One of the things that immediately struck me about Stack Overflow when I came across it was how great the interface is. Everything is intuitive, advanced functionality "clicks into place" as you acquire it without major changes to the UI. The one or two very minor things which I find counterintuitive would seem perfectly normal on a lesser site.

As a (nominally) web developer I find this worth studying from a professional standpoint. We often learn best by examples (this is why "Beautiful Code" was so popular). So what are other websites out there that have really beautiful "just works" UI, and what makes their UI great?


Smashing Magazine.. It has an appealing UI...

Codeplex ... It has a nice layout and contents are pretty well grouped inside that layout...


I think the canonical example of a simple, clean UI is google.com

It may lack what you describe as 'advanced functionality' but, like SO, they're not afraid of whitespace.


One additional (very, very niche) website which I think has a great UI is GOG.com. It breaks out of the standard website mode of interaction in several places by making great use of drag & drop. It's also snappy and responsive, which is important - if a site allows its bells and whistles to drag it down they very quickly become annoying instead of cool.

[Posting as an answer so it can be rated individually.]


Although there are plenty of "standard" websites that show beautiful web interfaces, I am inclined to a suggest a more alternative one: http://dontclick.it/.

Although this interface is quite experimental and there are little chances you will every need to design something similiar, it made me think and somehow feels quite intuitive.


I really like the consistent UI of the google apps (e.g. calendar, notebook, rss-reader). They are all easy to get into, simple and not crowded, clear and intuitive layout of main app, configuration and documentation.


I think http://www.spotep.com has a very simplistic and appealing gui.

Especially the small things like directly showing episodes left in season and days until nex episode.


For displaying products in a clean and simple way, you can't beat Apple.com


For web based application any of the 37 Signals applications provide excellent examples of compelling UI that "just works". The focus on simplicity and usability are what make these great UI examples.


I really like the Telerik site as far as things go. I think the main site is adquate and quite cosmetically pleasing, but some of the demo sites are really well structured and even prettier!

I guess this is important, given that one of Telerik's main purposes is to help people provide great UIs!