March 2, 2016 Joe Gastler

Web Design: A World Where Anything Goes

Good authors who once knew better words

Now only use four-letter words

Writing prose

Anything goes

Anything Goes, by Cole Porter

The realm of web design is a wild and crazy world. Sites can be so awesome that they’re group-text-worthy, or they can be so appalling that they belong on a Buzzfeed list with a title like “1990’s Websites That Still Exist.”

In an environment where anything goes, let’s focus on the great, shall we?

Grab your headphones or adjust your speakers. You’re going to want them.

Here are a few interactive designs that I love from both a design and strategic perspective.

Awesome Site #1: The Revenant: 200 Miles

Movies have some of the best interactive web designs. Take Leo’s latest hope for an Oscar nomination, The Revenant. This website is immersive, which is apropos of this movie. The cast and crew went to extremes to make this film about a man’s fight for survival in the wilderness. That’s a difficult concept to communicate in a website, and yet the use of full-screen, high-res video on this site combined with the user’s ability to interact with it makes the site a must-see.

Awesome Site #2: U.S. Army’s Cryptaris

How surprised are you to learn that the U.S. Army has one of the coolest interactive websites out there? In an effort to improve STEM recruitment, the U.S. Army created a site called Cryptaris using WebGL that actually tests your skills. Apparently only 5% of users will be able to beat each game. So they’ve combined gamification with great design and can actually turn it into results. That’s a winning trifecta if ever I’ve seen one.

Awesome Site #3: How I Fight

I’m going to tack briefly serious with this site. Non-profits tend to lag behind in innovative web design, and this Stand Up 2 Cancer site breaks that mold. The design is beautiful, and personal, and somehow encapsulates the messiness of life at the same time. The entire strategic message of this site (geared towards those fighting cancer or supporting those fighting cancer) is fairly straightforward – you’re not in this alone. Click on “See All Ways” to see a great example of how they’ve used aggregated social media to continue this message.

Honorable Mentions:

Google’s Lightsaber Escape

Robert’s Space Industries Starmap

Make Me Pulse


Do you have an interactive site that you love? Share it with us below.

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