Something that always makes me cringe is a new-to-the-web designer trying to reinvent the wheel. New web designers often feel this need to restructure things, without an understanding of why web layout conventions are useful. So, when I first landed on this site, my first thought was, “Ugh, another ‘creative’ designer.” But I quickly realized that even though they broke all the rules (the navigation and logo are hidden at the bottom, for example), the structure actually works really well. Pretty much every other web service site follows the common layout patterns. By side-stepping this, they have a chance of not simply blending into the herd. Pushing the envelope never felt so good.
Need more design inspiration? Check out the Web Designer’s Idea App for iPad, with hundreds of stellar websites selected by Patrick McNeil.