Trends in Professionalism: Modern Business Website Designs

The Internet has always been a great means of communication for businesses worldwide. It allows us to connect like never before and create amazing applications for easy usability. As design trends have evolved over the years we’ve seen a huge transition between many differing styles of design. Modern corporate websites are no exception and have seen massive growth over the past decade.

More business owners small and large are looking to own a powerful web presence. This helps to retain new business leads and spread the word about company’s products. The bonus here is the massive marketing and branding potential afforded to such a large audience.

I’ve outlined a few common trends for corporate site designs below. Not all corporations require cookie-cutter solutions and these are just some design concepts to include in the creative process. Keep the juices flowing by checking out some of the hundreds of thousands of professional layouts already available today.

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How Corporate Design has Evolved

Corporations from past generations have always had some form of web presence. Before the new millennium most of these websites were static, read-only pages with very marginal design. This was the early era of our Internet and it’s a clever reminder into just how much has changed.


Modern businesses don’t settle for such small ideals anymore. With the rampant advancement of open-source technologies it’s easier today than ever before to get a website up and running. Browser support is also closing in with fine-tuned rendering standards and rules.

We can see much more user interaction in corporate designs today. Dynamic contact forms, blogs, search functionality and so much more.

The designs themselves have taken things to a new level. Simplicity seems to be ruling with most digital businesses boasting clean, conservative website layouts. The shift has been placed with power into the users’ hands.

The main cause behind this conversion is how popular the Internet itself has gotten as a connection medium. With more people online the average business owner has a much greater chance of selling products via the world wide web than on TV or even in person. This small revolution shows how businesses have begun to adapt to our consumer-based short attention spans and undying urge for simplicity.

Establish Corporate Responsibility

Let your customers know that you are a capable company to handle their needs, whatever they may be. Keep things professional and show that you are a responsible company. This shows you trust all of your customers to the fullest extent and greatly value their privacy.

In return you’ll often see many repeat clients and engaged customers. Building that network of trust upon first landing at your site shows real promise. The easiest way to accomplish this is by placing reassuring page elements. This could be testimonials from past clients or works out of the company’s portfolio.

The layout and physical structure of the website also implies a lot about the business. Pure white is commonly the color used to fill in background space, though if a design fits you can get away with other colors or graphics. Typography should be clear and spaced evenly throughout. It’s unnecessary and also slightly annoying to visitors when all of a page’s content is crammed together.

Keep Clutter Out

On many template selling websites you’ll see corporate templates with large stock photography and shiny graphics and blog posts lining the home page. In theory this is a clean look for our era but in practice visitors just see another plain business template.


If there’s a reason to display stock imagery or list company blog posts then don’t remove these items just to clear up space. However in most cases you’ll want to keep the home page used for exactly what it is: a landing page. First impressions are key to all markets.

Promote Products and Services

The main purpose of having a website for your business is to gain more customer insight into your brand. So why wouldn’t you let them know what type of services you offer?

There have been many times I’ve landed on a website with an impeccable design. Professional logo, beautiful Flash animations and graphics, and yet no simple explanation as to what they do. Most times I’ll just leave without a second thought about it.

Try placing columns of products or services listed directly on the home page. Often times graphics can help since visitors will be quickly scanning your page for symbols to infer what you do. You may also consider applying hints into the logo and site brand.

For example, you may add “A Creative Seattle-Based Design Firm” as a sub-title to a web design firm’s logo. This gives your visitors information about what the company does and where they are located. It’s also in a place where most visitors will glance at and take some time to appreciate.

Feeling the Page Flow

This is a difficult skill to acquire and master but will help you develop a bold sense of design security. After creating a mockup or simple layout design try sampling into the eyes of others. Imagine how you would react after the page loads.

What would be your first moves? Does the design catch your attention or seem bland? Friends, family, and co-workers are great test subjects who can provide excellent feedback.


When referring to page flow you want to consider how energies will flow through the pages. To expand further consider how the average visitor will behave when first attempting to browse the site. Do they focus their energy on any of the home page content? Maybe they leave the home page immediately and head to another.

