There’s a saying we take to heart- if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. With Digital as the ever-changing and adaptive discipline that it is, sometimes even the pro’s need to look for inspiration. We call this research.
The Webby Awards, named the Internet’s highest honour, recognises exceptional work across Websites, Social Media, Advertising and more. We scoured their top picks from the 2017 Webby Awards, and unpacked the winning piece of work for the category of Global Best Practice for Websites.

21st Annual Webby Awards| Best Practice Category

Best Practices sites serve as an industry benchmark for the most current, innovative, and advanced practices in Web development. These sites demonstrate unparalleled excellence across six criteria:

Best Practice for Websites | Criteria

  • Content
  • Structure
  • Navigation
  • Visual Design
  • Interactivity
  • Functionality
  • Overall experience

Website Best PracticeBy analysing the most awarded sites, we ensure that our digital work meets the Global Best Practice standards, and pushes us to develop the standard in South Africa.

 The Winner

Virgin America


This website is exceptionally clean, with minimalistic design elements. They have included more copy, which suits Search Engines, and have made their copy and Call to Actions fun and interesting, using bold, stunning imagery to sell their experiences.

Best Practice for Websites


Each touchpoint and page of this website has been crafted with the end-user in mind. Key convenience factors, such as the notification bar at the top; letting you know about Runway construction, new TSA screening laws, or even terminal news, to the unique Flight Alerts system. The consumer’s convenience is at the core of their website, with each element of the user’s convenience structured with purpose and intent.


Navigation is simple but well thought out. Virgin American has simplified their navigation and made use of standard main menus. Within each page, there are additional hot links to drive the user further into their website. We love that instead of cluttering their main navigation with a multitude of options, they have chosen to incorporate smart content within the pages. This leads to a longer page, and more scrolling- this is not an inconvenience to users. Trying to find information is!

 Visual Design

The Design has been kept clean and minimalistic- a clear indication that they are focusing on customers, and not just their image. The design really comes into play once you leave the homepage. The visual design is kept simple, but striking, with a consistent look and feel throughout. A strong use of colour pulls awareness to key areas, and the design and development functionality work well together.

Best Practice for Websites


Virgin America has focused on showcasing their offerings through interactive pieces. For example, you can experience their cabins through some innovative Google technology. When browsing destinations, they incorporate a lot of interactive content, tips and blogs to really immerse their audiences. They also showcase their cabins and the overall experience beautifully, integrated with the info you’re looking for.


The first thing that we noted on Virgin America was the range of functionality that they included. A user can choose from a variety of options, all catered to their needs.  On the front page alone, they offer:

  • Search for Flights
  • Check In
  • VR Exploration (Using Google Street view)
  • Flight Management
  • Flight Customisation
  • App Downloads
  • Loyalty Plans
  • Flight Alerts
  • Aviation Notifications

Overall Experience

The Virgin American site is one of the most well-thought out, and executed websites we’ve seen in a while. It’s hard not to love their offerings, simply because of how you experience it on the website. We experienced little to no frustrations in finding information, and we’re pleasantly surprised with all the convenience features this website provided. The functionality worked exceptionally well too, leaving us itching to book for a new adventure- their intention, I’m sure.


Best Practice for Websites


What are your thoughts on Virgin America’s website? Do you believe it to be the best website in the world, or have you seen better?

What sites do you think showcase best practice for websites in South Africa?