Two well designed websites that I visit often are Spotify and Twitch TV.
Spotify is an ad based music streaming service that allows its users to create, share, and listen to any music playlist they want. A distinct characteristic about the Spotify website is the dark, shaded background. This is important as it allows significant features to stand out such as the featured music playlists in the center of the page. The simple toolbar on the left contains all the actions you would ever need to listen to music on this website. Its also very helpful that these toolbar icons are labeled, as it prevents confusion for newer users while remaining unobtrusive to the sleek design of the website.
Secondly, Twitch TV is an ad based live streaming service where users stream primarily video games and podcasts. The main two sections of every Twitch stream are the live stream itself and the live chat. On the live stream, you can change options to meet your personal needs, such as video quality, video size, and volume. The live chat, love it or hate it, is what sets Twitch TV apart from other streaming services. Each channel’s chat box is different from the each other and it is typically up to the user to decide whether or not they want to contribute to the discussion. There is a navigation bar on the left that allows users to browse channels by content, username, or recommended.
Streaming services are some my favorite content on the web, and these two exemplify superior web design that separates them from the competition.