What makes a good website? Is it the design or the navigation? The content or the accessibility? Or, to make a truly great website, is it all the above? The internet continues to expand and, as use increases, so do expectations. No longer is it okay to have just a holding page with a simple name, address and e-mail. It has to grab the attention of the user, it has to flash them to the brink of an epileptic fit, it has to supply them with more data than a lifetimes collection of Britannica encyclopaedias, and, what’s more, it must deliver it all yesterday. But it shouldn’t just be a case of dazzling visitors with the technology. The content must be easy to find. The layout must be consistent and the communication must be clear.
With that in mind, The Drum polled the online community, asking them to submit recently completed websites that fit the criteria outlined above (be it sites completed by the agency, or others that have caught the eye).
What follows is a cross-section of what was entered, carefully selected by an editorial panel. A representation of 15 of Scotland’s top websites.
A well-polished and highly addictive site (if you excuse the pun). Bright, eye catching and easy to use.
So, we are staying at home instead of jetting off to Portugal? At least we can still laugh at ourselves. Great ideas, great content - a pity that we need it in the first place.
Up-to-the-minute and bold – much like its visitors, no doubt. Cluttered and busy, much like the shops. Yet clearly labelled chunky sections make it a joy to breeze through.
A surprisingly interesting magazine site from NTL aimed at subscribers. Cleverly acts as a selling point too.
The comic book style animation creates a feeling of suspense that the eerie music only adds to. Gripping stuff.
A bite sized version of the real thing. “Extolling the virtues of literary sex,” and quite obviously loving it.
Quirky, funny and the option to view either a Flash version, or a non-Flash version... This site really protrudes a strong personality and, despite it’s minimal feel, a great warmth.
Uncluttered with limited content, which, in this case, is not necessarily a bad thing. It is crisp and easy to navigate and the tie in to the above-the-line advertising campaign is consistent. A well-refined approach to a quality lager.
Ned Olympics, Ned profiling, Downloads and some good old “Jack and Victor” patter. A busy site with plenty going on, but easy to find your way around. A brilliant way to transfer a successful TV show online.
A comprehensive website that tells you everything you need to know about the Apex’s chain of hotels. Fantastic use of design to bring the hotel’s style online.
A big chunky site - bright, bold and appealing. Clear click through blocks for the visitor attractions give way to more refined pages when you move to the corporate section.
Images, maps and video clips of the national park. A massive site for a massive park. The layout is clean and the blues and greens add that natural feel to the site.
Paints a realistic picture of life at the Art School (if you excuse the pun again). Gives the option of Flash, html or text only sites, so all can access the pages.
Beautiful scrolling photography matched with dynamic looking design. Technology has been utilised to sell Scotland to its future inhabitants.
A slick website for the arrival of the world’s fastest passenger plane to the NMS. Charts the final journey, and gives plenty of facts and figures about the plane.