10 websites that challenge (without being challenging)

Though I’m a strong advocate for challenging, even I wouldn’t recommend challenging every web design standard at once. Design standards exist for a reason and for users, some familiarity can be helpful.

If some things on a website are unique, it’s compelling. If everything on a website is unique, it’s confusing.

So how do you strike the perfect balance?

Here are 10 inspiring examples that challenge just the right amount:

1. Compare your solution to the alternatives your customer uses to solve their problem, including those beyond traditional competitors.

It’s easy to identify other brands you’re competing with but sometimes we forget to compare ourselves to the rest of the consideration set. Papaya focuses on the limitations of generic alternatives, like bacteria-filled sponges, smelly rags, and wasteful paper towels.

2. Transform scrolling into an engaging journey.

Landing pages typically feature a top-to-bottom scroll. 5&V client REDU Materials uses a unique, interactive scrolling experience to showcase the consequences of using recycled materials, turning a basic action into a compelling narrative.

3. Don’t be constrained to boxy layouts.

Don’t Board Me’s design is the antithesis to the cookie cutter, boxy landing page. Though their flow is fairly standard, their playful shapes elevate the experience. And honestly, who can’t help but laugh at a dog butt made with an Instagram logo!

4. Go beyond the traditional “landing page” to create an interactive experience.

Raymond Weil’s Basquiat landing page feels more like a movie trailer, with a captivating intro sequence, animations, and music.


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    5. Hook visitors with powerful data.

    Many websites start with the high level and drive down to details. NASA Jet Propulsion Lab does the opposite. They showcase fascinating facts upfront, like the date of the next five asteroids approaching close to earth, immediately highlighting the significance of their work.

    A building sized asteroid approaching tomorrow? Thank goodness someone is keeping track of this 😮‍💨

    6. Don’t feel constrained by the common aesthetic of your industry.

    Mattress companies often have a similar aesthetic. Think… buy TODAY for 50% off!

    Earthfoam features a clean, modern aesthetic more commonly seen in fashion & lifestyle brands, creating a more luxurious feel for their product.

    7. Lead with value to your customer, rather than purpose of your brand.

    Many landing pages jump straight to their purpose without outlining what’s in it for the reader. Pura’s NappiCycle landing page doesn’t fall into this trap.

    5&V client Pura prioritizes what parents care about: “free nappy recycling” (value) with a chance to “win free nappies for a month” (bonus!), before highlighting their environmental purpose.

    8. Show, over tell.

    Webflow doesn’t just talk about its features, it lets you experience them right on the page. Interactive sections showcase the tool in action, no trial necessary.

    Despite this, it does have concise explanations for those that need it, balancing the “tell” with the “show”.

    9. Consider embracing vintage.

    Spotify playlist & newsletter community Big Desk Energy challenges that websites have to be modern to be compelling. Instead, their website takes visitors on a throwback journey to their first computer desktops!

    10. Why not merge social and site?

    Tower28 doesn’t restrict social media to living only on their original platforms. Instead, the company embeds videos of real products within their landing pages so shoppers can see them in action.


    Ready to challenge the
    status quo and win?

    👋 I'm Rahul, founder and CMO at 5&Vine. Reach out to schedule an intro call about your marketing challenges and let's assess how 5&Vine can help your brand win.

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