4 Admirable & Engaging Website Designs

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Time to read: 4 min, 15 sec

What makes a website design cool? Like any conversation, let's get our definitions straight.

To me, cool is different. Cool is admirable. Cool is sleek. Cool is the opposite of useless. Cool is engaging. Cool, let's face it, also has a "wow" factor. Let's use this as criteria when looking at some cool website designs. 



When it comes to cool website designs, this one is just flat out cool. The homepage - cool. The "our story" page - awesome.

The fusion of custom design, retro hand drawn elements and modern UX give this website a pleasant feel. In today's design, you'll see large images and big hero sections. Not here.

Remember this. Cool is different. Cool is admirable. Cool is sleek. Cool is the opposite of useless. This website is all the above.

List of positives:

  • Hand drawn elements
  • Useful and fun animations
  • Different from the norm
  • List of negatives:

  • Homepage takes a hair too long to load
  • Looking at different flavors wasn't as intuitive as I'd hoped
  • Growers section needs something else. Maybe imagery that is hand drawn.
  • Concerned, in a good way.

    Website: https://www.humaan.com/

    humaan website

    The image above does not do this website any justice. At first, you think you are on a static page. Not quite sure what to do so you cautiously begin to explore. Then, you bump the scroll ball on your mouse and ride begins. Once you start to scroll, the "coolness" happens.

    This site is unique because, at first, it doesn't have a scroll bar. As a user you are a bit confused as nearly every page you visit will have some sort of gauge to help you understand the page you are on. This site, not so much, forcing the user to take in the content on the homepage before figuring out how to explore.

    The main navigation buttons are always present so if you get freaked out and want normalcy, these rescue buttons are close by. But the deeper you go, the more you can explore. And the depth of the home page is succinct.

    List of positives:

    • Unique and interactive

    • Image heavy content with professional imagery

    • Brief and clearly expressed

    List of negatives:

    • Start a Project link brings you back to normalcy and seems to leave the theme found through the rest of the site

    • Inability to scroll throughout the pages quickly

    • Slight delay for images to load

    It's ALIVE!

    Website: http://www.vandalnewyork.com/

    Today, cool website designs seem to have some sort of movement. One website that takes full advantage of this is New York's Vandal Restaurant.

    We have had a lot of good feedback on our background video on our homepage. They have an even better video on their website. It is full of life, and it emotionally brings you into the restaurant.

    Aside from the background video, you see a little bouncing icon. This not only encourages you to scroll, but you can click it too. (though clicking it is like catching a Pokemon, according to my staff).

    Scrolling down, the web page continues to come to life. Words animate. CTAs animate. Images rotate. It is quite a journey. And that's just the homepage!

    List of positives:

    • Wonderful imagery

    • Animated elements

    • Unique design

    List of negatives:

    • Some items aren't as intuitive to find and click

    • There is a menu and a hamburger icon, which seems odd

    • I'm torn on how extreme they split single words into many lines

    Hand drawn efforts for amazeballs results.

    Website: http://www.wittycookie.com/

    cool hand drawn web design

    One aspect of design we barely see nowadays is hand drawn elements. Why is that? The answer is astonishing and simple. It's hard work.

    That's right, a computer doesn't do it for you. You have to use your brain, arm, maybe a stylus... okay I'm going on a tangent. But you get my point. I'm calling out a lot of web agencies here. If you slap crap on a template and say you have custom design, get outta here.

    Witty Cookie is a large firm, but you can see the custom elements in the design. Anything that is hand drawn evokes an emotion of talent and work ethic. This evoked emotion works well on prospective clients.

    List of positives:

    • The hand drawn elements tied in with high-end visuals

    • Simple navigation

    • Animated CTA at the bottom of pages

    List of negatives:

    • Clunky, over-animated categories under images on homepage

    • Some errors, like if you click on the Chicago location, you get a Calgary header

    • Unsure how I feel about the hexagonal shapes

    Many companies invest in their buildings but neglect their websites. The companies above have taken a different direction and have made sure that their online image is well-represented. They have outplayed their competition, giving them a foot-up in the industry and staying ahead. If you have neglected your website and want to catch up and pass the competition, give Happy Dog a shout.

    Written by Ryan Boog

    Ryan Boog

    I am the CEO of Happy Dog Web Productions. I look forward to taking web, mobile design and digital marketing to the next level with Happy Dog. Follow Happy Dog at @hdwebpros or me personally at @ryanboog.

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