Making Changes to Your Website? Draw Inspiration From These 13 Web Designs

September 1, 2015

When you're planning to make changes to your website, it helps to poke around other companies' websites to see what they're up to. How have they structured their navigations? Do they still use hero images? How many CTAs do they have? What do their mobile websites look like?

While you're certainly not trying to copy features exactly, seeing what others are doing can help you figure out what's new in the fast-paced world of design and inspire new ideas for your own site.  

Trouble is, it can be hard to randomly stumble across lots of great examples. So we decided to curate some in this very post to help inspire your next redesign. 

Before we dive into the websites themselves, it's important to note that not every design is meant to look like Apple’s website and aesthetic. Of course everyone loves a “beautiful website” and smooth customer experience, but the end goal of any website is great usability -- and that can have multiple definitions depending on your site purpose and target audience.

Some designs you’ll love, others you’ll hate, and some you’ll think are just mediocre, but the important thing is that you’ll see and think about design elements that you hadn’t before. Take a moment to understand why a site might have been designed a certain way. A few tactics you might look for include:

  • Use of imagery
  • Use of video
  • Use of colors
  • Use and sizing of fonts
  • Logo placement
  • CTA placement
  • Responsive design
  • Social media links
  • Search box
  • Headlines
  • Punctuation
  • Menu bars
  • Box design

The point of reviewing these designs isn’t for you to love all of them, but rather to find a few interesting design tactics that you can take back to your team. Let's get to it. 

1) Paul Stuart

Why we like this site:

The homepage does a few things well. First, site visitors are drawn to the screen by seeing visually captivating images of neckwear. While neckwear isn’t usually the most interesting subject, the use of bright imagery draws the eye. To the right of the image, the content states “light and bright late summer neckwear” ... which is exactly what users are seeing. Between the imagery and the concise copy, the tone of the site makes it easy to understand what they're selling -- right in time to notice the “shop ties” CTA.

What we would test: 

Increasing the size of the “shop ties” CTA.

2) TutorSync

Why we like this site:

As soon as users arrive on this page, they know what the company does, and can decide whether they want to stay or leave. For those who are interested, the page displays three overlay boxes briefly highlighting a few credentials, as well as offerings for first-time purchasers. Finally, the contact options are well displayed and include both phone and form capabilities.

What we would test: 

A new hero image to show tutors and students in an actual work setting.

3) Laural Home

Why we like this site:

Laural Home's homepage does a great job at making users feel relaxed, providing a light and unintimidating feeling with its choice of colors and font. In addition, users see a variety of sale-related CTAs, including 40% off dorm room items and free shipping on orders over $50. To make sure users know that Laural has new products in stock, the site also features a “20% on New Sizes” image-based CTA.

What we would test: 

Testing an end date on the “40% off dorm sale” to drive urgency.

4) Linguistiko

Why we like this site:

Maybe it’s just our experience, but this image perfectly captures a situation at the office when language barriers can arise. It portrays an international conference call with people in the office speaking one language and the person on the other end of the call speaking another. It’s one of those things that’s hard for both sides, often leaving people saying “I need to improve my English, Spanish, German ... etc.”

... So why do we love this page? Because everything we just wrote about Linguistiko was thought within a second of seeing the homepage. You just get what they do.

What we would test: 

Include a statistic in the headline about the professional benefits of learning a new language or the rise of people learning a second language for business.


5) Laura Jayne Bridal Design

Why we like this site:

This site is laser-focused on one thing: bridal design. In the wedding industry, making a bride feel like she has the spotlight on her is essential to developing relationships that turn into sales, and this site definitely showcases that laser focus on the bride. In addition to bride-focused imagery, visitors have both primary and secondary CTA options available to them as they can view collections or contact the company via phone or form.

What we would test: 

Different copy on the hero image CTA that invites the visitor to shop for that specific hair accessory or view how it fits into a specific outfit. 

6) Fashion Delivery

Why we like this site:

While we don’t love being different just for the sake of being different, this site is different for the right reasons. By using a cartoon-based theme design, Fashion Delivery is creating its own private world that visitors enter into when arriving on the site. It works because the service -- same-day clothing delivery -- also seems like a fantasy. We also love the expiring clock letting visitors know that they still have time to order, but there is an expiration.

