15 Feb 28 Award-Winning Best Website Designs to look in 2021
Best Website Designs
- Woven Magazine
- Rainforest Guardians
- Paper Planes
- Simply Chocolate
- Frans Hals Museum
- Nomadic Tribe
- Alanmenken Website Design
- Elias Akentour Portfolio
- Torgerson Design Partners
- Locomotive – Swab the World
- Superhero Cheesecake – The Year of Greta
- Skyline Films
- RESN- i-Spy
- SPINX Digital
Website design can be the determining factor in whether a user visiting the site converts to the brand. Many different elements go into good website design, but the most important are user experience, security, and visual presentation.
As you take your team into 2021, you may be thinking about redesigning your website. If so, take a moment to check out some of the best website designs along with past winners of the Awwwards and 2021’s nominees. These sites represent the best web design in the world and offer a unique glimpse at what’s working for successful websites all over the world.
The Awwwards reveal the best in many categories for creativity, design, and innovation across the internet, with categories ranging from the Best Articles and Interviews to Mobile Excellence and Design. Their Web Design category is one of our favourites to watch. Not only does it offer up and coming trends, but it’s easy to see innovation and exciting aspects of technology set to disrupt the status quo. As you prepare your 2021 strategy and think about the changes you would like to make to your own brand’s website, see if you can draw inspiration from our website designs list along with Awwwards’ past winners and current nominees.
Born on September 22, 2011, Slavery Footprint is a non-profit organization that works to engage individuals, groups, and businesses to build awareness against modern-day slavery. Their website pushes accessibility, usability, and responsive design to the next level. When a visitor launches their homepage, the breaking of the chain design catches their eyes, giving a clear message of the company’s mission of freeing the modern-day slaves.
The site offers an interactive experience to members with a unique pop-up design for each of the menu. Slavery Footprint Website is a perfect example for Non-profit organizations on how to keep the members engaged and grab attention to their cause.
Best Website Designs of 2012: Blacknegative
With the ‘Dark Mode’ design trending in 2021, Black Negative is a website that stands out with its smart use of dark background paired with subtle colours, call-to-action buttons – offering the visitor a smooth visual experience.
Visiting Black Negative’s website is a unique experience because of its fascinating design, excellent use of fonts, creative navigation, high-resolution photographs, fantastic video quality, and focus on small details. The technical skill displayed by the designers using rich multimedia content, harmonious flow, and background music site-wide is merely remarkable.
Best Website Designs of 2013: Hellomonday
Called Hello Monday to make Mondays better – the company is a creative studio that makes digital ideas, experiences, brands, and products come alive. Their creativity is well reflected in their website that offers unique digital experiences, tickles the brain, and pleases the eye.
Not only is Hello Monday an exciting concept, but it is also a stunning execution and display of services and insights with a creative blend of animation and visual effects on pixel-rich graphics – overall, the site immerses the user into a very engaging experience. As an atypical site, it contains bold use of fonts, easy user navigation, and several unique usability elements.
Best Website Designs of 2014: Aquest
The website of AQuest is an implausible example of incredible imagery, story-telling, creative use of multimedia and animation, visual design, and, most of all, sound engineering. There is a lot to be said about the typography, and cursor hover effects and smart use of motion in this project.
The designers have spent a lot of time on interaction and rollovers on the website. Mirroring their outstanding work in Website, Social, Films, 3D, Labs, AQuest’s dark background theme with a combination of excellent visual effects brings a unique motion style to the website. The feeling of creativity can be perceived in every corner of this production and technology company website.
Best Website Design of 2015: ETQ
ETQ is one of the premium footwear brands in Europe’s main capitals. They have created a niche for themselves in the market with their different approach to footwear and signature style shoes. Their website reflects luxury and premium designs with a minimalistic approach to create an optimal shopping experience for customers.
