Designerly loves nothing more than seeing all the modern design elements come together into an amazing finished product. It takes a higher level of skill to understand what makes a usable website and create one.
According to Internet Live Stats, there are more than 1.8 billion websites on the internet and at least 200 million active at any given time. If you want to grab site visitors’ attention, everything from the functionality to the aesthetics must stand out from all those other sites.
With that in mind, we’ve created the Designerly Awards. This award goes to sites we feel hit the mark in multiple categories. We’ve sought out examples to help you learn and grow in your own work as a web designer. The winners are the best of the best, and we want to give the nod to their skill while also pointing out how you can implement similar elements in your work.
Winner: Mason Group
Our first ever Designerly Award goes to the Mason Group for their genius design. What do we like about this website? Other than everything, we adore the implementation of a background video on the home page. The video has a dark mode overlay that makes it face a bit into the background as they superimpose typography over the footage.
We love that they showcase some of their best work in the video. The headline reads, “Architecture – a luxury on a large scale. They also share a quote that reinforces the idea.
Who Is Mason Group?
Mason Group is a team of architectural designers and construction professionals based in Russia. They have offices in St. Petersburg and Moscow. They offer help through all stages of a project from start to finish and even landscape design.
Why We Chose Them for the Award
We looked through dozens upon dozens of websites, narrowing down the options as we went along until we found the Mason Group website. The reason we chose this one for our award was the many ways they hit on great design.
- Video – more and more people want video as a fast way to absorb information. They implement video into their overall design.
- Navigation – they use a traditional top horizontal nav bar with minimal categories. Fewer links limits the number of options for the user and keeps the focus on the site’s goal.
- Contact – The site features a clear contact button and multiple ways to get in touch with the firm. Detailed information lends a level of trust to users who might not have heard of them before. It shows they are open to questions and available if there are problems during a project.
- Gallery – Mason Group features a photo gallery highlighting a few of their projects in each category, so you can get a sense of their abilities.
- Team Page – You know who you’re working with and their experience in the industry.
In addition to basic UX features such as those listed above, the site is aesthetically pleasing and engaging. There is plenty of negative space to break up the content. The page is also highly scannable for a quick read.
As you scroll down the page, the images morph into new photos, each showing a different project they’ve worked on. As you move the cursor, an orange dot highlights your location and encourages you to click on specific elements. The site is fascinating, full of pertinent information and scaled back enough to showcase the information potential clients need.
What We Would Do Different
The only thing we’d change about this website is the blog section. It is a bit out of date and hasn’t had a new post added in about a year. This is a common mistake for business websites. Professionals get busy and don’t have the time or energy to continuously keep up with a content calendar.
When in need of regular updates, consider hiring a professional writer or editorial team to provide your needs in this area. It actually would be better to have an information section or a link to a social media feed than an outdated blog. You could also remove the dates of the pieces if they are evergreen enough, so visitors can’t see when you last published.
We hope you love this website as much as we did. Our goal is to inspire you to step up your own designs and implement a few of the features you see here.