As web designers, each project you work on has a unique set of goals and requirements. However, we all have one goal for all our projects – to impress people, creating the websites that are memorable. Who wouldn’t like this, right?
To accomplish this purpose, we usually think of all kinds of content strategies or try to follow at least some of the latest web design trends. But despite all receipts of creating great content, there is one that some of us have forgotten: a fun experience is often an enjoyable one and an enjoyable experience is a memorable one. By adding some fun to our projects, we can offer people a delightful experience that they will not only remember, but they also might share with others.
When I say “add fun”, I don’t mean to turn your client’s website into a circus web page (unless your client is a circus, of course). I am thinking of changes and additions that add a bit of fun into the interactions between viewers and web pages or at elements of a design that would help the websites you develop become more enjoyable to use, and more memorable overall.
At the same time, I’d like you to understand that “fun” doesn’t mean “silly”. You can add a touch of delight and enjoyment to the user experience without making your client seem childish or unprofessional. The trick is to know how much fun you can add, where is the best to use it, and when to admit that you’ve gone too far.
Let’s look at some examples of websites that do a great job of using fun to create both enjoyable and memorable experiences for their users.
The whole Meomi’s design includes fun characters that move and respond as you scroll over them, the overall experience being filled with discovery and delight as you explore. I love especially the fact that as busy as the site is, you know quickly what’s all about due to the tagline placed towards the top of the page — “A little design studio dedicated to play, delight, and whismy.”
This website “allows consumers to visualize how their consumption habits are linked to modern day slavery”. Maybe doesn’t sound like a place where “fun” would work, but if you visit the website and select the “what?” arrow, the experience begins. The whole site includes cartoonish illustrations, a sense of anticipation, and fun interactivity, turning a simple web page into a memorable and powerful experience.
This portfolio site has a design that features different site illustrations, each representing sections such as contact, about, etc. The joyful cartoonish style is completed by funny text, turning the whole website into an enjoyable experience. This is an excellent example of a UX that balances simplicity and creativity.
Needagents – ably and colorfully illustrates the company name, by using deep and solemn agent characters and dark blue color palette that is primordially associated with business stuff. On an otherwise serious topic, using the cartoon characters adds a touch of fun, turning a simple and serious subject matter into a pleasant experience.
The “emotional designer” Alessandra Balzani brings a note of funny yet sophisticated innocence, through her website design. By seeing this design, I have to admit that she knows how to play with lines, characters, and images, providing her visitors a great user experience. Good job!
Well Done Team GB
Well Done Team GB congratulates its Olympians in a quaint manner, colorfully and dynamically illustrating various victories. The parallax effect adds depth to the flat design and the funny characters used here not just add a touch of humor, but also help with their storytelling.
Fountain of Youth Coconut Water
Fountain of Youth Coconut Water – does a good job with this site. By combining the cartoonish style with animation and a sprightly music in the background, they add not just a funny touch, but also some depth to a flat design. And this is just the beginning. Just visit the website and the adventure will begin!
XHTML Crab – draws onlookers’ attention to a glaring crab illustration in a center, which severely resembles a character from Walt Disney’s cartoon. Also, the vintage font and the imagery used for the whole website turn it into a pleasant user experience.
Dumb Ways To Die
Dumb ways to die is a website dedicated to the big problems of negligence in Metro. The website fascinates not only by its pleasing unique characters but also by the well-executed idea that is supported by specially devised song. Their focus is on making loads more fun entertainment for kids while continuing to remind them to be safe – primarily around trains.
Netiko has a habitual light gray paper-based design. Of course, this approach is not new, but what is truly refreshing and appealing here is the integration of funny and kind robots throughout the whole design that has a look of old-school stickers.
Stuff and Nonsense
Stuff and Nonsense establishes a hilarious and slightly urban atmosphere by means of the cartoon-style illustrated header with cheerful personages. Their website not just conveys their personality, but it’s also distinctive and has a soul.
Mailboxing is a fun little game for all ages. The website features low-poly graphics that add to website roughness, and, at the same time, queerness. Based on geometric forms and flat style, illustration gets an idiomatical appearance.
CUPS is a charity website that utilizes its design with illustrations to convey their very serious message in an attractive way. The illustrations make the page more interesting. It is even made more entertaining with animations. So, even if the subject is a very serious one, by using this fun and interesting approach we can see on the whole site, we are able to make the visitors stay and read further.
Easy Rocket Studio
Easy Rocket Studio has a space-themed web design that is filled with creative illustrations and animations that makes browsing more entertaining. Yet another proof that the world of sport is a special one.
This cool combination of interactivity and motion graphics which works seamlessly is a horizontal scrolling one pager telling a Christmas story by Traveline Cymru. The single page website features comic-style illustrations, including falling snow as you browse.
BlackMoon Design is a game development studio and its portfolio website has a spot on design. It has a classic game design as a background image. They love to play and this is obvious just by viewing this page.
Mango prepares learners for realistic conversations and strengthens everyday communication skills in over 70 world languages, including English. They like to have fun and to create lovable language-learning experiences, and their website just conveys this message. A fun-infused way to learn a new language.
Nasty Creatures is a full-service solution company providing rich user experience via mobile application development and digital media solutions. Their ingenuity manifests not just when taking care of their clients, but also when it comes to their website. The cartoonish design of Nasty Creature’s page adds some fun to a very serious subject, offering the visitors an enjoyable user experience.
This is another funny and joyful portfolio website. Being herself a designer, Gisele uses the cartoons characters not just to present her work, but also to create a pleasant experience for the visitors.
When you dive a bit deeper into the copy and videos of this website you discover that when you “top up” on game supplies/add-ons, the proceeds go toward feeding orphaned children. The one-pager features such vibrant and well-illustrated characters from the game, including a comic section and an interactive hover-sensitive intro.
Visionare is an upcoming application that claims to help you achieve your goals by drawing from the experience of people who have already achieved them. It’s a very nice blend of flat design and texture and the cartoon characters add a funny touch. What a great intro animation as well – slick, vibrant and sums up all the categories in one image.
Beautifully designed One Pager promoting a new startup that delivers piñatas via drones. Make sure you watch the video too – hilarious and really well made.
They make learning languages and vocabulary so full of joy and life, you’ll laugh out loud. Funny design, great user experience.
Flywheel is a delightful platform that empowers designers, developers and digital agencies to build beautiful and functional sites for their clients. And they also did a very good job with their website. Colorful parallax scrolling and low-poly design add a touch of fun and provide an enjoyable visual experience.