What Are Your Top 5 Standards Based Sites and Why? | December 16, 2004

Following the “top 5” theme, I’d like to know what your top 5 favourite standards based sites are and why? What sites do you look at and just go wow. What are the sites you visit for inspiration?

Posted at December 16, 2004 10:16 PM


Jeff Croft said on December 16, 2004 10:36 PM

Hmm….it’s really tough, but I’ll give it a go. Off the top of my head:

1. Justwatchthesky — mostly for it’s visual design.
2. ShaunInman.com — for the combination of design and coding skillz.
3. ESPN.com — Not really for standards, just because I need my sports. :)
4. //hicksdesign — Jon has great design skillz, but he also tends to discuss things on his blog that are of interest to me.
5. BankofAmerica.com — Their online banking is absolutely superb and every time I check my account balance I think to myself, “wow, they really got this right.”

David Horn said on December 16, 2004 10:51 PM

In no particular order:

1. stylegala.com - attractive and useful

2. justwatchthesky.com - visually stunning

3. stuffandnonsense.co.uk - if you can’t find something useful here then you’re not human.

4. cameronmoll.com - as above

5. cssbeauty.com - obvious, I know, but it’s wonderful to just trawl through the sites there

John Oxton said on December 16, 2004 10:59 PM

Hicksdesign.co.uk Jon has had such a massive influence on my thinking he simply has to be my number one design dude!

Rapha.cc I just love this design, I am NOT licking ass either, I really do love it and it served as inspiration for one of my own projects, though you could never tell! ahem

Dunstan’s Blog just makes me dribble every time I dare look!

Actually, I am going to leave it at that. There are just too many others that I would like to put in the list. Suffice to say that in 2004 these three have made a big impact in my little world.

Happy Christmas too! :-)

Jeff Croft said on December 16, 2004 11:02 PM

Oxton, you ass licker. :)

John Oxton said on December 16, 2004 11:05 PM

Oh okay then, I admit it! ;-)

nick santilli said on December 16, 2004 11:06 PM

justwatchthesky.com - definitely stands out to me

http://phonophunk.phreakin.com/news/ - his hovers are incredible. my jaw dropped when I saw this site

airbagindustries.com - nice, unique clean.

adampolselli.com - neat and concise. great photography. nice design sense and information

can’t think of a 5th that REALLY stands out to me. hmmm, mine I suppose (vulio.com), because i’m happy with the way it turned out, not because it’s awesome by any means.

Malarkey said on December 17, 2004 1:03 AM

#1. Obvious (and a bit quiet) but A List Apart. How could I live without it?

#2. Hicks Design (He’s a God, let’s face it.)

#3. Simplebits

#4. Lee Jeans. One of my current design faves and a Web Standards Awards winner.

#5. No.10 / New Labour. I need something to get me riled up now that my new ‘happy pills’ are working ;)

Jonathan Fenocchi said on December 17, 2004 2:51 AM

#1. Alazanto - very beautiful and artistic.

#2. The CSS Zen Garden (among other inspirational galleries) - a plethora of different, authentic layouts for inspiration.

#3. Various blogs (namely ShaunInman.com, Mezzoblue.com, RyanBrill.com, SimpleBits.com, TheManinBlue.com, Maratz.com, 1975design.com, CafeLisa.com, Cameronmoll.com, and a couple others) - I just love all the tidbits here and there.

#4. Neubix Studios and its portfolio - totally awesome.

#5. CSS Destroy by Literary Moose - wonderful CSS experiments and ideas. Food for thought.

Dan Mall said on December 17, 2004 3:17 AM

1. Jason Santa Maria. It’s the real way to pull off a theme. Plus, it’s a look that is underdone that Jason got right.

2. Shaun Inman. Shaun’s a genius. And he can make things pretty.

3. Cameron Moll. I always learn something new when I read any of Cameron’s posts.

4. PGA Championship. I’m personally biased towards Flash, so I think this has just the right touch of Flash for me to appreciate it.

5. CSS Zen Garden. Whaddya mean why?

Daniel Knibbs said on December 17, 2004 7:03 AM

Dunstun’s Blog

Where else do I go to learn about the trials and tribulations of webdesign?

John Serris said on December 17, 2004 8:42 AM

Hmmm… top 5. That’s tough but I’ll try:

Also glad to see someone above mentioned my site :) Nick was that cash or cheque? cough

John Serris said on December 17, 2004 8:47 AM

Damn your form sucks Budd… so much for the live textile preview. Stripped the links. Anyway here are the URLs for the post above

P.S. Remeber Me doesnt work and clicking “make textarea bigger” jumps to the top of the page! Arrggg…

Andy Budd said on December 17, 2004 9:39 AM

Those issue should be fixed now.

Ian said on December 17, 2004 10:06 AM

I find ‘favourites’ difficult to identify - once I start thinking about them, I find I just can’t make my mind up. So here are my top five most visited bookmarks instead:

CSS Vault
What Do I Know
Authentic Boredom (Cameron Moll)
Andy Budd, blogography (no, really!)

Kev said on December 17, 2004 10:23 AM

For the sheer weight of expert knowledge of the technical side of things, Juicy Studio .

For weight of expert knowledge on the less technical side of things, ALA .

For a brilliant mix of both and a breathtakingly clear design to boot, A Box of Chocolates .

