I have been looking more thoughtfully at websites for about two years now. My focus has been with Squarespace designs, which are a very particular niche of the market. The most recent site that I built, for Lickety Split at Mass MoCA in North Adams, MA, is pretty typical of what a Squarespace site looks like. Here is another example, not one of mine, but pointing to the artistic appeal of Squarespace architecture.
Features? Bold photographic images. Crisp fonts. Minimalist content. These sites don’t beg questions, don’t push, don’t throw masses of copy at you. Their appeal is visual and emotional.
Using the cataloguing work of crayon.co I have been looking over the “trending’ new websites of the month. Here is an example of a site that I think is good—and you’ll notice right away that I lean toward the sites that resemble Squarespace sites.
SmartShoot Good photography…nice scrolling homepage…limited copy…you can dig deeper if you wish in the menu.
I also should note the style of business sites dominating that part of the website world. They almost all feature a “Call to Action” on the front page and will have pop-up windows inviting you to Chat or Mail or Whatever then and there. This one is a Wordpress site.
OrCam Ditto the above comments, with a video banner and a not too intrusive pop-out call to action window.
Many of these sites are completely custom html sites. They are expensive and need a “code” expert at the wheel constantly. I should note here that Wordpress sites also need constant monitoring, but do not need someone who knows computer code. Squarespace (and Wix and a few others) are CMS (content management systems) providers that do all the monitoring internally, freeing the user to focus on the content of the site rather than the endless updates and hacks.
Shopify Clean…interactive front page…good images…minimal text…and not too many of those icons I find uninteresting.
There you have it, the state of things in the website design world as I see them from a mostly visual point of view.