June 2015 | Digital8

The Best Design Websites In Brisbane

Clothing designers, interior decorators, architects, graphic designers and other visual artists often struggle when it comes to expressing themselves in the digital medium. In some cases design principles that are considered staples of a certain industry do not translate effectively onto the web, so you will often see these sorts of websites getting in their own way with ineffective user interface design and either too much on the page, or not enough.

At the same time though it is important that as a designer you use your website to show off your design skills. The question is, do you want your website to make you look like an apt designer-general or an apt designer in your own field. The answer is unclear, but if you can find a balance, then as in anything you will accomplish the most.

Below are some examples of local Brisbane design relevant businesses that have employed brilliant web design to tell the story of their brand.

Highgate House


Interior Design

Clayfield’s Highgate House have been at the pinnacle of the Brisbane interior design community for the past two decades. Specialising in “thoughtful, luxurious interiors” their website reflects their speciality with a minimalist white design and large hero images on their home page ensuring that their work is the focus of their website. At no point do you get confused about your intention on the website, everything is clean and easy to navigate. A true reflection of their reputation for quality.

Black Milk


Fashion Label

Fortitude Valley’s Black Milk are almost a household name these days. Their website is their business; Black Milk are one of the largest online distributors of self produced fashion in the world today. Bucking the trend of ecommerce websites displaying numerous shopping products front and centre and in your face, Black Milk invites you in with a non confronting motif (at present a countdown to a new season) and numerous navigation options on the front page offering, not demanding, you search for products to purchase. Black Milk have crafted a website that won’t scare you away, instead giving you a mysterious hint of what might be inside.





Restaurant, Branding, Industrial Design

West End’s Holloway don’t know what they are, or at the very least don’t want you to assume what they are, that is aside from artists. Restaurateurs, branding consultants, eyeglass producers and watch builders are some of the many things these two super talented guys run out of their beautiful West End cottage studio. Their good website principle is a reflection of their eye for design, with classy imagery sliding on a dark design, somehow miraculously managing to pull all their many offerings together to make sense. The intuitive design skill of Martin and Raphael is almost otherworldly at times. Did I mention that you can purchase unbelievably beautifully crafted watches and glasses on their website, fashioned out of reclaimed materials? These are the guys you wish you were.



Magellan Space


Full Service Building Design

Husband and wife duo John and Tatiana Magalhaes are world travelled designers with a focus on new home development and design, interior decorating and drafting. One of a number of bespoke design companies in Brisbane today, Magellan stand alone as offering an end to end home design solution due to their multi-talented educational portfolios. Their website reflects this modern bespoke touch with a light/dark contrast design, subtle social media calls to action and quirky post-modern imagery.



Bright Yellow


Graphic Design

Bright Yellow continue the tradition of design agencies to take a random colour and a random word and squish it together but ultimately their website is a reflection of the quirky yet sophisticated nature of what they bring to the table. A stand out in a room full of websites that seem to try too hard to deliver something they aren’t. What you see is no doubt what you get.

We’ll be sure to continue posting more great examples in the near future!

Check out some of our client’s sites: Carter Capner, Goodstart Early Learning, and Coronis Realty.


Your Website Is Bad & You Should Feel Bad

We’re going to get our grumpy hat on. Obviously, your website is your baby. Often you’ve worked hard to get it exactly the way you think it should be and this process can understandably have you emotionally (and often financially) attached to it. 

But as my mentor used to say, sometimes what a business really needs is someone to tell them that their baby is ugly.

Any web developer or digital marketing professional worth their salt shouldn’t be scared to offend you if it’s necessary because the simple fact of the matter is that a bad website is bad business. 

If they’re trying to help you, they need to be straight with you and you need to brace yourself for a few hard truths if you’re serious about your online presence.

From likelihood of conversion (how much of your traffic turns into a lead or sale) to organic rankings and good old-fashioned trust and branding, there are a variety of reasons that you need to be ready to accept the reality if you truly want success.

Let’s take a look at 3 quick tips on why your website is probably bad.

It’s 2022. Your website should act like it.

Sad as it is, there are still many websites out there that are straight out of 1996. Remember websites like this?

Obviously, that website was built as a worst-case scenario, however, you can be far from that bad and still be behind the times. And that’s without even taking mobile-friendliness into account. 

Mobile device usage has skyrocketed over the past 10 years and will only continue to do so until it completely overtakes desktop devices.

Then there are the simple things like navigation, layout, use of imagery and contact methods.

For instance, once your eyes stop hurting, this website doesn’t grossly violate anything in terms of structural integrity, but the fact of the matter is their website makes them look like amateurs. 

This website (although still not exactly our favourite, this industry appears to be lacking in innovation online) would outsell it by a massive ratio if the two were placed side by side simply because it looks somewhat more modern. 

The navigation feels and flows more naturally and there are multiple entry points and calls to action which are clearly identifiable due to a smooth feel. Don’t let your website be this guy…

Trust is everything. 

Out of the previous two examples, which would you trust as a more legitimate business? The one that seems like a smooth operation with a bit of money, which most would assume is due to business being good? Or the one which looks like it was thrown together for $100?

Businesses who cheap on their websites are seen as being cheap. Because they probably are. Businesses who invest the proper time and care in their websites are usually assumed to be the kind of businesses who would invest the same amount of time and care in their customers.

So, the difference in conversion between a site that looks like a garage sale flyer and one that immediately answers questions and poses solutions while offering a positive user experience is naturally high.

Side note: It’s also always good to include any certifications or reassuring documentation onsite as well as testimonials or impressive stats and make sure to check average website design cost with features before go hand!

NEVER guess! 

If you’re designing or redesigning your website or even just making a few small changes, don’t make those changes based on what you think your customers want no matter how much of an expert you think you are. 

Base it on the mountains of readily available data regarding online behaviour and trends. Of course, you’ll include your own market research and customer data, but in the online realm you rarely ever need to guess, so why would you?

Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, heatmap technology, even just trawling the web for the latest online behavioural and conversion data. It’s all at your fingertips, so use it.

The information you need is out there to make an informed decision. If you refuse to make an informed decision then you are setting yourself up for failure. Plain and simple.

Ready to enhance your website and invest in your digital presence? Contact us today!