Businesses innovate rapidly in the online field nowadays, and the Web becomes ever new with each passing day. Websites that don’t keep up and stay creative become shunned for more impressive digital experiences, leading eventually to the equivalent of a ghost town.
This article created by our team at Amelia won’t focus on the websites that are technically correct, have the perfect design that respects all principles, and use classic typefaces. Instead, it will focus on those websites that are built creatively, stepping aside from the basic layouts and designs that people have already gotten used to.
All the examples of creative websites you’ll see below have pushed the boundaries of web design in one way or another and ensured their continued success in the race for attention.
How to Come Up with Creative Websites
If a brilliant idea pops in your head, stick to it, even if it’s not a conventional one. You don’t always have to play it by the book when you make an eCommerce site because, in the case of the Web, the “textbook” keeps changing along with new trends and technologies.
Instead, you should trust your innovative ideas and, hey, maybe even reinvent the wheel a little bit. Exploring your creativity and having fun with your own take on design is a great way to come up with an interesting website that people will remember and share.
A good idea is also to make a timeline of what you are expecting to accomplish with the website. In this way, you won’t miss anything from the creative process.
Before we show you the list of creative websites we’ve gathered, here are a few tips on what to keep in mind when planning your website for maximum novelty.
Step away from pre-designed layouts
Pre-designed layouts are always tempting because they look neat and very professional. The truth is that everyone uses them to get away with designing a website faster. It’s the shortest way out and the most convenient approach, but that doesn’t make it the best.
In order to be unique, you’ll have to come up with a brand new idea and develop it yourself. A flexible grid system with rows and columns can help you, but there’s no fixed rule on how layouts should look, so give yourself some freedom when creating it.
If what you happen to come up with fits your website’s vibe and content and you get good feedback on it, that’s mission accomplished.
Try to think outside the box
Creative websites never fully follow the design rules and principles you’ve been learning about up until now. These principles lead to visually pleasing results and you generally can’t fail with them, but this is not what you are looking for when trying to individualize your website from the rest.
Instead, dare to try new things and forge something entirely unique. Keep in mind that your avant-garde design might end up rubbing some users the wrong way, but this is the risk that comes with innovation and exploring virgin grounds.
Organize your website in a different manner
If you can’t seem to step away from those design principles you learned and cherish, try using them in a different way. One way would be experimenting with organization.
People have already formed expectations in terms of how a website is organized, which means they are easily impressed when something is far from what they expected.
For example, almost all websites place the navigation menu at the top of the page; have you ever considered placing it at the bottom? It might look really weird and it might not work very well depending on how the rest of your content is organized, but it’s an idea!
Website layouts for all industries come in a wide range of variations and that should give you some space to shake down the norms. Just make sure that you’re not doing something simply for the sake of being contrary: there should be a good reason for how everything is organized.
Get creative with menu icons
Creative websites impress through other elements besides layout design. Menu icons are placed in this category. Working on your website’s icon set can entirely change the user experience so don’t overlook this aspect.
Customized icons that differ from one menu link to another will always be a nice touch that makes the navigation process more pleasurable for visitors.
Creative Websites That Will Inspire You to Try New Things
Gusto is targeted at small businesses that need help with managing their teams. Besides services like payroll, Gusto helps companies with health insurance, expert HR services, team management tools, and more.
Gusto has managed to help no less than 100,000 companies up until now and they are planning to expand even more.
So what’s the secret behind their website’s success? Besides the playful illustrations scattered throughout the site (in stark contrast with the business-talk jargon), this is one of those creative websites that break industry norms with a headline typeface that is both professional and fun.
Gyor Moore is a design company that helps businesses build their identity in the online environment. The studio focuses on positive change, which also reflects in the way they built their creative website.
They express values such as diversity and equality, while also pointing out the relationship between a company’s past experiences and the design that is going to represent it.
Who would have thought that a software architecting company would be listed among the most creative websites out there?
What’s so interesting about a software program? Well, Oak’s Lab managed to make it interesting through the approach they’ve taken to present themselves. The team behind Oak’s Lab did its best to express their openness to outlandish ideas with the help of their website.
