No. 104
June 30th, 2008

The “Randys” Website Design Awards – June 2008

Honoring Great Web Designs

Continuing on with my monthly design awards series, here are seven terrific websites I recommend everyone take a look at.

June 2008 Winners – The note to myself in my account for this site says “WHATALAYOUT.” Not sure I can really expand on that–it’s fantastically organized and easy to browse. Absolutely GORGEOUS typography: the main headlines are in Lucida Fax, a font I’ve not used before, which complements the Georgia body copy exceptionally well. A bright, but professional color scheme, and a unique but usable header/navigation area. Designed by Patrick Algrim (who according to his website, is actively looking for new projects–hire him, people!)–beautiful job, Patrick.

5th Avenue Theatre – I am SUCH a fan of this website, designed by one of my favorite firms — Phinney Bischoff Design House. Please check out a subsidiary page, like this, in addition to the homepage. The secondary navigation is totally unique, and just plain awesome. The site features fantastic photography and little graphic splashes, like the borders around the navigation and footer, befitting such an elegant venue.

Unit Interactive – Unit is the design firm of the noted expert Andy Rutledge. Andy does a great job branding the site with a consistent lime green highlight color. The Georgia:Arial Headline:Body Copy strategy is one that I use on a number of client websites and the two work really nicely together, in my opinion. And given that Andy’s at the forefront of CSS/XHTML standards compliance, the site is super-usable, too.

Jonathan YuenThis personal website is, bar none, the most impressive Flash website I’ve ever seen. And I’m actually going to encourage you to experience it with the music and sound effects ON. Probably the closest thing I’ve ever seen to art that takes advantage of the true potential of online media and technology. I hope that in 20 years, this site “hangs” in a monitor that people can interact with at The Met, AIC, Prado, or any other of the great museums of the world.

School District of Philadelphia – If the teachers in Philadelphia’s school district are as talented as the design team that put this site together, the country’s first capital has a lot to be proud of. Despite an amount of content that could easily be overwhelming, the site is easy to read and get around. This site provided a great deal of inspiration for my design and development of the Piedmont Unified School District website. Unfortunately, I don’t see any site credits links; perhaps that’s because this was an in-house project? Remarkable.

Trale, Inc – Visually, one of the best B2B websites I’ve ever come across. My only complaint about the site is that I don’t understand exactly what they do, but hopefully their customers who come onto the site DO :). There’s a nice mix of customized fonts and standard Georgia body copy. I find the vertical photography on the subpages like this one a great way to provide some visual interest without hogging header space. Designed by Tuitive.

Conde Nast Portfolio – Portfolio is a really nice mix of content and advertising. The black and white color scheme really makes the articles pop. Nice use of Ajax for the main image area of the homepage. Logical, easy-to-use navigation. This site is everything I want in a news-y information source. I’ve never read the print version of this magazine, but I bet it’s pretty slick.

Previous RANDY Award Winners:

May 2008 Web Design Awards

About the RANDYs:

These should be pretty self-explanatory; there’s no official nomination process, so feel free to email sites you’d like me to consider for July at davidmihm (-at-) Rather than critique each site per se (these are AWARDS, after all, not reviews) I’ll highlight what makes is such a successful site in my eyes. Where possible, I will credit both the site and its designer.