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Creative block is the bane of the designer’s process, followed directly by lowballing clients and quarterly taxes for freelancers. While I do not recommend avoiding the IRS, I do believe that the best cure when the ideas stop flowing is to take a glance at what the best of the best are doing. Not sure where to look? An easy place to start your search is the design-ranking site Awwwards.
Sites that are submitted for review on Awwwards are graded according to their design, usability, creativity, and context by jury users (aka, veteran designers hailing from firms like Apple and Ikea). Each site is scored based on design, usability, creativity, and content, so as you flip between pages, you can spend more time on the projects with the highly ranked features that interest you. Awwwards also has a directory of digital agencies and professionals to peruse through, and free articles and resources for die-hard design lovers.
I’ve searched through the best, most innovative new sites Awwwards has to offer in order to give your creative juices a little kick. If you’re still thirsty for more, head over to their Site of the Day showcase for more mind-bending work!
Neamedia by Wokine
Created by French design agency Wokine, the Neamedia site is the perfect example of how to showcase static products in a dynamic way. Using scroll-triggered layouts to bring into frame different photos of each featured item, Wokine has found a way to make both a beautiful website and an effective selling platform for their client.
Gucci SS 18 by Gucci & Low
A digital lookbook for Gucci’s Summer/Spring collection, this site uses illustrated scroll-triggered animation to take you through scene after scene of the latest styles from the mega fashion house. Combining so many visual elements in a cohesive way that still makes navigation easy is a difficult feat, and Gucci nailed it.
Tao Tajima by homunculus inc.
Although simple in premise and layout—it’s a portfolio for artist Tao Tajima—this site is still a great example of sterling UX design. Everything you need to know in order to hire Tajima (or simply appreciate his work) is right in front of you. Don’t click out of that box before trying the “water scroll” effect by tabbing through Tajima’s different projects.
Playdough’s Gallery of Emerging Species by Merci Michel
Kid-friendly and funny to boot, this charming site lets you virtually walk through a digital menagerie of animated imaginary animals like the Wigmoth (a kind of Woolly Mammoth with Tracy Turnblad hair) or the Ice Cream Bear (exactly what it sounds like). Clicking on each creature leads you to written and audio descriptions, as well as a cute close-up.
50 Years of Charts by Hinderling Volkart
A spacey mapping project that combines music with a seemingly obsessive love of audio genealogy, this light pink design will remind you how much you love the oldies. Scroll through the years of hits and see how every song is connected to its groovy predecessor, or spend some time exploring the constellation of commonalities in one star belt. Either way, you’ll leave this site feeling motivated and bopping to a beat.
Genesis Noir Teaser by Feral Cat Den
A little bit creepy and a lot creative, Genesis Noir is the teaser site for a forthcoming interactive online game by art collective Feral Cat Den. Enjoy the mind-bending click-through animation as these designers show off their storytelling skills.
Dieter Rams: 10 Principles for Good Design by Shuffle Magazine
A two-in-one stop for design inspiration, this site by Shuffle Magazine made to commemorate the design tenets of German visionary Dieter Rams is both beautifully crafted and full of info on the design process. The site was created using ReadyMag, an all-in-one platform for making custom web publications, and is a great example of how good design shines through in any type of framework!
Maria Callas Website by Uprising
Dedicated to celebrating the life and achievements of the famous opera star Maria Callas, this site by Italian design firm Uprising, uses illustrations, 3-D models, music, and photographs to make the story of her life truly jump off the screen. Volume up!