Check out the Culture section on the homepage in particular — those photos are all different sizes and placed on no grid whatsoever. While some would cry, “fire the designer!” we think it’s just great.
The team from MétaMusique had to find a creative way to present the metadata that users are familiar with. Music content normally comes in a very standardized form, and there’s not much you can do to innovate how you bring it in front of the public.
Even so, MétaMusique figured out a website layout that doesn’t make visitors feel like they’ve seen it all before. Their interesting practices for indexing content are creatively reflected in the design of the website, earning the site an easy spot in this list of creative websites.
Some people say that there are certain industries that simply don’t need an online presence. Here’s something groundbreaking: Carbon8 is a business that supports farmers to shift to regenerative agriculture.
The website promotes techniques such as multi-species cropping, holistic grazing, and water-cycle restoration. If you manage a website that’s related to agriculture and you don’t know how to come up with a creative website layout for it, Carbon8 is the place to get your inspiration from.
Design companies need to try exceptionally hard to differentiate themselves from the rest, considering how tough the competition is and how many design styles exist out there.
Relate has managed to do so with one of the most creative websites we’ve seen to date, with the most in-your-face headlines and subheadings that get the message across in a matter of seconds.
Relate tries to remove the handoff gap that exists between designers and developers, which forces them to work separately and makes communication difficult to handle.
The initiative is creative in itself, so there’s no wonder why the website adopts this innovative approach as well.
Finally, a creative website that isn’t owned by a business. Caleb Barclay is a product designer that offers consultancy services for those in need. He is mostly focused on interaction design and product design.
His work involves helping teams find the best fit in terms of design for their products. Caleb tries to find a balance between developers and designers, by making them focus on both UX and building systems.
After each scroll down, you encounter some form of animation which makes the user experience engaging and lively. Note how the animations are not over-done — they are subtle yet highly effective.
Creative websites are not all about visuals. Olmo lets visitors find out more about professional growth through human connections. This is a network that has one purpose only —connecting people to other people who are the right fit for them.
Such an approach to building connections is uncommon, yet extremely effective. People can join Olmo whenever they want and the platform introduces them to other individuals who have the expertise to help them.
Veley/ Ross —Wedding
There is only one wedding site on our creative websites list, but it deserves its place. The couple decided to invite their wedding guests through a nicely-designed website instead of by traditional mail, offering all the needed information online.
Wedding websites have become quite popular lately and there are many ways to get creative with them. This one takes the cake for its reckless disregard for common design practices, including vertical menu links and off-grid overlapping images.
Feed is a creative concept that was turned into a very innovative website. This is a creative blend of animation and video. Surprisingly, the site is also extremely responsive, considering how many multimedia elements it contains.
Feed is easily placed among the creative websites that are nothing like anything you’ve seen. The navigation also acts as a progress bar.
Klim Type Foundry
What would one expect from a typeface design studio? Not much, indeed. Klim Type Foundry broke all expectations and came up with an ingenious way to showcase fonts.
The website is very entertaining to navigate and it is designed in a minimal style to direct focus on how the typeface looks and what services they offer.
Britomart is a waterfront of heritage buildings and open public spaces. The area hosts some important headquarters, including Westpac and EY. Britomart encourages co-working spaces, which represent a trend that’s rapidly growing at the moment.
The layout of this site is packed with well-coordinated images and makes for an amazing experience to scroll through.
Creative websites like Mikiya Kobayashi’s impress through their simplicity and minimalism. The website relies on photography and animations, focusing on visuals rather than written content.
The site was initially launched in a Japanese version and was later translated into English. In modern web design, the possibility to create scalable, multi-language websites is often overlooked, but not with this site.
Have you ever seen a website that only presents fragrances? If you’re not sure how to present only one type of product well, you should take a look at Carine Roitfeld’s site.
It features a creative website layout that includes an expressive description of each of her fragrances which are correlated with seven iconic cities.
Luke Willetts is a designer that focuses on brand and motion design. He collaborates with Code Computerlove and he gained his experience while working with BBC, Channel 4, and MAG. His website speaks for itself and gives visitors a good idea of how creative he can get.
