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By Chris Knight
This is a place to put links to sites that command respect both as a place to seek inspiration for woodwork but also one that doesn't drive you mad because the site is poorly designed and instead helps you to find what you seek.

The idea is to provide a source for ideas - recognising and accepting that we are all in some way copyists, indebted to others for our own flashes of brilliance!

And here is a clue; if the site uses flash, there is a good chance it won't make the grade!

Here are some starters - these have been added from subsequent references noted by others.

C.H. Becksvoort
Jonathan Pearce Fine Furniture
Oryx Design
Richard Williams
Cadman Furniture
Michael Cooper
Waywood Furniture
Robert Ingham
Devon Furniture Makers
Last edited by Chris Knight on 23 Oct 2009, 12:36, edited 2 times in total.
By wizer
I'm not sure I'd call that a 'good' website Chris. Yes it's very simple but it's quite basic and looks very bland. To me, a furniture maker needs to promote style and good design, even if it's not in the medium he works in.

Here's one that I think is better but could be improved.

Our very own Simon from Oryxdesign has got it spot on IMHO

This is exactly how I'd do it.
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By Chris Knight
I agree with you, I think both sites you picked show the maker's overall design well and also the detail - which Becksvoort's site does not. I like the way the Pearce site lets you pick which bit of detail to see amongst three or four choices.
By wizer
This is quite nice.

Very clean and minimalist. I do like sites that are framed like this. It takes a bit of thinking to make it work with content but it's very user friendly. I've designed a few like this in the past.
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By MikeG.
Here are a few.......starting with my favourite furniture makers, the Cadmans:

and the greatest woodworker I have ever laid eyes on, Michael Cooper:

Here is a website that lists a huge number of the top designer makers in the country, and links to their websites:

and these people are friends of friends.....and damned good too:

Waywoods aren't bad either:

If you only look at one site, check out Michael Cooper's work.

By wizer
Mike Garnham wrote:

This is quite nice but it commits a cardinal rule with me. An entry page! :twisted: I'm not keen on mouseover dots which show detail shots/

Terrible website. Truly Terrible. Outstanding work.

Another entry page! :twisted: which takes you to a horrible flash site. They do have an HTML version which is ok
This is quite nice but I don't like the way you have to scroll down to get the page links. I just find that annoying.

Must Try Harder Mike :lol:
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By matt
An interesting thread. Whilst I understand and accept some of the comments about what is universally discussed and regarded as "bad design", and I too often find them frustrating; I do believe that some sites are designed with quite a specific clientele in mind who are successfully wooed by such features and effects.

By our very membership of this forum we are all largely practical people so perhaps ought to keep an open mind to the sites being successful at what they set out do achieve regardless of our prejudices.

I think they can be both good and bad in equal measure depending on what you're measuring. The acid test for a site is conversion and we've no way of telling what that might be.
By wizer
Have you been at the shandy again Matt? Prejudiced against websites? :roll:

I've worked around the web since 1995. Between 1998 and 2000 I was a freelance web designer. I've been creating websites on and off ever since. I've worked with customers and with users of web sites and read numerous publications of good web design. My comments about these websites draw from my professional experience in this field and have nothing to do with prejudices. This thread was asking what 'we' (the members of this forum) like or disliked about the websites of woodworkers. Whether or not we are of a technical nature has no bearing on whether we find a website easy to use or easy to look at. Indeed, if we find a web page hard to navigate or lacking the details we need then a prospective customer will find it harder still to glean the information that they need. I've read many survey reports that state the majority of website users will click away from heavy flash sites and get frustrated by bells and whistles like entry pages and audio. You're right in as much as these websites have to have an air of creativity and flare. But they fail to provide the user with what they need. The designers of these sites are not working with their customer to provide function as well as form. Many of the flash sites will be ignored by search bots which makes the website completely pointless.
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By MikeG.
wizer wrote:Must Try Harder Mike :lol:

yeah but......yeah but...........I only read the first half of the sentence "This is a place to put links to sites that command respect ........ as a place to seek inspiration for woodwork.......". I promise not to do it again, honest miss.

Anyway, I only agree with you about the Michael Cooper site........and even that I like for being so disorganised, much like this genius' brain. It tickles me that you can read page 13/15, 14/15, 15/15, 16/15 (!) and eventually get to page 32/15!!

The what if there is a title (entry) page? Do you ever buy a book without a cover?

By wizer
IT's annoying Mike, Pay attention. ;)
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By woodbloke
Here's one that's definitely worth looking at:

I don't know whether it comes under the 'flash' definition but it seems a good one to me...and no one's posted the late JK's site yet 8-[ - Rob
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By matt
wizer wrote:I've worked around the web since 1995. Between 1998 and 2000 I was a freelance web designer. I've been creating websites on and off ever since. I've worked with customers and with users of web sites and read numerous publications of good web design.

Yeah, me too - similar story :D. Mind you, you couldn't walk down the street without tripping over someone claiming to be a web designer - it became almost embarrasing to be part of it - still does to some extent.

I agree there is a fundamental core of accepted good design - the safe zone.

(And not prejudice against web sites.)