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Modern Website Design & 10 Brands That Excel At It

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Updated March 2, 2019
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Slack - Modern Website Design

Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

What’s makes a modern website design? Taking advantage of new visual elements, that we wouldn’t have been able to use 10 years ago. In 2009 – website design was simple, sad, and full of bevels, shadows, and spliced images. Modern javascript, CSS functions, and interactive possibilities make websites today incredibly engaging.

So I thought I’d curate these 10 brands websites – that excel at modern website design.

Here are some of my favorites – enjoy!

1. Slack – Modern website design through a different kind of carousel, and overlaying rectangles.

Slack - Modern Website Design

2. Stripe – Geometric gradients and clean device mockups

Stripe web design

 

3. GenieBelt – Image cutouts in organic shapes

Geniebelt - Modern Web Design

 

4. Kraus Anderson – Giant rotating typography to create visual interest

Modern Website Design

 

5. Uber.com – Modern brutalist web design

Uber - Modern Website Design

 

6. Quickbooks.com – Gradients, video cutouts out of shapes in the design.

Quickbooks - modern website design

7. Everlane – Clean, half and half photography and centered modern fonts.

Everlane - Modern Website Design

 

8. Mailchimp – Unique, branded illustration style

Mailchimp Modern Website Design - Gif

9. LendLease – Bright gradients + simple iconographic navigation for key elements

Lendlease- modern website design

10. Luxe.com – Modern White Space + Simple Video Demonstration

Video + White Space - Modern Website Design

 

 

3 Things That Make a Website “Modern”

If you’re wondering to yourself whether your website is modern, or whether the websites you make are modern – one place to start might be comparing to them to the designs above, but I don’t think it’s as simple as using the fanciest new technology, video backgrounds, gradients, or organic shape cutouts.

I think it’s about finding a way to tell a companies story in a way that’s emotionally persuasive – and I’ll tell you why.

Back in the day (circa 2009) web designers couldn’t do half of the stuff they wanted to, and thus it almost gave more attention to the design elements that they could implement.

Now that almost anything is possible – the design itself isn’t enough.

It’s much more about the headlines, and the way the imagery and interactive elements achieve a RESULT – in the ideal customer of that company. That being said – here are a few cheats to know whether your website is modern. 

  • One principle of modern website design – is creating open spaces. “White space” is a principle that has now become indicative of a high-end brand, and almost every client that comes to us – if asked about their desired design, almost always admits they want more of this clean, ‘apple-esque’ feel.
  • Full-width design. Boxed designs, with white or some kind of pattern or color in the background, and with a ‘container’ with 70% width centered in the middle – are looking more and more old-school every day.
  • Lastly – and this isn’t even design related on the surface level. Having a content management system, a search engine optimized site, and a broader marketing plan to promote your website is part of having a modern website + marketing system.

The old-school and out of date concept here is that some people think just ‘having a website is enough,’ and this is basically ludicrous.

If you build it – they will NOT COME.

If you go into website design with this philosophy – you’re site is going to get very little traffic, and all that hard work into the design will be wasted, and that’s sad.

If you’re interested in getting more traffic – check out our ‘Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization – Do these 3 things if nothing else‘!

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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

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