Designs for the latest crop of Chicago startup websites does not disappoint. Creative web development, responsive web design, and functional UX design combine to create some stunning web work. That’s no surprise given the innovation, creativity, and growth that characterizes the Windy City startup world.

From healthcare to finance to products, here are ten of our favorite designs from some of the top businesses in town, as ranked by our web design and development team here in Detroit.

  1. Events: PartySlate


Weddings, fundraisers, birthdays, corporate events. PartySlate is a recent entry into the $112-billion-dollar events industry, connecting venue owners, party planners, photographers, caterers, and unique event spaces through a visually rich interface. The responsive and mobile-friendly site has well-designed user journeys, including Pinterest-like ideabooks and listicle-form blog content.

  1. Apparel:


Business is booming for, the nation’s largest online consignment shop and thrift store, which last year scored $20 million in new venture funding. The site design is a smart pairing of clean design and slightly irreverent aesthetic. This spunky startup’s website manages a large and changing product inventory as well as any corporate online retailer.  

  1. Marketing and Big Data: Sentic Technologies

Sentic Technologies

Marketers need to have a finger on the pulse of customer sentiment. Marketing and big data firm Sentic Technologies scans brand talk on social networks and in web conversations with adaptive tech and machine learning technologies, sorts by theme, and reports by with actionable data. It’s a complicated product, but Sentic’s website design sells the benefits and features effectively while piquing interest.

  1. Travel: Airfordable


The travel industry is flourishing and many players have entered the marketplace to compete on price. Yet sometimes even the best price is too high for cash-strapped travellers. Airfordable had the idea to let plane fare customers pay for travel in installments. The startup’s website features a simple and effective one-page design with a repeated call-to-action signup.

  1. Stealth Mode Startups: Ocient


If there’s one thing familiar to Chicago’s startup world, it’s the many intriguing startups in “stealth mode”. Little is know about such firms, but many still have a website. Ocient’s stealth mode website is a particularly eye-catching example. An aurora video loop greets viewers while website copy puts the firm’s best foot forward. The design is proof that a placeholder website doesn’t have to be boring.

  1. Services PrintWithMe


PrintWithMe capitalizes on the modern consumer’s printer needs. Though he may have a smartphone, laptop, tablet, and netbook on hand, most don’t have home access to a printer. This new Chicago startup is placing printers and document kiosks in convenient locations far beyond the local copy store. A great homepage design begins with a splash video of the service in action, then leads users through the product’s functionality, benefits, packages, and testimonials.

  1. FinTech: M1 Finance

m1 finance

M1 Finance is an app-based service for investors. The app targets the space between passive investing and active money management with a “pie-based” portfolio-building tool. The website is solid all around, but has built some particularly great flat-design graphics to explain the product throughout the site. We also like M1’s twist on the typical wealth-affirming standard green accent color financial websites are known for — going with a bright, punchy tropical green hue instead.

  1. Wearables: Jiobit


Combining the Internet-of-Things, wearable tech, and parenting needs, Jiobit has created a device that allows parents to easily and discreetly keep tabs on their kids. The Jiobit product is just gearing up for pre-orders, but the site is ready for primetime: great splash imagery, a smart explainer video, and a well-designed customer chat widget.

  1. Real Estate and Hospitality: VirtualKEY


Taking its cue from the vacation rental industry, VirtualKEY serves customers trying their hand at part-time landlording. The app works with a variety of smart locks to give Airbnb-ers access to a property without the hassle of key exchanges. The site starts with a sleek above-the-fold design and transitions into a single-page design touting partnerships, how-it-works content, and a great cartoon explainer video.

  1. Health Tech: Tempus


Last but not least, our favorite Chicago startup site has to be that of health tech firm Tempus. This firm, founded by Eric Lefkofsky, whose successes include Groupon, Uptake, and VC firm Lightbank,  is applying big data and machine learning technology to the pursuit of a cure for cancer. The website’s opening animation graphics are stellar and scrolling down the page offers a strong user experience journey. These elements are continued seamlessly throughout the site.

Looking for even more beautiful, functional website designs? Check out our best-of Detroit website list.

Time for your business to update your existing website? Call us at 313-338-9515 or email to learn how our full-service digital agency can help you showcase your brand and tell your story.


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