You know when you visit a site often enough and you notice subtle changes? or when you visit a site from time to time and when you return next time there is a totally revamped site? Well today I'm wanting to talk about a couple of them, well three really.
National Rail Enquiries
New design released December 2009 (the most recent of the bunch) taking what was an old, hard to use website into a user friendly clearly web2.0 based website.
The site now places things where you want them - want to search for a train ... its there ... want to see if there could be any issues with your train journey ... its there - and what makes this better this was all there in the old site just hidden away behind what was a boring almost tabular styling which made for hard reading at times.
The site has gone from having a huge navigation to a more simple 5 button navigation with what appears to be a custom search for Yahoo! (think this was there previously though), the "legals" - ie. links such as t&c contact us etc - are at the bottom of the pages and easy to find. This site has finally come of age offering the same services in a newly formatted way clearly works.
Right down to the details of the clock in the top right hand corner this is a superb redesign and many could learn from the idea of Simple is Best.
Manchester City FC
Another totally stunning redesign of a website, Manchester City Football Club pulled all the stops out with this site. They moved from an antiquated few year old site to a 21st century stunner. www.mcfc.co.uk is truly what the web is about, interaction.
All in all this site has gone from nothing to something amazing, this is a close runner up to NRE.
The White House
I can hear you muttering back there "he's mad... nothing from the US gov't or UK Gov't has ever been good" ... as true as this maybe I must tell you that who ever the US Gov't employed for redesign they have done terrifically well!
No more slow loading and hard to find information layout from the White House! instead the site is web2.0 in all its glory, with detail paid to typography and layout above all else. This redesign is for the masses, design to make life at least 90% easier if you visit the site.
Ok so there are a few CSS bugs in the system and it doesn't validate but none of that really matters because it looks so stunning. (also very few of my sites validate! I don't hide this) But the CSS bugs do draw back from the experience in some browsers (such as Chrome) so The White House comes a glorious third.
Other Great Redesigns of 2009:
Facebook - total revamp ... not quite a prize winner Google - slight tweeks to front page but total new search styling AK Designs - total redesign Twitter - small changes to interface = win Crystals Merchant Services - redesign tweeks better typography and cleaner Microsoft - total revamp including bing, awesome
What is your favourite website redesign of 2009? let us know below or tweet @andykinsey