The site is stripped down with big compelling visuals, flat color backgrounds, strong typography, and high-definition images of the products to keep the users’ focus on precisely what they came there to see, i.e., shoes. The site falls in line with the current website design trends, gripping product images, and a slew of subtle details that makes it stand out from the crowd.
Best Website Design of 2015: Woven Magazine
A good website design has become increasingly important, especially in the world of media and publishing. And Woven Magazine’s website aesthetically appeals to readers with an exciting concept and stunning execution. What captures the viewers are the large images, video thumbnails, and articles that dominate the page, capturing the attention to what matters the most to the company, i.e., information.
The online publication creates a clean design, clean typography, easy-to-read content, and engaging website, free of any distractions like ads or pop-ups, giving the readers the experience of the content itself. With simple maneuvering and continuity throughout, the site’s makers and thinkers celebrate artists and artisans with their stories of fear and triumph, attitude and spirit, risk, and return.
Best Website Designs of 2015: Feed
Feed offers visitors a truly unique and immersive experience. From the moment users click to the Feed Music website, a creative combination of video content and animation creates an incredibly engaging experience.
This site is a perfect example of how to create immersive experiences with multimedia. No matter what type of organization you run, video and animation can be perfect assets for engaging users directly and grabbing their attention as soon as they arrive on your homepage.
One of the most immersive non-profit websites of 2016, Rainforest Guardian uses WebGL, immersive 360-panoramic images, unique stories and videos, and diverse content. You can get to know all about the Yanomami tribe of the Amazon, including the villages, natives, and waterways with a 3D effect.
The website creates a fantastic user experience with incredible imagery, storytelling, visual designs, and, most of all, an interactive way to get people to connect with their social cause and convert into volunteers to protect nature. The smooth transitions, navigation mechanics, and stunning mountains in 3D capture users’ attention precisely.
Best Website Design of 2016: Zillow
Zillow is one of the leading real estate and rental marketplace, providing users with data, inspiration, knowledge, and all the professional help they could get to find the perfect home of their dream. The website was rated high in 2016 for its aesthetically appealing, feature-rich, functional development.
The minimalistic approach, flat color, and illustrations of home pushed usability, accessibility, and seamless navigation on the website and catered the right information with full details to the right audience. The site serves as a real example of properly executing maps with grid structure while still maintaining excellent visual designs.
Best Website Designs of 2016: Paper Planes
With an invitation to use your mobile device in the right corner, a world spinning front and centre, and paper airplanes flying throughout, this website by Active Theory in the U.S. accomplishes a lot by investing in a simple concept – the power of the web and an Android device creates instant connections and is as easy as tossing a paper plane. As the planes seem to come closer and then further around the world, users organically feel like they are part of the story – a clever trick for any website.
Best Website Design of 2017: NOWNESS
One of the coolest crowdsourced video blogs, Nowness, is an award-winning website that creates the finest interactive and unforgettable user experiences. Most of the website’s content comes from independent creatives, which is, by far, one of the most popular ways for publishing more related content.
When combined with big thumbnails and subtle typography, the video format creates a matchless website with a gallery of captivating content that breathes innovation, stories that every brand wants to tell, and creative approaches. Thus, just like the name, Nowness is all about a movement for innovative excellence and telling compelling stories in the very moment while celebrating the extraordinary of every day.
Denmark chocolate maker Simply Chocolate created this website with specific pages for every chocolate bar. One of the most delightful visual aspects of this site is the way all the products display consistency in branding as you scroll from one to the next. Every chocolate bar seems to pop off the screen, tempting you to reach out and grab it.
Simply Chocolate manages to create an engaging and immersive experience with a relatively minimalist design concept that encourages the user to explore and continue engaging with the site.
With its exciting concept and stunning execution, the website challenges our understanding of what is possible with AI on the web. As the visitor scrolls down, the site immerses the users into a very personal and engaging experience with Crypton’s greeting appearing on the home page, “Hello, I am Crypton,” one letter at a time.
