GIF and video backgrounds are spreading.
Focus on enjoyable customer experiences has led many to create focused, unfussy websites that provide clear messages and unforgettable images.
Open source platforms and social media have played a large part in perpetuating this trend. The rise of the smartphone means we’re more comfortable with scrolling experiences, so content can be dispersed down the page.
As the big tech companies work to decrease load times on mobile, this trend will surely continue. I’ve gone through some top agencies and brands and found 10 websites that eschew the measly written word for GIF or video backgrounds.
Click on any of the images to see the sites for yourself, and for more on this topic read our post on 17 crucial web design trends for 2015 or book onto our Usability and User Experience Training Course.
1. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
I’m starting with this one as a bit of fun. As it goes, the Japanese model/artist doesn’t have a brilliant website. But the homepage couldn’t be more striking.
If you have strange fantasies about zombies in My Little Pony colouring, this is the site for you.
2. McCann London
McCann simply uses looping videos of its colourful campaigns, teed up in a slider (there’s also a welcome message below the fold and three news items).
As most good creative agencies realise, there’s nothing more impressive than the work.
Whilst we’re here, I might as well mention the About page, which uses a hero image of the agency’s stunning offices, the 1930s former Daimler Hire garage (which, urban legend has it, was the inspiration for the Fisher Price garage).
3. Land Rover
More slider video goodness here. I don’t know why a Range Rover traversing a classical stone bridge with a backdrop of Scots pine is quite so arousing. It certainly made me aspire to something better than my Citroen.
Product pages use full-screen imagery, too.
4. British Higher School of Art & Design
This might be my favourite example. This time it’s GIFfery and not video.
I love the way the imagery inspires a collegial atmosphere. I would enrol, but I draw like a dog.
Classic stuff. Angry looking models in spotless apparel.
Airbnb’s homepage has a heartwarming/voyeuristic hero video pane featuring travellers waking up and generally having fun in other people’s homes, towns and villages.
Not to be out done, Hilton goes for the same vibe. It starts with a woman in a swimming pool (not quite as folksy, obviously) but continues to show videos of places in a similar vein to its competitor.
In fact, it’s remarkable how similar the two homepages are, even the same call to action on the booking engine!
8. Apple Music
The distinctive Gap-like, Nike-esque visuals of an Apple ad feature on the backdrop video to Apple Music.
9. Powerhouse Company
What better company to use a video homepage than a firm of architects and designers? Head through to the buildings pages themselves and you’ll again find full screen video on top of beautifully designed text and imagery.
This is coffee-table glossy, architecture porn (if i’m allowed to say that).
10. Ru Bespoke
This Chinese tailor evokes sinister levels of luxury with a stylish background video showing experienced hands lovingly caressing scissors and some suit pants (I think).