When it comes to the answering the question about where the ideas come from, I always try to amass as much ideas from the designs that inspire me. These are the top 5 websites that inspired me this month.
Each month we roundup the freshest website designs released in the previous four weeks, all with an eye-out for hot new ideas.
January 2020 is picking up where 2019 left off, with lots of animation and even more bold, bright color schemes. We’re also seeing an unusual number of luxury sites this month, and as always there’s a strong set of startups trying to break into the market. Enjoy!
To take on giants like PayPal, you need a compelling brand and a simple message, that can also wow with its first impression. Plink hits the nail on the head with its 3D animation.
Are you wondering what 2020 will hold for you? Why wait to find out when Madame Turfu can predict the future with this wonderfully fun set of digital tarot cards.
What’s not to love about Nathan Taylor’s playful site? There’s so much to explore and do, but our favorite part is the different lighting modes.
Selling Meatable is a tough prospect; it’s real meat, grown in a lab instead of taken by animal slaughter. The simple step-by-step site does a great job of explaining.
Whatever your view of Harry and Megan, there’s little doubt that their website oozes class. For a promotional site that isn’t actually selling anything, it’s a strong presence.
This fantastic manifesto from design agency Emotive Brand illustrates an A–Z of potential brand emotions with simple animations that would grace the cover of a Bluenote release.
Swiss design agency UNREAL’s site is a wonderfully chaotic love affair with web animation. It’s the type of site we can click around for hours, enjoying the sharp transitions.
Sometimes the best design takes a step back and allows its subject to bask in all the attention. Kate Jackling’s site does this, letting her gorgeous photography take center stage.
Helias has fully embraced the blob trend with a flood-filled area of color supporting each of its various products. It’s appropriate, engaging, and breaks up the formal grid well.
Sometimes the hardest sites to design, are the ones for products about which there’s very little to say. Klokki is one such product, but its site is bold, confident, and persuasive.
Jonnie Hallman’s simple résumé site benefits greatly from the household names he’s worked for. We really like the details, like the way the monogram changes color as you scroll.
eaast is a design and development partnership from Paris that’s fully embraced the Memphis style. Their simple site proves you don’t need years’ worth of work to sell yourself.
Proving that elegant scrolling is still very much a thing in 2020, Pantheone Audio uses the scroll to seamlessly navigate a luxurious site with a complex grid underpinning it.
After decades of the best a man can get, the half of the species that shaves daily seems to be obsessed with reinventing the process. Leaf taps into that simple marketing approach.
Most sites that sell jewelry miss the spirit of the pieces by focusing on the financial value. Mocuin gets it right with an on-trend color palette and stunning product photography.
Jon Way’s portfolio features work from over a decade of art direction. There’s a clear, consistent aesthetic thanks to a lovely ‘static’ effect that plays across the whole site.
There’s some amazing work in Kato Yamaji’s portfolio, but what really strikes home is the amount of color he manages to squeeze in.
We’ve seen lots of animated vector avatars over the last couple of years, but rarely do we see one with as much personality as Robb Owen’s. The cursor tracking makes it feel real.
Glasgow International Festival 2020
The Glasgow International Festival takes place between 24th April and 10th May 2020. Its site features some distinctly celtic typography, and tons of bold color.
Megababe is taking on the beauty industry with a range of body products that are insanely popular, and as positive as its super-confident sales site.
On January 13th, MozCast measured significant algorithm flux lasting about three days (the dotted line shows the 30-day average prior to the 13th, which is consistent with historical averages) …
That same day, Google announced the release of a core update dubbed the January 2020 Core Update (in line with their recent naming conventions) …
On January 16th, Google announced the update was “mostly done,” aligning fairly well with the measured temperatures in the graph above. Temperatures settled down after the three-day spike …
It appears that the dust has mostly settled on the January 2020 Core Update. Interpreting core updates can be challenging, but are there any takeaways we can gather from the data?
How does it compare to other updates?
How did the January 2020 Core Update stack up against recent core updates? The chart below shows the previous four named core updates, back to August 2018 (AKA “Medic”) …
While the January 2020 update wasn’t on par with “Medic,” it tracks closely to the previous three updates. Note that all of these updates are well above the MozCast average. While not all named updates are measurable, all of the recent core updates have generated substantial ranking flux.
Which verticals were hit hardest?
MozCast is split into 20 verticals, matching Google AdWords categories. It can be tough to interpret single-day movement across categories, since they naturally vary, but here’s the data for the range of the update (January 14–16) for the seven categories that topped 100°F on January 14 …
Health tops the list, consistent with anecdotal evidence from previous core updates. One consistent finding, broadly speaking, is that sites impacted by one core update seem more likely to be impacted by subsequent core updates.
Who won and who lost this time?
Winners/losers analyses can be dangerous, for a few reasons. First, they depend on your particular data set. Second, humans have a knack for seeing patterns that aren’t there. It’s easy to take a couple of data points and over-generalize. Third, there are many ways to measure changes over time.
We can’t entirely fix the first problem — that’s the nature of data analysis. For the second problem, we have to trust you, the reader. We can partially address the third problem by making sure we’re looking at changes both in absolute and relative terms. For example, knowing a site gained 100% SERP share isn’t very interesting if it went from one ranking in our data set to two. So, for both of the following charts, we’ll restrict our analysis to subdomains that had at least 25 rankings across MozCast’s 10,000 SERPs on January 14th. We’ll also display the raw ranking counts for some added perspective.
Here are the top 25 winners by % change over the 3 days of the update. The “Jan 14” and “Jan 16” columns represent the total count of rankings (i.e. SERP share) on those days …
If you’ve read about previous core updates, you may see a couple of familiar subdomains, including VeryWellHealth.com and a couple of its cousins. Even at a glance, this list goes well beyond healthcare and represents a healthy mix of verticals and some major players, including Instagram and the Google Play store.
I hate to use the word “losers,” and there’s no way to tell why any given site gained or lost rankings during this time period (it may not be due to the core update), but I’ll present the data as impartially as possible. Here are the 25 sites that lost the most rankings by percentage change …
Orbitz took heavy losses in our data set, as did the phone number lookup site ZabaSearch. Interestingly, one of the Very Well family of sites (three of which were in our top 25 list) landed in the bottom 25. There are a handful of healthcare sites in the mix, including the reputable Cleveland Clinic (although this appears to be primarily a patient portal).
What can we do about any of this?
Google describes core updates as “significant, broad changes to our search algorithms and systems … designed to ensure that overall, we’re delivering on our mission to present relevant and authoritative content to searchers.” They’re quick to say that a core update isn’t a penalty and that “there’s nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well.” Of course, that’s cold comfort if your site was negatively impacted.
We know that content quality matters, but that’s a vague concept that can be hard to pin down. If you’ve taken losses in a core update, it is worth assessing if your content is well matched to the needs of your visitors, including whether it’s accurate, up to date, and generally written in a way that demonstrates expertise.
We also know that sites impacted by one core update seem to be more likely to see movement in subsequent core updates. So, if you’ve been hit in one of the core updates since “Medic,” keep your eyes open. This is a work in progress, and Google is making adjustments as they go.
Ultimately, the impact of core updates gives us clues about Google’s broader intent and how best to align with that intent. Look at sites that performed well and try to understand how they might be serving their core audiences. If you lost rankings, are they rankings that matter? Was your content really a match to the intent of those searchers?