You may monitor tests and find most visitors are interested in a company overview page as their first action. This implies it may be beneficial to move that information onto the home page where visitors will see it right away. This is the fortune of testing and applying knowledge from a user experience level into the design level.

Many of these ideas can be applied to broad areas of company design as well. Though corporations are constantly in change the things most of their customers are looking for are staying the same. By getting into the head of any general visitor you may be able to visualize and experience exactly how you’d like the site to perform.


Corporate Design Showcase

Below I’ve compiled 15 unique and creative corporate website designs. Many of these include trends from differing styles of design and layout. Much of the inspiration drawn from this showcase is a result of professional designs with clear edges.

American Express


American Express covers a wide range of services for their customers, yet their site is deviously simple. Heading links are broken into easy to identify blocks with icons. This makes browsing at a glance so much simpler for the average visitor.



Bassett takes on the classic approach to business design with a full, rich Flash display for their products. They include details on promotionals and sales right at the start of their page loading. This also includes links to their profiles in the social media landscape such as Facebook and Twitter.



Contrary to most other corporations Blackberry plays with a deep, powerful solid black background as the foundation for their website. This demonstrates a bit of mystery and promotes a sense of new-age shiny technology.



Digg has gone through some heavy changes recently which may have worked against the company in the long run. The one aspect which isn’t gone is their creativity for fluid and expansive designs. The landing page to their Company About section has a large branding graphic with an introductory video presentation.

GE Capital


Almost exactly what you’d be looking for in the standard business layout. Crisp links with a focal point into the center of the site. Here there are a few rotating panels which lead to inner content of past ventures and case studies.

Gibson Guitars


Gibson is one of the oldest and most trusted brands of both acoustic and electric guitars. Their website plays host to a professional atmosphere with a very simple navigation style. Down towards the bottom of the page there is a large block area containing links to their products and affiliated companies.



One of the most innovative technology companies to date, Intel has an extremely simple layout which benefits mostly all users. It’s very easy to find just what you’re looking for with a navigation pane split into 4 key areas (business, home, support, and company info).



Similar to Intel’s menu style you’ll find all the links you need along the lefthand side of the page. McDonald’s portrays a large graphic as part of their main promotional content for the Monopoly game. This must be a very important marketing technique for the company considering it takes up most of their home page.



MT has been written about and reviewed with flying colors by many popular tech blogs. Their website is professional, simple, and displays all their content in a concise manner. They even list out a small block of icons based on their past clients’ logos.



nclud is a unique design agency shaking things up a bit for corporate design. With a teal/green background and most of their text written in lighter hues the overall color scheme really seems to pop. It’s very creative and most importantly holds solid throughout the entire expanse of the website.



Palm’s US website is by far not an ordinary creation. Most of the page links are buttons or block areas which highlight or display neat effects on hover. There’s also a comprehensive search feature which displays very clear results, although the UI leaves much to be desired.

Perry Ellis


When working with fashion websites we can often see leniency in ways of design trends. Perry Ellis splits their page into 2 main portions horizontally – the heading and main content. The tan background and dropdown navigation menus are what really connects the design together. Although there are a lot of links directly placed on each page it’s effortless to find exactly what information you’re looking for.



HTML slicing services are commonly seen around the web. The first company to make some traction on the scene was PSD2HTML which has seen enormous growth since initial launch. Their landing page showcases a brilliant blue background with plenty of information and creative graphics to hold their visitor’s attention.



The coffeehouse giant doesn’t let up even when it comes to online promotion. Their home page features clean links with easy-to-read text blocks. They have a promotional video placed front and center for interested clients along with links to their social profiles.

Tribal Fusion


One of the big advertising giants of the web controls an enormous brand behind the name Tribal Fusion. They’ve recently released a newer version of their website which makes finding information based on your position (advertiser or publisher) hundreds of times easier.


Consider checking out corporations in many different fields for inspiration. You may find a particular layout or color scheme from an appliance store website that fits perfectly in tune with your creative ideas. You can also reference older articles for collections of beautiful and simplistic websites.

The true power behind corporate design trends comes from the process. First you have to research professional standards and how other web designers are working in this market. Create and design your ideas, test them out and learn from these results, and finally re-design and implement new information until you’ve got a uniform air-tight product.