Best Website Design of 2018: Active-theory
Active Theory takes a bold approach with animation to display their portfolio, leveraging a dynamic website, water-effect animation, typography, and high-quality images. Their site serves as a real excellent example of portraying their portfolio differently with brilliant navigation mechanics and visuals mixed with animation.
Even if you are not AR and VR fan, the website’s innovative use of graphics and animation can explain a complicated visual experience that is hard to ignore. Their meticulously crafted and experienced team of in-house designers and developers have award-winning performance and attention to details and are excellent to work with.
Best Website Designs of 2018: Koox
Koox is the first Take Away, based in Central London, in partnership with top chefs of the city. Their website is one of the best designs of 2018 in the field of development and digital experiences. The unique watercolor-theme, continuous scroll, and animation of vegetable illustrations, and smooth transition between different sections of the page, make the website outstanding.
The designers have worked hard on beautiful illustrations that animate perfectly that enhance the design interface of the website, making it clean, aesthetically, and visually appealing. The captivating website will surely make the visitor order food they have to offer from the top chefs of London.
The 2018 Site of the Year Awwwards winner from the Netherlands uses a combination of exhibit photography and digital design elements. This carefully crafted mixture guides visitors to the site through the experience they’ll have during a visit to the museum in person. This is a great combination of information and immersion that also effectively promotes the museum’s Instagram account seamlessly through the homepage.
Best Website Designs of 2019: Nomadic Tribe
Another best website design of 2019, Nomadic Tribe, is one of the most prominent examples of illustration, interaction, animated storytelling experience with four chapters and a brilliant soundtrack. The meticulously crafted website is an immersive experience for the users to remember. The website is a poetic journey that uses 3D graphics and visual codes to tell a compelling story and rules the comic book world.
Maintaining the usability, Nomadic Tribe created an out-of-the-box navigation experience and did an exceptional job with beautiful animated transitions that made it the site of the year. Don’t miss to keep the sound on while going through the website.
Best Website Designs of 2019: Bruno-simon
Bringing you the most creative and interactive website online right now – Bruno Simon! The quirky animation and 3D virtual art on Bruno Simon’s homepage draw the user’s attention immediately on arrival. The site won the Best Website Designs of 2019 award for its awesome playful 3D WebGL art effects.
The website is a portfolio of Bruno Simon – a freelance creative developer in Paris. It revolves around a simple car game with a bird’s eye view and is a combination of physics concepts, 3D visual art, standard technologies, and profound attention to details. The website is an excellent example of how a portfolio site can go above and beyond with interactivity and walk around with exciting gaming experience.
Best Website Designs of 2019: Matruecannabis
The MA True Cannabis website is one of the best examples for companies in the Retail industry looking to revamp their website. Born from the desire to create a true emotional journey – the site offers unique designs mirroring the unique characteristics of their products and guide users through the Four Worlds.
The orange-themed website has a youthful experience that produces a warm and friendly effect for the visitors. A perfect combination of creativity and 3D visuals, animated floating elements, overall, the website offers a strong user engagement, and eCommerce functionalities merge into a seamless experience.
Best Graphical Website Design: king
King is not your ordinary graphical website. They are the leading interactive entertainment company with more than 200 games in their kitty, including the top-rated ‘Candy Crush’ game. Won the best graphical website design award – their website is not just about colours, or icons, or images, it is more about the mascots they have built, the story behind, and how users are connected deeply with each game.
The illustrations, motion graphics, audio/ video, variety of colours, when you scroll down the page, the website is an experience in itself all remaining consistent to the brand. The three-dimensional appearance of each character makes the scrolling fun and smart use of different ‘call-to-action’ buttons make the site visit worthwhile.
Top Animated Website Designs: Alanmenken
Legendary composer – Alan Menken has created some of the most beloved Disney songs capturing the imagination of audiences for over 35 years. His website reflects his musical and poetic love and is one of the most incredible portfolio websites of this time.
