What are the most creative websites

The 11 best websites - web design highlights that will impress in 2021

You have probably read and heard many times that web design is a crucial success factor for your website. It is not uncommon for them to decide whether a visitor becomes a customer or a fan of the brand.

If you want to lead your marketing into the future, you might be thinking about your own website right now. Perhaps you are planning to redesign your company website right now.

Then this article is for you. Take a moment to look at some of the best website designs. In this hand-picked list, I'll show you websites that are causing a sensation worldwide and currently in the scene.

I originally wrote the article in 2020. However, I update this list regularly when new cool websites set trends.

The list currently includes sites that will thrill the web through March 2021.

Finding great websites and award-winning web designs can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are various websites such as CSS Awards, Awwwards, Webby Awards, etc. This is where the website diamonds are listed and rated based on various criteria.

In order to introduce you to the award-winning websites, I delved into some of the pages that are particularly beautiful examples of modern web design and that enjoy a lot of attention in the expert scene.

I hope the examples show you the exciting possibilities that technology in connection with design and communication creates.

The best minimalist website: Koox

Use the power of minimalist web design for your new website.

The creative web design for the top London chefs cleverly uses the motto “less is more” to convey the clear message. In the graphic representation, the web designers rely on the basic elements, a minimalist color palette and reduced textures and shapes. The entire design focuses the user's attention on the core message.

Even if the website's gentle animations are perhaps a bit too playful for minimalism purists, visitors feel at home from the very first minute. Therefore, the website was rightly awarded the Website of the Year 2018 award. And rightly so. The free-floating minimalist elements used are widely discussed as a trend for 2021. Koox actually cleverly uses elements from flat design together with very simple textures that create a playful impression of spatial depth. Chapeau.

The best flat design website: Frans Hals Museum

With primary colors, simplicity and functionality to success

This website from the Netherlands uses a very modern and flat layout. In this way, the very high quality photographs of the exhibits are presented in a modern and focused way.

The style of flat design is also expressed in web typography. The somewhat unusual Raisonne font was used. This transforms the texts into wonderfully appealing and graphically effective elements. But don't worry, there are also free web fonts that do wonders in this area. The design also appeals to younger target groups. A very important aspect for museums nowadays.

This intention is also reflected in the functionality. So the website comes with a complete browser game (gamification), which presents the art in an interactive online experience and very imaginatively. If you interpret flat design on your new website in the same way as the website of the Frans Hals Museum, one thing is certain: Your new website has virtually no expiration date.

The most beautiful experimental website

Modern storytelling in the browser: This time the journey takes us to France. Why are experimental websites interesting? Because the groundbreaking trends always arrive last on the business pages on the German web.

So if you want to stand out from the crowd with something special, you can orientate yourself perfectly on experimental websites. The Nomadic Tribe website shows in an outstanding way that storytelling in the browser is the animation of the future. The potential lies in interactivity. What better way to get your message across than in an interactive film.

So if you have the time, let yourself be inspired by the wonderfully illustrated interactive world of the Nomadic Tribe and enjoy the virtual journey across different islands and into illustrated worlds. Nomadic Tribe is great storytelling. What is presented with ease is a fantastic interplay of sophisticated design, great programming skills and the very best of marketing.

The best multimedia website: Alen Menken

The famous composer Alen Menken puts his life's work and over 35 years of creativity on the Internet with an outstanding web design. And even if music is a matter of taste. The website not only scores with the high-quality videos and audio tracks. This modern portfolio page brings animations, micro-interactions and typography to the point.

Through skilful micro-interaction, Alen Manken's life's work is presented on the web in the highest quality. For example, visitors can turn off the sound at the bottom left. In addition to the portfolio on the home page, the sub-pages such as the biography page also impress with their minimalist style with high-quality and individual illustrations and authentic photographs.

