Bland and Grand Web Designs

by David Rodriguez — Jul 2, 2008

One of the greatest aspects about the Web is that it's such an open platform, especially for design. The accessibility and freedom of the Web allows designers to do some very nice-looking things, and it allows for experimentation and interpretation. Unfortunately, it also allows for some very bland-looking things, too. Let's take a look at some bland designs and some grand designs, and take a peek at what makes them that way.

A few things to keep in mind before we continue. It doesn't matter if a web design is bland and tasteless or grand and stunning; only designs that are functional and coherent are in this article. For the bland web designs, I didn't want to show designs that are obviously terrible. Instead, I wanted to show designs that serve as websites with some actual merit, but could stand some improvement on the visual, functional, or coding side of things. It's easy to find designs that are just completely bad, so I won't be covering them here. But, if you'd like to see some, there's a site that focuses on them.

Likewise, it's fairly easy to find designs that look beautiful. But this doesn't always mean they are functional or well-coded, or even have anything else going for them besides good looks. Instead of focusing on these purely beautiful sites, then, in this article I hope to showcase some that are pleasing visually and elegantly handled in both functionality and coding, and try to point out why they're grand.

Bland Web Designs

Click one of the designs below to view it. You'll find what's to like about the design, what's not to like, and some ways that particular design can be improved. If you want, you can start with the first one and view them in order.


 

View the bland designs in order »

Grand Web Designs

Here are some of the better designs out there. Thanks to everyone who submitted a design! If your design didn't make it here, don't worry; I'm still taking a look at all of them! If there are articles like this one in the future, I'll definitely be considering all the designs that didn't make it.

You can choose a design below, or you can start at the top of the list and work your way through them all.


 

View the grand designs in order »

Keeping Things in Line

As stated above, each of these designs has their own merit. The bland designs could stand to use some improvement, and the grand designs are great examples of good web design. I received quite a number of submissions from my request for designs and I saw some very good stuff in there.

There are a number of articles and sites out there that show you what bad design is, and others show you what good design is. Not many places deal with sites that are "just at the line," though, and I hope with this article I've helped demonstrate the differences between design that fits the bill and design that goes above and beyond.

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