Workplaces are usually boring and lack any sort of excitement or appeal. Lane has one purpose —to turn any workplace in one that encourages productivity, interaction, and, ultimately, creativity.
The team behind Lane wants to make use of technology to transform workplaces into convenient locations where everything is intuitive and easy to use, thus helping employees do more with less.
Panda is an app for helping designers gain recognition by putting together platforms like Dribbble, Behance, Designer News, and more. Having all these networks in one place gives designers a chance to network easier.
Panda is essentially a newsreader, but it is built so masterfully that it deserves to be listed among the best creative websites of all kinds.
Alfa Charlie is a creative agency, so it’s pretty obvious that they brainstorm for all sorts of clever ideas to showcase their products.
They are specialized in branding and web design, and their website effectively conveys their values which include loyalty and individualization.
Another website that makes the impossible possible, Welly presents a trailblazing idea —stackable first-aid tins that contain bandages and ointments for different purposes. The products are made from premium materials and they promote it in a revolutionary manner.
When you think creative websites, you can’t skip Ugmonk. The company was founded by Jeff Sheldon and its mission is to create high-quality product design. They have a very clear mindset around their creations and that’s an element that shines through on their website.
Revealbot is an automation tool for Facebook ads, another innovative idea that is worth promoting in a creative way. The tool lets marketers create more ads at scale, manage them automatically, obtain cross-platform reports, and more.
Shades of Paradise
Making creative websites in the field of photography is a challenge, but Shades of Paradise managed it without question. You can upload your photo and apply a filter to it, share it on the platform and you automatically enter a contest to win a trip for two.
It’s a creative website idea that hasn’t been seen before, and we love it.
This is a tool that makes meetings easier to manage and organize. By using it, you can manage the meetings’ date and time, each participant’s tasks, decisions and everything related to the meeting within the platform, without having to move back and forth from your agenda and your PC.
Moreover, each participant can collaborate on keeping the meetings organized. It is one of the most creative websites and tools on the market in terms of meeting management.
There’s not much to say about Tim Roussilhe’s website, besides the fact that it is gorgeous and incredibly unique. Tim is a creative developer and he built his website following his own principles.
Thus, the site is a mad delight that brings together impressing visuals and interesting interactions.
Haus is an alcohol brand that steps away from what we know as normal. The brand built an impressive image for itself and is now one of the easiest to recognize. It has less alcohol than your usual hard liquor and the team behind the brand definitely knows how to sell that.
Lauren obtained plenty of partnerships with people in the design industry, working closely with individual artists, corporations, and cultural institutions. Her focus falls on publication design and she fancies abstract combinations that have not been tried before, thus giving birth to work that is both creative and enduring.
Signes du quotidien
This website presents a graphic design studio in Strasbourg. You can tell what the studio’s principles are from the way the website looks like. They mostly focus on negative space and typography, as well as combining form and content.
This website brings together twelve different organizations that take part in “The Generation Relay”, an event that refers to the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Rising.
This website sends a positive message to the public at large, directed to the young generation, and promotes qualities such as freedom, patriotism, integrity, and tolerance.
This is one of the creative websites that will always remain in your memory. First of all, what they cover is a hot topic at the moment —innovative digital solutions — which is reflected in their website design.
Secondly, this website looks and feels great. It is dynamic, yet neat and minimal.
The WOW Factor in Creative Websites
There are a lot of creative websites that can inspire you to bring your idea into the world. Each of the websites listed above has that WOW effect that you’ve never seen anywhere else; the effect that makes you return after a while and enjoy the amazing experience again.
I also find this whenever I stumble upon a social media agency. For some reason, they are quite creative themselves.
This is the effect you should strive for when building your very own website. Creative websites are only there to inspire you and give you the courage to make your dreams reality. The rest is up to you.
If you enjoyed reading this article about creative websites, you should read these as well:
- Conference and Event Websites: Awesome Designs to Check Out
- Bad Websites: How To Avoid Designing Them
- UX Designer Portfolio Websites that Attract Clients
- How to design mobile app websites