10 High-Performing Websites Whose Features You Should Steal


December 23, 2021


They say that imitation is the best form of flattery, and we know that creatives have to draw inspiration from somewhere. That’s no different for the Xponent21 team. I wanted to give you all more insight into some of the things that we do in the background here. Our Design and Dev team have to work together really closely to ideate interesting ways to present content and allow visitors to interact with the content that we design and publish. 

We actually run a “designs_we_love” channel on Slack to share things we see out in the wild that we love. They serve as inspiration for our work and should serve as inspiration for your website, too. These ideas aren’t new — they’re just well-applied, and we think that you might find them capable of moving the needle for your website leads. 

From animation to user experience and design, each of these websites have something unique to offer. Let’s walk through some of the features we found on these high-performing websites that we think could be inspiration for yours. 

Animation-Driven

First, let’s look at a few sites that exhibit clever usage of animations to display content in a creative and fun way. 

1. Spotify’s Car Thing

Spotify recently unveiled a new device called Car Thing that you can place in your vehicle that gives you complete control over your listening experience. The website demonstrates how the product works through striking visuals and animations. It features parallax motion on text and graphics, offering a slightly gratifying feeling as you scroll down the page. The animation is paired with large high-quality images that provide stunning detailed views. 

2. NBC Universal 

Another one that I like for its animation is NBC Universal. This site has some really great scroll features and animations that allow a gentle transition between each section. The interactive scroll and mouse-over animations are also seamless with no delay, offering a satisfying experience. However, it’s still simple enough to easily add to most websites.  

3. Asana

Asana is one of my absolute favorite websites because it utilizes simple motion graphics and product demonstrations. As you scroll down the page, it features video demo loops that illustrate different views available inside the software to show how the product actually works. It also includes attractive parallax animations on scroll and animated process maps with hover effects to create added visual interest. Asana has done an excellent job at using animation in a captivating way that also effectively conveys their value proposition. 

Story-Driven

While these websites also incorporate animation within the design, it’s their ability to tell a story through animation that landed them in this section.

1. Alumni Ventures

Alumni Ventures uses high-quality 3D animations that tell a story with abundant clarity on their value proposition. As you progress down the page, we see “production” happening as this continuous animated process unfolds. The animations show the rejection of certain things that don’t meet specific standards then acceptance of the ones that do, emphasizing the importance of quality. It also has a zero-clutter cookie notice that compliments the simple yet powerful design of this website. 

2. Proko

Proko’s website teaches people how to draw with online courses. So as a feature on their website, they have these really cool, albeit simple, hand-drawn animations that are reminiscent of childhood cartoons. These small sketches elicit a larger emotive response, each telling the short story of their respective section. With this website, we can see how using even elementary graphics or animations can have a profound effect on the design of a site and help convey the value proposition.

3. Ono 

Ono is a farm-to-fork meal kit service and differentiates itself by having reusable containers. What this site does a really great job at is both telling and showing you how you’re going to interact with the product. With whimsical motion images and graphics that tell a story, visitors can visualize their experience with the product. Ono’s design is interactive and illustrates what customers can expect when they order a meal kit service in a way that’s both aesthetically pleasing and gratifying. 

User Experience-Driven

Content and design go hand-in-hand with user experience, which these high-performing websites do an excellent job at. 

1. Crisis Text Line 

Upon first arrival, the Crisis Text Line website might seem a little bit overwhelming with the inundation of pop-ups and prompts. But as a website dedicated to assisting people potentially contemplating taking their own life, it’s critical that users are able to take action and quickly get in touch with someone if they need help. Captivating text message-style animations illustrate how the service works and prompts users in a way that’s not cluttered or overwhelming. This site illustrates the power of good user experience paired with evocative messaging and an attractive design.

2. Genomelink 

Genomelink’s website is unique in that it offers a very app-like feel as you hover over various elements and features on their site. A compelling interactive slider makes users want to engage with the content and gives them control over how much information they want to view and when. The subtle animations give the site an elevated look while the interactive quality makes scrolling through the page an enjoyable experience. 

3. Beardbrand 

Beardbrand’s site includes an elegant Typeform Quiz that is pleasing to interact with as well as to the eye. While this type of quiz itself isn’t new, it illustrates how you can use a form in a more upscale and interactive way. Most people would feel compelled to take the quiz, which will then help them associate your brand with an experience that’s both fun and positive. 

4. MatchMaker.fm 

While we’ve seen sites with great design, user experience, and storytelling, MatchMaker.fm uses a unique feature from a company called Warm Welcome. As you first arrive on the page, you’ll see a small face pop-up on your screen to welcome you to the website. Although live chat features are common on sites nowadays, being greeted by a friendly, smiling face is something you don’t come across as often online.

However, the personal connection offers something deeper than a live chat, which is why it’s growing in popularity. We love this idea so much, we’re even thinking about deploying this on our own website soon to see how it impacts our conversion rates. 

So those are 10 high-performing websites that have some really awesome features that you can go and snag for yourself. Out of the box technology exists that enables you to implement everything you see here in your website. In most cases, your web designer/developer may need to lend a hand, but without needing to create fully custom solutions, it may be more affordable than you think. Hopefully, these things serve as inspiration for you and your next website design.

About

Will Melton is President & CEO at Xponent21. He brings over 16 years of business leadership experience helping businesses come into their own and thrive in the digital space. Xponent21 serves clients in a variety of industries, helping with anything from branding and website design to smart online advertising and sales automation.

Think you can get more out of your online presence? We’re sure you can! Let’s talk.

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