Last but not least, the typography of the website is also a hit. This is linked by the clever use of the serif font ITC Clearface. This was developed in 1907 by the American type designer Morris Fuller Benton. The font gives the website a wonderfully nostalgic note in the spirit of the 20th century. The font concept fits into the website in a witty and emotional way. The typography underlines the life's work of Alen Menken, born in 1949, and thus becomes a visual extension of his musical work.

Overall, the timelessly beautiful website deserves the Awwward for the best website in May 2020 without a doubt.

The best website for interactive 3D storytelling

Use all 3 dimensions for your new website.

The Experience Project of the France-based Orano Group presents its engineering services in a very modern way. It's a really complex and very serious subject. The company has set itself the task of detecting gamma radiation in regions that are difficult to access.

Presumably one could fill a 400-page Wikipedia-like article with this, in which 95% of the users fall asleep after the 3rd sentence. Fortunately, Orano's website takes a completely different route. It uses WebGL and the full power of three-dimensionality in modern browsers. In contrast to videos, the huge advantage lies in the interactivity of the presentations.

With a dystopian mood appropriate to the topic and great attention to detail, the Orano website creates a unique atmosphere. This is appropriate to the seriousness of the topic. The holographic 3D models are presented in a 3D slider with very exciting music. The slide transitions run in the third dimension. Not only for the slider, but also for the page transitions between the individual pages of the website.

The whole website conveys the emotionality of an animated film and impresses with its incredible creativity in design. As a web designer and developer, you don't want to leave the website because it provides so many great details.

A small disadvantage is that websites that are so elaborately designed and programmed can only be enjoyed to their full extent with more powerful devices. This is another reason why you don't find these pages too often on the web.

Nevertheless, I recommend you take a look at the future of web design. Because the end devices are getting better and better at ever shorter intervals!

The most beautiful UI design

The portfolio page of the Powerhouse Company from the Netherlands provides a uniquely beautiful UI.

The award-winning architecture firm from Rotterdam flirts in its UI with spatial depth through and with interaction. Even if the operation of the website differs from a normal website, it is very easy to understand.

The outstanding architectural photographs, which are provided with sufficient white space and presented in an interactive gallery in the so-called Masonry layout, are particularly pleasant.

The website uses the full width of the screen and combines WordPress, React, GSAP and Three.js under the hood to create a unique user experience. When you click on a project, there is no page jump, but a gentle animation. This is web development at the highest level, combined with an excellent feel for design and animation speeds.

All in all, you forget that you are navigating in a browser and not in a high-quality native app from Google or Apple. The design is timeless and does not follow short-lived trends. The web development is up to date. The website of Powerhouse Company was chosen as website of the month for April 2020 because of its outstanding UI design.

The most beautiful portfolio website

Portfolio pages have always been a particularly good source of inspiration. Often designers, developers and artists show what they can do on their own pages.

In order to convince customers and agencies, they use the latest technologies and design trends. The Japanese web design newcomer Ryota Sato provides us with a particularly current and beautiful example with his portfolio page.

You should pay particular attention to the grain effect of the homepage's start sequence. Grain effects are hard to come by in 2021.

Overall, Ryota's website benefits from many of the traditional aspects that make up the more independent Japanese web designer scene in a positive way.

The website impresses with its wonderfully minimalist design, the use of WebGL shaders and buttery-smooth animations. Despite modern technologies, the approach is timeless and elegant. The typography is another subtle highlight, especially with the Ogg serif font in the headings.

The most beautiful web design in software and technology

In fact, Apple set the tone in this area for decades. But with the new website for the cloud infrastructure, Google is setting a clear example in the area of ​​web design and technology.

The experience-oriented website for Google's cloud services is more competitive than the search engines.

Accordingly, Google uses interactive case studies to present its extremely complex services. Complex processes are explained in a tangible way and the size, performance and complexity of the global infrastructure are demonstrated.

In addition to the elaborate animations in the room, the colors of the material design known from the Google universe are used in a minimalist manner and accentuate friendly highlights.

The users can make various settings in this web app and, for example, adapt the quality of the animations to your device or network. The three-dimensional world map (globe) can be rotated via mouse and touch and expanded with information.

