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Web Design Lessons From Successful Companies

Now more than ever, excellent web design is crucial for a business to attract and convert online consumers.

Here’s how brands like Apple, Tesla, Evernote and Wonderful use beautiful, interactive and trend-setting web design to promote their brands- and how Kennedy & Oswald makes history engaging through design.  These web design lessons should become the building blocks for your company’s next website design.


Home page screenshot of the Apple website

Brilliant Use of Color

Apple’s website design and color scheme clean and understated, in keeping with their famous product design. Their site is mostly monochromatic, with the only splashes of color coming from images of their new products in desirable colors like rose gold and space gray. Tesla Motors and Evernote both use bright button colors to direct users to their goal- conversion. Wonderful’s green creates the impression of health and vitality that fits with their food products, while Evernote’s homepage features varying shades of green that create a coherent and unified impression. These are all intelligent uses of color contrast.

Web design lessons from Evernote's home page design

Simple Layout

Many of these websites could be described as having a “minimal” design style. This is popular not because it is a trend, but because a website often needs to appeal to a very large group of users, all of varying technical skill navigating websites. Apple and many others use plenty of white space, guiding even the most inexperienced users to the most important content or call-to-action of the site. Several of the sites are arranged in grid patterns that make them easy to read, particularly Evernote and Apple.

Home page of Henrik & Sofia's website for the web design lessons post

Uniquely Refreshing

Henrik & Sofia, a design team in Sweden, provide an intimate look at their work while flawlessly transferring their design style to the screen. Portfolio items are given a shake as they are scrolled over, and the color contrasts make reading online enjoyable. Lacking a menu bar, the site’s functionality guides users to two very simple options: look at our work or hire us for work.

Tesla Motors home page with car and mountains for web design lessons

Impactful Imagery

The Wonderful site greets you with a list of their products alongside delicious, hunger-inducing imagery. Evernote video makes you feel at home- literally. Tesla’s home page roams the picturesque mountainside while Apple’s beautifully sculpted product imagery does an immaculate job of presenting their products in the most attractive light. This did not happen on accident. Incredibly great imagery was at the core of a successful website design for these companies.

Web designs lessons taught my the Wonderful food products website design

Clear Messaging

Communicating the message of the brand is the most important function of any website. Apple, Tesla, and Evernote all score highly here, as they all make clear immediately what they do and what customers can expect. Nearly every site has an immediate call-to-action. Tesla invites you on a Test Drive. Evernote to sign up. Circles Conference to register. These conversion-minded elements are the important web design lessons every company should apply to their website.

Kennedy and Oswald website homepage featuring responsive design

Responsive Design

All sites we’ve discussed provide a stellar mobile experience utilizing responsive design, but the Kennedy & Oswald has to take the cake here. Scrolling down causes faces, text and graphics to slide seamlessly into one another, creating a theatrical storytelling experience. Kennedy & Oswald also plays sound at relevant points, showing a designer’s keen knowledge of what exactly the user experience is and what the user is reading. Hovering over an image on the Wonderful site reveals a message and more of the image in an attempt to engage the user. The bottom line: utilizing design elements that create a more engaging, unique, memorable experience is what your company should be aiming for.

The Circle Conferences home page website design lessons feature

Click on an image to visit the website.

Overall, these websites use a variety of design techniques to convert visitors to customers or keep them interested in the topic. Apple, Tesla and Wonderful have many similarities, especially in terms of whitespace, scrolling design, and grid patterns. Kennedy & Oswald uses an innovative presentation while Evernote wants you to immediately relate to their on a human level. All of them use elegant, simple, flat design, which has become a veritable hallmark of modern web design.

After reading these web design lessons, how well does your company’s website appear in the eyes of the consumer?  Learn why great design matters to your business!

About the Author

Jason McSweeney

Jason is the founder, Marketing Mastermind and lead content creator here at dream ink. His number one goal is helping businesses build their brand with creative, effective and memorable advertising.