I started looking critically at the design of websites in 1999 when I first started shifting from being a multimedia designer to a web designer. Over the years I have kept a tab of the websites that have made the strongest impression on me in terms of being innovative and well designed.
I debated whether to include Flash websites in this list as I understand they are just about unsupported these days however in the end I decided that my archive wouldn’t be complete without them. At the time of writing I found I could still smoothly run the Flash sites using Firefox.
Wrangler Blue Bell by Kokokaka
The Wrangler Blue Bell website by Kokokaka is at the top of my list as one of the best websites ever. It is a Flash website which can make it hard to view these days but this website was one of the most engaging and innovative websites I have ever come across. If you can’t run Flash there are some videos of it on youtube. I particularly love the way it draws you into the interactive space at the start and the audio track they have used is spot on in terms of establishing the mood. The interactive element of being able to move the model around is fun as well as functional.
Species In Pieces
A lovely interactive site. I particularly like the responsive design, subtlety, colours, and use of vector based graphics and animation.
I stumbled across this portfolio website for Bruno Simon website relatively recently. It is a great example of what is possible these days in terms of 3D web. This site includes a lot of really clever and fun details.
Laws of UX
I think Jon Yablonski is a web design master, and his Laws Of UX site is a perfect example of a brilliantly composed website / progressive web app. Laws of UX is also a fantastic resource for anyone into web / UI / UX design.
Created using Flash some years ago now, Nawlz is essentially an interactive online comic. Maybe I’m biased because I’m a big comic book and multimedia fan from way back, but I just think this website is an amazing work of interactive art / storytelling. If had to pick only one I would say that Nawlz is my favourite of all websites, ever.
Another ancient Flash gem. An immersive demonstration of early 3D using Flash.
Brilliant atmospheric three.js site. Especially cool if you have 3D glasses handy.
Immersive, interactive, and another great example of something a bit different.
Another golden oldie, but still a goodie, is the Flash based portfolio website of Jonathan Yuen, originally created sometime in the early 2000’s (I think). I take my hat off to anyone that is able to create an immersive, beautiful, interactive world, like this one. Oh for the glory days of Flash.
Lost World Fairs – Atlantis
Lost World Fairs was an early demonstration of web fonts from way back when they were new. It also includes a clever play with fixed versus relative positioning of elements. Created by the Trent Walton and Paravel.
Lusion is a relatively modern, immersive website built with Three.js. Lusion includes lots of great scrolling and interactive effects.