It’s no secret that the majority of small Maine businesses have bad web designs. While “Dirigo” may be the motto of the state, we are seriously behind the curve when it comes to design standards for the businesses that call Maine home.
That said, there are certainly some diamonds in the rough.
A few outstanding Maine web designs can be found that would be competitive in a larger market. We have compiled this list of 10 website designs that we feel fit that bill and do an amazing job of presenting Maine businesses in a good light.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s website relies heavily on desaturated images. This helps make the limited use of orange in the web design really stand out and draw the users eye. Great outdoor visuals combined with smart use of negative space makes the website stand out. Based in Biddeford, we think Hyperlite Mountain Gear creates a great user experience for its customers and presents itself as an outstanding Maine based business.
This fundraising site for the city of Bangor, Maine’s annual Fourth of July celebration relies on large scale imagery to draw the user into the celebration and remind them of all the fun to be had during the celebrations. A slick panelized design helps focus the user’s attention on each event of the day and waits until the end of that journey to present the main goal of raising money to continue providing a fun filled day for Bangor area families. It can be hard to make raising money interesting and compelling, but we think Bangor on the Fourth manages to make it happen seamlessly.
Pittsfield based Cianbro is a large company that has locations all over the country. But their main headquarters and humble beginnings are right here in Maine. This Pittsfield based construction service company has leveraged stunning visuals with a discrete color palate and great icon usage to make it stand out against its competitors. Great information architecture round out this compelling we design, making it easy for users to find what they are looking for, and ideally reach out and contact the company about its services.
One of Portland, Maine’s hottest eateries, Drifters Wife really stands out with a very minimalist design. In today’s large imagery saturated web design climate, this site provides a refreshing look and feel, while not at all dated. Refined use of black and white against the great images of the business and its food put the focus on the brand. Portland’s food scene is quickly being recognized as one of the best in the nation, and the businesses there are starting to realize they have to keep up with other nationally recognized level restaurants with respect to their digital marketing. Drifters Wife does this, and does it well.
Portland based MaineHealth is a not-for-profit care network that includes urban and community hospitals, physician practices, home health agencies and labs. Taking a turn away from the normal blue and white theme for healthcare related websites, MaineHealth makes great use of a deep red color to draw users in and put them at ease. Clearly laid out information in a rather modern flat design style really helps this web design look modern and inviting, instead of cold and clinical.
This one might be cheating a bit. Northern Hideaway Outfitter’s owner actually lives in PA, but runs bear hunting expeditions in the northern Maine woods. The site is wholly focused on bear hunting in Maine, so we are going to give it a pass. Besides that, the website has a great layout and color scheme that really evokes the outdoors lifestyle and showcases the owner’s services in an appealing way. One of the only web designs on our list to feature a stunning full width video header, this site is quite unique and well suited for the subject matter.
One of the most iconic buildings in Camden, Maine, The Norumbega Inn highlights its long history and fabulous services with large scale images of the property and an enticing color palate made to feel cozy and comfortable. A very clean and open feel to the website’s design make it a delight to click around the Inn’s pages and see everything this historic Maine business has to offer its guests. Take special note of the intuitive sub navigation that appears on the design’s inner pages, a classy alternative to traditional drop down navigation that we normally see in web design.
The University of Maine recently redesigned their website and the new look is fantastic. Taking full advantage, as most of the other web designs in this list have, of the push toward full width, engaging images, the university utilizes its brand colors in a refined and pleasing way. College websites can easily become very overloaded with pages and so much information they are just impossible to use. The University of Maine has done an outstanding job of making the college look great, and still having all the information its students, parents, staff and faculty could ever need, right at their fingertips.
Portland Pie Co. comes on strong with a huge image of one of their pizzas. Strong, high impact fonts dominate this web design and really bring home the youthful feel for this Maine business. The site does not stray far from the typical red color scheme we see in many food related websites, and that is just fine with us. We are definitely hungry after spending only a few minutes browsing around this site – so it seems like ti is doing its job perfectly. Good use of white space and vertical pacing both play a large part in making this website look fantastic.
Just like The University of Maine, The State of Maine has recently redesigned a very old looking site. The newest iteration of the Maine government’s portal to its citizens is a huge step up for Maine. This site is just made by the large photo that fills your screen when you first load the page. Again, clean clear navigation is a huge component in making the site look good, while accomplishing its goals of providing a TON of information to the residents of Maine.
Conclusion: The Common Thread
It’s pretty obvious by now that the common denominator in most of these Maine website designs is the use of large, compelling imagery to help reinforce the brand image of their owners. We are not likely to see this trend abate very soon, so expect to see this style of web design pop up more and more with Maine companies. At the same time, it can sometimes pay off very well to buck the trends and go in a completely different direction with your website, making vistors really sit up and take notice, since your site won’t look like every other one out there.
We hope these designs inspire you, and help you come up with new ideas for your own website. If you think it might be just out of your reach to take your own website and make it look as good as these, then reach out to Design Fire’s Maine web design team and we would love to take a look and see if we can help you make the most of your website.