2008 has seen the rise of yet more interactive applications and websites online as the web creeps closer and closer to having sites as interactive as desktop applications. Here’s my top 10 websites that I have been visiting and using over the past 12 months.
The redesign of the BBC’s website was probably the most talked about redesign of the year and with good reason. The BBC had not redesigned their wesite homepage for the previous 5 years and what a difference it has made. Now a fully interactive and customisable homepage, along with the iPlayer’s website it has become one of my most visited sites of the year and my number one source for news.
For me the best resource for online tutorials on the web. There are a huge number of tutorials taking you from the basics of the web up to more advanced techniques and tutorials. The diverse range of quality material on this site combined with updated which are nearly daily makes it my number one choice for tutorials on the web.
CSS Tricks and CSS for Lunch (a close second) are my two favourite CSS sites of the year for 2008. CSS Tricks wins this one because of the quantity of content. Run by Chris Coyier, a web designer from Madison, Wisconsin who works for Chatman Design.
Smashing magazine is a great resource for inspiration. Subscribe to their feed and you’ll find a one stop shop for the best resources, designs, lists of tutorials and inspiration online.
Last.fm has been one of my top sites for a few years now. With a new design and ever growing community and content the site has now developed into something special. For me the main use of the site is not actually for finding new music. Instead I use it to find out events that are on in my area from recommendations that last.fm makes based on the music both myself and my neighbours have listened to.
I’m not the biggest user of Facebook but the redesign put the site back on track. For a time it was looking like going down the road of such sites as MySpace and Bebo with content and design all over the place. Fortunately, for now, Facebook has managed to keep this in check.
The longest running webdesign podcast and the first web design podcast I started listening to, Boagworld has become an inspirational resource for many web designers. Run by Paul Boag, the site has recently won an award for the best Podcast from .Net Magazine. A quick look at the forums on the site will show how strong the community in the site has become.
Now not only a leader in open source blogging software but also contending as a content management application Wordpress has just released version 2.7 which is a fully polished blogging platform now with, in my opinion, the most usable content management interface open source platform.
A new site online this year is Themeforest. Run by the Envato network (the same network as nettuts), Theme Forest has an array of templates for websites, blogs and content management systems.
Another money making site for designers is 99designs.com. Someone will post a design brief online as a competition for designers to submit their work. After the contest is over the winning designer will be paid the prize money.