A compilation of all his famous work along with an exciting biography of the legend, the website weaves a compelling story along with interactive user navigation. The compositions of his famous songs come alive through a clean, minimalist interface and use of large grids that encourage visitors to revisit their childhood memories and listen to the songs once again.
This French artist’s website is an engaging blend of still photography, video content, and bold use of black and white to guide users through an incredible array of works. Elias Akentour is a French art director with more than seven years of experience with hands-on work in branding, design, and advertising with special focus on new technologies and luxury markets. As soon as you click to the site, you’ll notice an unmistakably upscale vibe; the quick introduction blends seamlessly into the meat of the site and offers easy navigation through the rest of the site’s content, including a gallery, portfolio, and contact information for Elias.
The intriguing animations throughout the website encourage you to explore and learn more about Elias and his work.
Ozark, Missouri based Torgerson Design Partners is a full-service architecture firm with a stunning website. Every section of the site includes familiar features with micro-animations instead of the typical static icons you’re used to seeing on other sites. The clean and minimalist design guides users downward through information about the company, their design philosophy, a gallery of past projects with quick views of their details as you hover over each one.
This website is working to increase awareness of stem cell donation and hoping to diversify the global bank. Every piece of the site draws the eye in – from the unique colour combination of umber and teal to the movement to the right of the eye. The moving balls located in just that area force the user to see the site in fullness, boosting visual interest seamlessly.
When you have a figure as powerful and recognizable as Greta Thunberg, your best option is to use that image in your website campaign. That’s exactly what Superhero Cheesecake has done with “The Year of Greta” from the Netherlands. A passion project with an illustrated timeline of Thunberg’s rise from kid campaigner to global icon.
Best Mobile Excellence Web Design 2020: Skyline Films
Regardless of your industry, if your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re a few years behind. This is especially true for the film industry, where technology and imagination are expectations of any digital campaign. The UK’s Skyline Films has worked their magic in marketing for the film series, Sherlock Holmes. When working with period pieces, it can be difficult to balance the beauty of the era with the magic of technology, but this mobile site goes beyond what most users expect. Victorian images in sepia tones seem to contract with the speed and intuitiveness of the sit, but that contradiction is what makes it work.
Best Website Designs of the Day 2020: RESN – i-Spy
A digital take on the I-Spy books beloved by children the world over, this New Zealand campaign for the children’s destination, Hei-Hei, is both imaginative and informative. It captures both the spirit of the place while being a fun, game-like entrance into the world of the park. Sites that can make the digital world come alive for children are rare, and this one does it in such a way that adults will want to be involved, too.
Best SEO-Friendly Website Design: SPINX Digital
This Los Angeles-based website design and digital marketing company have won one of the Best SEO-friendly Website Design award for its well-strategized content placement, keyword use, and templates. SPINX Digital did an exceptional job of making a visually appealing and progressive website highlighting their services in a simple and easy-to-digest way.
Their team has worked a lot on designing a great SEO web architecture based on keywords research and have strived to make their website responsive. Simple, flat, colour-based backgrounds accompanied by light-loading times, strong typography, informative content, and pixel-rich graphics helped them to keep the focus on exactly what the user came there to see: Services.
There you have it – A list of some of the most creative websites on the internet today. You can leverage to create a visually appealing, relevant, and innovative website for your company and stand out in the industry.
Balance Web Design With Powerful Messaging
These sites represent some of the most forward-thinking yet functional and intuitive web design options gaining popularity in 2021. It’s always a good idea to try and glean inspiration from as many sources as possible when you’re looking for ways to revolutionize your own website. These sites are just a few to continue watching in 2021 and are perfect examples of blending clever business and tasteful aesthetic design. If you’re trying to strike out in a new direction with a bold new website design concept, take a moment to look through our best website designs list along with Awwwards’ past winners and current nominees for inspiration.