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Friday Focus 09/23/11: The Dip

Happy Friday Focus! Today we’re looking at designs with a bit of a “dip” in them—one content area leading into another with a nice little curve. Can you spot them? Read on!

Designs of the Week

Matthias Schütz's website

Matthias Schütz's website

I like the combination of wood, light grunge, stripes, and glossy (web 2.0) green—all used in moderation. This design is the poster child for “the dip” technique I’m talking about: a nice column containing navigation links at the right instead of the usual header area, ending in a curly brace shape pointing downward to the rest of the sidebar.

Ellie Taylor's website

Ellie Taylor's website

This shade of blue is quite popular for girly sites, especially wedding-themed ones, combined with slab serifs and calligraphic fonts. This one looks a little flat, literally, with no textures or gradients, and the girl looks like a cut-out doll with the stark white shadow!

Filidor Wiese's website

Filidor Wiese's website

Looking for the content? It’s tucked away in the top drawer. The focus of this design is a parallaxed animation featuring an pixelated rendering of the site owner during different times of the day. Right now the screenshot shows him typing away at his laptop (if you watch long enough, his dog shows up but gets shooed away and floats off into space), but click on the different color swatches at the bottom left and you’ll see him doing other things like dreaming in binary, grabbing coffee from out of nowhere, and playing arcade games. Aside from the fact that the colors per scene are blended really, I think this is a smart, funny way for strangers to get to know this person better, even by a little bit.

Snowden Industries website

Snowden Industries website

First, while the callouts aren’t interactive, I like how the first slide is styled especially the halo around the “view portfolio” circle. Hovering over the top navigation gives you circular backgrounds, too, but the active ones get pointers and turn into speech bubbles. There are cool slopes marking each section, and inner pages crop off the the very large headings to focus on the content below.

Sparkling Milk website

Sparkling Milk website

The welcome blurb plays with depth by blurring and resizing objects to make them look like they’re in the background. The illustrations are straightforward, but the use of a patch of grass to separate each section is clever. You must also check out the hover effect on each portfolio item, like a store sign or label. I must say, though, the way the contact form is center-aligned in the footer is a little weird!

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