This is Part Two of my Unusual websites series – Unique Navigation. The First Part was featuring websites with horizontal scrolling.

I’ve always been impressed by websites with an unusual and clever navigation. The more it is a part of the design the smarter it looks. Of course, the usability must be taken into a serious consideration. You cannot sacrifice the usability for the sake of a cool style. I’ve chosen 8 websites that feature a unique navigation style. (why eight? – well there are only 8 bits in 1 byte, and I didn’t collect enough for 2 bytes ;-)) Most of them are flash-based (I admit, the type of navigation they chose cannot be accomplished with CSS&XHTML), but there are some HTML sites as well.

  1. “phaterism” by Luis Santi jr

    The site’s designer obviously has a great sense of humour.
    phatterism I had so much fun navigating this site, watching a little video with Luis acting in it. Want to go to a different page – no problem, I’ll write it for you and you can read (it is done with Flash, of course). Try being idle and not clicking for awhile, watch what this guy will be doing. Isn’t he hilarious, in a very positive way? This site site has a truly unique navigation that makes you to come here again and again, just to go through the same experience of exploring the Fun.

  2. creaktif

    This is another flash-based site. creaktifFeaturing a quirky house on the road leading to some kind of a chaos with a falling Pisa Tower. Windows, garage door, mailboxes are all part of the navigation. Mouse over the windows and you’ll witness an interesting action inside, click on them and you’ll get a popup layer/page with some info. Very cool.

  3. Greenovia

    Yet another flash based site tastefully executed.
    greenoviaThe centre of attention is a beautiful cherry-blossom brunch with naturally looking green leaves. Watch how the branch grows and leaves shiver when you mouse over them. Every page features a different tree branch. It’s interesting to note that this site belongs to a Landscaping company and I’m sure it helped them to attract lots of clients.

  4. Clara Collins

    This site features photography collections by Clara Collins.
    claracollinsThere’s not much going on here in terms of navigation, the site has only two sections: collections (with several subsections) and Contact. But I liked the whole diagonal look of the homepage and that the site’s owner didn’t clutter the navigation with unnecessary menu sections – all you need to know about the photographer is there – her work and contact details. And I like how she features her collection in a magazine-like style, with pages that you can actually flip.
    BTW, If you want to do something like that – flipping pages of your site’s content, let me know in your comments and I’ll provide you with a link to the site where you can download and configure your own flash book.

  5. capitalcomm

    This is the last flash-based site in my review.
    capitalcomm I like their slogan – We shape ideas – and the site’s entire design supports it by being based on Origami pages. To enter the site, you need to actually drag the Enter label, clicking doesn’t work – “Give a good yank”, and all other menus work the same way. And I love to watch how Origami is being created in front of my eyes for every section of the site, and read the text on a wrinkled origami page. A very impressive website, don’t you agree?

  6. Svenigson

    This site is build with XHTML/CSS and with a great attention to details.
    svenigson It is a blog site without your usual blog style and navigation. I think this my favourite blog design ever. The posts are organized in a box fashion. And the most recent post is featured as part of the header section. I like all those little details like specifying not just a Date of the post but the countdown (e.g. 4 days, 3 hours ago), and the great footer section with About Me section and a humorous site statistics. Great job, Bence Kucsan.

  7. Neuroticweb

    This site has two different navigation styles.
    neuroticweb Home page navigation is completely different from the one used on all subpages. I like the subpage navigation better – it looks like a pile of pages with tabs and bookmarks. Nothing over the top, but definitely different from a typical navigation.

  8. Hellofreaks

    There’s nothing freaky about Hellofreaks website that features a hanging door sign.
    hellofreaks The site is a mix of western and retro styles. I like how the navigation has been integrated with the site’s design becoming an essential piece of art. At first I couldn’t find how to get back to the Homepage, but then I noticed the big 3D H icons, that also looked like houses – and sure enough they lead me back to home :-)

Hope you’ve enjoyed navigating those sites as much as I did. If you have other sites with an interesting and unique navigation style, please share them here.

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18 Insightful Bits in response to “Get inspired by 8 bits of unique navigation”

  1. The Capitalcomm site was interesting

  2. ibit

    Yes, Capitalcomm has introduced a new way of using the mouse – not clicking but yanking :-)

  3. I liked most Capitalcomm, it’s original and creative. Yet, I got bored before pages managed to load, so if I wanted to see only the content, they would have never got a chance.

  4. Excellent post.never thought ppl can have designs for navigation like those

  5. ibit

    @Simonne – You’re right, Simonne. I wasn’t visiting most of those sites for their content but their design, they do need to improve their page loading time. Or at least, provide an HTML version of their site, so that people who come there to get some information would be able to do so without an unnecessary waiting.

    @Ashish – Thanks for the compliment. I’ll be continuing my series of Unusual Website designs to show other original design ideas.

  6. Thanks Vivien for those kind words, glad You like!

  7. ibit

    Oh, it’s a real pleasure browsing and reading your blog, Bence. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. LGR

    There are a couple of gems in there. I like this one the best:

    Honestly though, I find most designer sites like this to be just difficult to navigate. The term mystery meat navigation comes to mind. There needs to be people that push the envelope so that web design grows and changes, but making it difficult for people to find information on their sites does not help anyone and certainly does not advance web design. There is also other problems with things like SEO. Face it flash looks cool, but right now search engines don’t index them well and it is hard to find any flash based site first in the serps?

    For example: – First glance I had no idea what this site was about. A quick look in Google: shows only one page indexed with no real content showing. It looks great, but that is all there is there really.

    Good post though, saw some good ideas.

  9. Yeah-yeah… The importance of navigation, usability and SEO… You are absolutely right, for client work never, but I think for personal sites – especially for a designer’s or studio’s site – it’s allowed to be a little experimental though.

    Good ideas stick bads don’t, but you never get any new ideas, if you don’t experiment…

  10. ibit

    Yes, I agree with you, LGR. But, like Bence mentioned, by looking at unusual websites like these, you get inspired to come up with a creative idea for your own projects.

  11. Russ

    Liked the photography site with the different albums. I am interested in the flipping pages. My daughter is a photog major and it is possible she could use this in one of her projects.

  12. i would like to know more about the link to know about how to download and configure my own flashbook for a website that i am trying to put together. thanx again for whatever you can do.

  13. not sure what you mean, Jeremy?

  14. “BTW, If you want to do something like that – flipping pages of your site’s content, let me know in your comments and I’ll provide you with a link to the site where you can download and configure your own flash book.”

    This is what I want to do. Would you be able to send the link to my email?

  15. sorry, Jeremy. I’ve written this over a year ago. Turns out that the Flash Page Flip application is not free anymore. However you can download the basic version of it for free, but you’ll need to pay for advanced features. Anyhow, the site is:

    I’ve found two more sites that offer page flip with flash:

    check them out and see if you can use any of them for your project. Good luck.

  16. huh, I just noticed that somehow I’ve missed Russ’s comment and request for the page flip link last year. Sorry about it, Russ. Hope you were able to find it for your daughter.

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on