Successful website layouts depend on many variables including consistent navigation, proper balance, use of space, and clear delivery of content. Below are examples of successful layouts in a variety of industries.
The U.S. site for the Mini Cooper cars is a great example of well-executed flash work, mainly because the flash doesn’t get in the way of the goal of the site. With the main area of the home page dedicated to one feature, the user isn’t overwhelmed with content. Well-named consistent navigation, drop-down menus and quick links to the mini models make the site easy to navigate. Beautifully designed sub-sections and pages add to the experience.
The blog for this graphic designer and illustrator, focused on XHTML, CSS, and design tips, is an attractive example of web 2.0 design. Despite a great deal of content on the home page, excellent use of color, space and type makes the site easy on the eyes. One column focuses on a recent blog post and a category structure, another on the blog archives, and a third on photography and art. Outside resources are clearly set apart at the bottom.
Lightroom Architecture and New Media
The layout for this architecture and design firm does a good job of breaking out of the column and box design of many websites. The home page, reserved for an overhead view of their studio and a mission statement, leaves you with no choice except to discover, and use, their navigation. The interior pages continue the freeform style with large, bold images and oversized type.
The Knoll furniture website presents a great deal of content and products while maintaining a clean look that represents their style. A grid system is used throughout the site that makes scanning the content easy, and consistent navigation is always located on the top and right.
Veer, a stock photo (and illustration, type and motion) website, achieves the goal of a clear, clean and easy-to-use stock site, which is no easy task. Although they are delivering thousands of photos and other files, the design keeps things in order, starting with the product navigation to narrow your search. The search result pages and individual item pages avoid clutter by only presenting the most vital content.
Jeremy Cowart Photography
While many photography sites leave you waiting for flash to load to see one image at a time, Jeremy Cowart’s site takes a different approach by presenting large portions of galleries on one page. The black and white design keeps the focus on his work, which is nicely broken up on slick category pages that offer oversized thumbnails.