What we would test: 

A phone number above the fold to answer last-minute questions about orders. The company may not be staffed to handle such an increase in call volume, but it would be a good test to run to see if the revenue generated would be worth an increase in hiring. 

7) Heal Your Life

Why we like this site:

While we’ve all heard the phrase “you can’t be everything to everyone,” Heal Your Life has managed to offer a lot of things at once to their target market. For those looking for a life boost, the website offers a number of options for users to find what suits them best, including: daily affirmations, daily meditations, articles, audio, video, topics, contributions, blog articles, events, and shopping. However people feel comfortable engaging, Heal Your Life has a form of content, engagement, or product offering for them.

What we would test: 

Include the number of members in the community in the sign-up CTA at the top of the page as a form of social proof.


8) Lily

Why we like this site:

Want to know how cool this product is? Just go to Lily’s website. A lot of companies struggle to portray how amazing their offering is via the company website -- but not Lily. Upon arriving, visitors are instantly hooked, shown a bunch of press logos (making you feel silly if you haven’t heard of them) and then an amazing product video. The best part about the product is that it’s not even available yet, but the website still makes you want to pre-order it. 

What we would test: 

A different product image on the homepage, showing the product in action.

9) Dallas Apartment

Why we like this site:

Direct response websites don’t have to look pretty -- they just need to convert. Dallas Apartment, however, has found a way to make direct response look beautiful. The site instantly looks to capitalize on visitor urgency by offering phone numbers, hours of operation, and a CTA to call someone directly at Dallas Apartment. For those users that don’t want the primary "contact us now" CTA, the site also offers a less salesy offering with a “start your apartment search today” option.

What we would test: 

An “apartment of the day” hero image with a CTA to book a tour today.

10) Barre 3

Why we like this site:

Website visitors are in different mindsets when arriving on your site. Some are ready to convert, others want to learn more, and a bunch are just browsing. Barre 3 does a wonderful job at making sure they have something for everyone. First, they offer information on their physical locations for people who are looking for classes now. If you’re not interested in attending an in-person class, a CTA for online workouts is easily found next to the in-person class CTA. For those just perusing the site, Barre 3 offers great content and fashion offerings.

What we would test: 

Using smart content in the hero image module to tailor the type of workout (online vs. in-person) to the visitor's previous browsing habits. 

11) Home Grown Cow

Why we like this site:

It's hard to be both funny and informative, yet Home Grown Cow manages to accomplish both on their site. The product offering is all about farm to table, fresh and healthy meat options. By adding in one-liners such as “Chickens like your grandma knew,” they're able to convey that the company cares about quality while also getting its audience to smile. Trust me, balancing both is harder than it looks.

What we would test: 

The site offers links at the top for meat, poultry, dairy, seafood, and farms. We would consider testing a “specials” link for sales or special offerings that might be time-sensitive.

12) Mathalicious

Why we like this site:

There are three big reasons why I like this site. First, it’s clear what they do. Second, they bring a sense of humor to an often mundane and frustrating topic. Third, for people who want to learn more, additional links are clearly provided to the lessons page, about page, FAQs, and blog. These reasons all make it easy for their target audience to understand what they offer -- and, you know, actually use it.

What we would test: 

Include a statistic about how improving math skills can be beneficial later in life.

13) Bean & Bite

Why we like this site:

The reason we love Bean & Bite’s website is because it initially makes visitors feel like they’re in the restaurant reading the menu. As users browse through the site, the menu-style theme continues, giving you a sense of what the restaurant is like in real life.

It’s not just pretty and unique though -- Bean & Bite offers all of the information people need to know, great content, and even has a suggestion box. In addition, users can sign up to be members of the restaurant and find a location near them by entering in their zip code.

What we would test: 

Whether the forms to sign up for membership and find a nearby location should be at the bottom or the top of the page. 

Want to see all 91 of the designs we considered for this post? Head on over to Crayon.

learn more about INBOUND 2015


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