Because it itself looks good and because of the great content, CSSBeauty .

Because their work is appreciated, WordPress .

Rob McMichael said on December 17, 2004 11:52 AM

http://www.stuffandnonsense.co.uk/ - For the well written pieces which helped me a lot with accessibility. And its pretty ;)

http://www.1976design.com/blog/ - For the fact I love the header image, and the live searching. Shame there is less and less on there now (sodding apple)

http://leftjustified.net/index.php - I love the look of this site, and the white space reset thing is great.

http://www.alistapart.com/ - For it’s great source of information. Wouldn’t mind seeing them practice a few of their tutorials though!

http://www.rakaz.nl - A strange one but I love the design :)

Oxton, Hicks, Zen, Andy, and the others out there were close but the others just came to mind first!

However if it wasn’t for great blogs like this I wouldn’t have found half of them [/brown nosing]

Petros said on December 17, 2004 4:50 PM

There are so many good websites out there that makes it very difficult to choose. Those are my suggestions:

1. www.cameronmoll.com
2. http://cssvault.com
3. www.digital-web.com
5. I want to include a female as well www.erisfree.com

Petros said on December 17, 2004 4:51 PM

There are so many good websites out there that makes it very difficult to choose. Those are my suggestions:

1. www.cameronmoll.com
2. http://cssvault.com
3. www.digital-web.com
5. www.erisfree.com

Cody Lindley said on December 17, 2004 5:21 PM






Why? Because these site are breaking the mold. Because they are simply not an echo of the multiple sites that are repeated in the comments above. Because they inspire me to focus on design.

Nathan Logan said on December 17, 2004 6:16 PM

There are some above that would fall in my top 5 (Dunstan and Hicks, especially), but here are a couple that haven’t been mentioned:

1. CodyLindley.com - a great design backed by great code. The content is also good (check out the links section - an invaluable resource).

2. RyanBrill.com - decent design with some good content. He’s coming out with his own CMS soon. I’m excited to test it.

Andy Budd said on December 17, 2004 7:15 PM

Some great sites coming out here. I was thinking more in terms of visual design rather than overall usefulness so keep em coming.

Ryan Brill said on December 17, 2004 8:07 PM

My list probably goes something like this:


I could go on and on, but those are certainly a few of my favorite designs. I know, they’re the obvious ones… I would have liked to spend some time to find a few designs that I like that everyone doesn’t already know about, but I just don’t have the time right now…

Ben Saunders said on December 17, 2004 9:34 PM

Coudal - for squeezing so much content in, and for the big, bold headers
Monc - simple but sweeeet
The Snowsuit Effort - mmmnn whitespace…
Mike Rundle - typography & nifty design
Yuan Qing - mad skillz for a fourteen year-old

Ben Saunders said on December 17, 2004 9:37 PM

Not sure why that last link didn’t work. It’s here, anyhow:


John Peele said on December 18, 2004 6:03 AM

1. stopdesign (doug knows his stuff)
2. authentic boredom
3. justwatchthesky
4. simplebits
5. hicksdesign

jeff croft, todd dominey, and dave shea rock too!

Tommy said on December 18, 2004 7:39 PM


Marc said on December 19, 2004 10:31 PM

DMP Produce in Australia, proving that good design is not just for big companies.
Fortysomething…. blogging beautifully from Canada.
Brothers In Art. Web design company.
Jaklin-Riegelmann. Clean design for a Tuscan Estate Agent.
The Guardian. Never seen a better designed newpaper web site.
(Not forgetting Rapha, already mentioned but, for my money, the best of the lot)

Scott said on December 20, 2004 4:48 AM

Too many to choose from…

In no specific order, they would probably be:

- stopdesign.com
- shauninman.com
- mezzoblue.com
- hicksdesign.co.uk
- bju.edu

Whether or not any of us agree with Bob Jones University’s stands, their website is by far one of the best college sites on the web. It has excellent coding and pretty good design.

danny bloom said on December 20, 2004 9:17 AM

here’s an interesting website i saw on the web recently, related to your blogography term.


Jad madi said on December 21, 2004 11:55 AM

Web Standards Planet

Matthias Lotze said on December 21, 2004 4:01 PM

1. stopdesign.com
2. shauninman.com
3. mezzoblue.com
4. mikeindustries.com/blog
and finally my own work:
Wasserwerke Zwickau

Jeroen said on December 22, 2004 6:44 PM

My five cents:
* Ich jetzt Täglich — some nice out-of-the-column thinking here.
* Frogmat environmental — grass is green allright. :-)
* Radió Reykjavík — I like the eye for detail here, and the choice for sepia photos over full colour.
* eS footwear — this is where we want to go: real companies with real audiences going web standards. Not just the fancy blog community, but the sites regular people visit.
* Splintered — the site of WSG” denizen Patrick H. Lauke. Basic, yet thoughtfully designed.
* Adaptive Path — [bonus track] — better than Doug’s own site (imho anyway), with some neat CSS positioning going on.

Jeroen said on December 22, 2004 6:50 PM

Sorry about the Textile mess, but it really isn’t my fault. The preview was allright, I hit ‘post’ and then I get my form back with an error message stating that the email address is a mandatory field (doesn’t say so in the first form :-/). And this in-between step seems to have munged my carefully crafted reply.
Hi Andy, and while you’re at it: the MT error page was screaming for your design template. :-)