There’s a big difference between following best practices and following conventions. Best practices align your design work with business and branding goals while still allowing for distinctiveness and creativity. Following conventions, however, often yields ordinary results that fail to provide unique appeal — the designer’s main responsibility.
The following dramatically-unconventional web designs are quintessential examples that achieve greater organizational goals in unique, distinctive, and unusual ways. Their deliberate rejection of commonplace conventions fortifies their efforts to make their projects truly stand apart. Take a look at these ten wildly-unconventional web designs.
It isn’t often that you see a site that works in the way that Parallax.JS works. The brainchild of Matthew Wagerfield and Claudio Guglieri, the site is absolutely beautiful with such a variated color palette. All the objects move on the page (except for the background and with the integrated parallax.js), the page orientation will alter the layers and scenes whether you are on your mobile device or your desktop computer.
Red Fish Apparel
The large photographic image being used as the background for your website is by no means a new trend, but with Red Fish Apparel it works wonderfully by featuring such bold colors. The creative capture makes this website stand out, not to mention the abstract patterns and textures found in both the solid sections of the background.
Designers often worry about cramming too much into a limited amount of space, but sometimes more truly is better. Ishigami’s colorful site proves that by not only adding more elements, but more color as well. While the site may not fit everyone’s aesthetic preferences, it really does show you that pushing boundaries and bending rules can yield interesting and creative results.
If you want to make your website stand out, sometimes making your images stand out (both literally and figuratively) is a great idea. It isn’t often that you see a large dinosaur on a website, let alone one posed in such a fashion. Captivating imagery is paramount in your web design, and this particular example fosters ferocious appeal.
Illustrations are a common occurrence on artist’s websites, but they’re rarely this distinctive. Believe it or not, you don’t have to be an artist in order to make use of illustrations on your site as Madwell has shown us. The drawing has a magical quality that embodies Madwell’s mission of bringing small ideas to life. The drawing is a perfect size for the design and concept.
Personally, I have never seen a website that functions and moves like Axel Aubert’s. A completely beautiful site, Aubert offers a great of example of how you can reject typical portfolio conventions and build a full-blown website that features creative use of motion and coding.
If you want to use a large background, you don’t always have to go the route of using big, beautiful photography. Sometimes you can go the route of using big, beautiful artwork just like the Shri Hanuman Chalisa site has. The color palette is attractive and really pops out at you thanks to the flower-like shape. If you want a simple site with a lot of distinctive personality, this site offers strong inspiration.
Sometimes, distinctive design can come to you quite simply. It’s the impression that your site exudes that matters more than how much coding went into it. While Sketcha’s drawings may seem juvenile to some, it really does give the site a lot of character, making it appear welcoming and friendly, which is a coveted quality for any business or organization.
Minimalistic websites are nothing new to the design community, and with simplicity as your goal, you can’t help but be strangely attracted to the simplistic design of Designer Atlas. The site compensates with its delicate approach by featuring a background with a compass and map, which aligns with the name. Big, bold colors pull you in and garner attention.
To some, there is nothing more creative than adding some dynamic elements to your site that move or change when the elements interact. Edita’s site is a worth example of this dynamism. With an interesting collage of images in the middle that make up a person’s profile, you will find yourself constantly clicking away on this site.
Do you have any unconventional designs to include? When do you break from widely-used conventions?
Gabrielle is a creative type who specializes in graphic design, animation and photography.