines it with an app-like approach to browsing the site. All of her work is featured on the home page. Some of it just happens to be off to the side. It’s an efficient and elegant way of combining three pages into one.

Elegant Seagulls

Elegant Seagulls has one of the more creative post-modern layouts I’ve seen to date. It might feel a bit cluttered at times, but it also feels fresh. And very seagull-obsessed. It’s one of those sites that might not be optimized within an inch of its life, but goshdarnit, it has personality.


Reed is bold. And when I say bold, I mean they’ve used pretty much every trend you’ll see on the rest of this list: asymmetry, presentation-style navigation and animation, post-minimalism… everything. They went all out.

And yet, it still kind of works. That’s impressive on its own.


Niketo is on this list for reasons of style, and style alone. I wish the designer would make his body text a bit bigger, but otherwise, it’s a pleasure to browse through.

a friend of mine

a friend of mine  is an advertising agency that tries to set itself apart immediately by showcasing their humanity. They largely accomplish this with simple, punchy copy in a minimalist layout. Oh, and there’s mild profanity on the home page.

Well, it certainly sets them apart, and quickly sorts out the customers they want from the customers they don’t want, I guess.

North-East Venture

North-East Venture stands out by having one of the more interesting uses of parallax effects that I’ve seen yet. It combines the sensibilities of a classic typography-and-background images, with just enough animation to make it stand out.

Add to that the way they make every portfolio page match the project, and you’ve got a site that’s just plain pretty.

Elodie Fabbri

Elodie Fabbri has a portfolio that is clean, pretty, and rather dependent on slideshows. It’s simple, yet dynamic and eye-catching. Frankly, the only way it could really be better would be to find a JavaScript-free way to implement all of those slideshows.

Sally Bliumis-Dunn

This is probably the first poetry portfolio I’ve ever reviewed. And I love it.

Most writing sites try to market their products with imagery. They might use the book covers, or push the budget and use some concept art. This site completely ditches that strategy, using fantastic typography to show off excerpts of the poetry itself. After all, that’s what everyone is here for.

Tristan Bagot

Tristan Bagot’s one-page portfolio combines modern layout with a retro, pixelated style that seems to match the overall theme of his work. Simple, and digital-focused. Linking right to the live sites is always a risk, but it keeps things simple, too.

Luke Fenech

We’ll finish this list off with Luke Fenech, a designer and art director. Nothing too out of the ordinary, here. It’s clean, it’s pretty. The type is a joy to the eyes. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

The Font Deck – Stylish Educational Playing Cards for Designers – only $15!


p img {display:inline-block; margin-right:10px;}
.alignleft {float:left;}
p.showcase {clear:both;}
body#browserfriendly p, body#podcast p, div#emailbody p{margin:0;}

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