In this way, the presentation of the technology giant takes on a playful dimension that not only invites technology experts, but also every geography friend to linger.

The website already won an award in October 2018. It has since been expanded and improved. Definitely worth visiting this website for anyone who wants to see what the modern internet has to offer. For the creation of its own website, Google commissioned the renowned internet agency hellomonday from New York, whose minimalist, effective and ultra-modern website is definitely worth a visit.

The most beautiful web design for photography websites

Use the power of expressive photographs in your new web design.

The requirements for photography are higher than ever before, and not only on the websites of photographers. But photographers in particular have to show their best work with their online portfolio. In connection with the power of professional web design, the wonderful side of the New York photographer Madeleine Dalla was created.

The effective and experimental photographs are made tangible through an outstanding and modern design of the user interaction UI. The high proportion of white spaces on the home page also makes the hearts of minimalists beat faster. The interaction design is based on the modern and free technologies of Evan You (Vue.js), who is supported in the development of Internet giants such as Netlify and Netguru. The result is very impressive.

When hovering, the homepage of the Nicaraguan-born Swede who lives in New York reacts immediately. With great fluid effects and high-quality full images as a background. This is modern web design in a class of its own, combined with unique photographs.

This combination is certainly not only interesting for photographers, but for everyone who wants and needs to present their products and services in a lively and high-quality form. The website does not fail to have an impact. Madeleine Dalla's impressive list of customers includes Apple and Sony Music.

The most beautiful website in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)

Of course, there are also websites in the DACH region that attract attention in international specialist circles and win prizes. This undoubtedly includes the wonderful website of the Hotel Le Mirabeu in Zermatt.

The inviting website of the hotel conveys the special magic of the place through emotional photographs. (Unfortunately I haven't been there yet). The subtle effects are created with modern technologies and shaders.

What is unfortunately often too seldom the case with such beautiful and complex websites is outstanding functionality on mobile devices. And this is exactly where this page is particularly impressive.

Around 50% of Internet users in Germany visit websites on average with a mobile device (smartphone or tablet). The website was rightly honored for its optimization for mobile devices. Because the Swiss web design agency 8 Ways has really pulled out all the stops here.

In this way, Le Mirabeu is guaranteed to address 100% of the website visitors in a very beautiful way, convey the special atmosphere of the hotel and also invite users of smartphones and iPhones to visit.

The best video and film website

Because no top 10 list is 100 percent objective, I can't help but recommend the incredible Tao Tajima website to you. Even though this website received an award back in 2017, it is still a legend among web designers and developers today.

In a unique way, the Japanese filmmaker, together with the Japanese web design studio Homunculus, has succeeded in merging film and website design into one unit.

One of the most famous portfolio pages in the world was created in this creative collaboration. At least that applies to professional circles who are still discussing this website today in countless blog posts, videos and technology tutorials and trying to imitate it in one way or another.

The Tao Tajima website has had a major impact on everything that has rank and name in web design and web development in the last few years, just as it does today. She pioneered many of the great web design effects that you can find in one form or another in the pages above. Therefore, on behalf of the whole web development scene, special thanks again to the Homunculus development team from Tokyo.

Conclusion - The 11 best websites as of 2021

The internet is full of great websites. Of course, every choice is already an evaluation. Therefore, this article cannot be 100% objective, nor can it list all the websites that are out there. Google has already done that.

To get the most of the leaderboard above, don't think of the pages as a static template or stencil. There would be no point in copying these pages one-to-one.

Instead, it is important to analyze these masterpieces and understand the possibilities that are revealed. And if these fit your strategy and your marketing, you should adapt them to your brand with your web designer in order to use them optimally and result-oriented. If you are looking for professional help for your project, here's how to find a good web designer and avoid making mistakes. Or just give us a call.

eXactly Webdesign is a small but fine web design agency from Hamburg. If you feel that it is time to take your website to the next level and you need a convincing website, please do not hesitate to contact us and tell us about your goals and wishes.