Your recommendations for the best designed web sites?

I am taking a web design and usability class. For our final project we have to analyze the best web site we can find. We must focus on how the site functions, what are its goals and whether it achieves them or not.

My mind has gone blank. I can’t think of a site that is really great in terms of design (unlike The Straight Dope which is great in terms of content). So I am throwing it out to you Dopers for your suggestions.

It has to be a large-ish site with at least 3 tiers of navigation (home page, sub-page, content page). I am not so much looking for bells and whistles or flashy animation or exciting content. I want a site that is straight forward and does what it needs to do with the minimum amount of fuss.

Any suggestions?

A couple of reference tools:

I have always liked’s layout and design.

Good designs are simple, functional, and uncluttered.

This is a great website aboout what not to do: Webpagesthatsuck

I always thought was good

Hi, Encinitas.

I’ve e-mailed you regarding this. Please let me know what you think.

Thanks so much everyone. All good suggestions. I will have to mull it over and see which one I want to tackle. Dragwyr even shyly offered up his website for consideration. It is very good, by the way.

Check out the Best Page in the Universe. The format is discussed about halfway down this page.

Mine! :smiley:
Link below.

It really depends on the objective.

If you have a lot of information to make accessible from a single homepage, you’ll need to do something like or or

If you’re a web search, something like is all you need, even though there’s enormous amounts of info behind it

If you’re just displaying art, perhaps you want to do something like my link below :slight_smile: or maybe not.

One of the most beautiful webpages (and most entertaining!) is Joan Bos’ Mad Monarchs.