There was once a time when a tech startup would spend months obsessing over building a website with the 'wow' factor. It would have all the bells and whistles (to show off its tech smarts), feature amazing visuals and animations (to impress customers and investors), and cram in all the information about the company people might ever want to know.
Those days are now gone. The startup world is now so intensely competitive that you now have only two choices: launch fast, or fail fast. And your website? More often than not, it needs to go up quickly and do the bare minimum your business goals require, whether that’s explaining the product, or just hosting a signup form for early adopters.
That doesn’t mean, however, that all of this can’t be achieved without style and grace, as these great examples show...
01. Magic Leap
Magic Leap is the cool kid in the AR space right now The AR space is teeming with startups. And some of the biggest buzz surrounds Magic Leap, which uses a head-worn display to project virtual images on the real world, in a way that’s breathtakingly realistic (less Pokemon Go, more Matrix).
For a start, the Magic Leap headset doesn’t use a screen but points directly at the retina. What’s more, light created in the virtual world bounces off real-life objects and create shadows within your field of view, which makes the illusion seem incredibly real.
Showcasing such technology on a website is tricky, because the only real way to see what the tech can do is actually use it. So Magic Leap’s homepage instead makes use of full-screen videos (like the one shown in the still above) to get over the basic point. Reminiscent of when 2D cinema started advertising 3D cinema, the effect is a little cheesy, but at least you’re left in no doubt what the end benefit is.
Start scrolling down the page and there are some beautiful full-screen images, presented with some very slick transitions, that serve the same purpose, along with text explaining key aspects of the technology. Then click through to the ‘About Us’ page and you get a feel for the real passion and enthusiasm for this project.
It’s a breath of fresh air compared to the generic mission statements of most tech startups, and thus far more likely to get you clicking on the ‘Developers’ tab to find out how to get involved in coding for the platform.
Elsewhere’s one-page site makes a statement with its bold graphics Many startups, consumed by the pace of building a new business from scratch, slap up a quick-one page website to advertise their wares. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be beautifully art-directed, and that’s certainly the case with this site.
Elsewhere is an intriguing entry into the VR space. It’s essentially a system that promises to turn any 2D video into a 3D VR experience, using an innovative kind of video-processing that converts motion into depth.
Its single-page scrolling website focuses on explaining the concept, simply and clearly, and offering social proof in the form of some carefully chosen testimonies.
With an arresting opening image, unexpectedly huge fonts, and a quirky sense of the bizarre, this website’s design drives you to read to the end, and decide for yourself whether this is just a silly gimmick or the next big thing.