5 Best Book App and Website Designs That Are Page-Turners

5 Best Book App and Website Designs That Are Page-Turners
Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: April 01, 2022

The old saying goes – don't judge a book by its cover. But let’s be honest – a good cover does wonders! And as a book lover, you know the feeling of buying a new one, admiring its (preferably) hardcovers and reveling in the smell of fresh ink and paper fresh off the press.

Despite technological wonders, books didn’t and couldn’t lose their magical appeal. Because despite the union of apps and websites, they often leave a bit to be desired when it comes to design and information architecture.

It’s why quality book app and website designs are fairly rare compared to the online presence of other industries, services and/or products.

In fact, the lousy quality of some does so much damage that the slew of new authors never gets the chance to be noticed by the right audience or readers, if you will.

Luckily, there are some gems out there — and as is our tradition, we’ve collected some of the finest (home)page-turners online. These are the best book app and website designs, according to DesignRush.

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1. Other Press by Being Wicked

[Source: Other Press]

Standout Features:

  • Clean, minimal UI
  • Color-coded backdrops
  • Carousel showcase

Other Press, an NYC-based publisher attracts authors who are guided by a passion to discover the limits of knowledge and imagination. They publish novels, short stories, poetry and essays — representing literature at its best.

When designing their website, Being Wicked agency opted for a fairly minimal and clean outlook. It is basically an online bookstore and the closest thing you can have to the real deal (browsing the latest titles personally, deciding whether they fit your interests kind of experience).

Besides the colorful backgrounds related to specific publications, the website uses a couple of different fonts. The dominant one being the variation on serif, Karsten semi-bold typeface.

A font inspired by the historical signs on Dutch colonial buildings on the island of Java, it blends the modern with traditional. This particular typography is a synthesis between two cultures, the East and the West, which demonstrates literature’s universal, global merit.

While the website’s eCommerce functionality seems quite ordinary at first glance, it actually deliberately draws from the act of reading. Browsing through the showcase carousel and product offerings is akin to turning the pages of a book, while exploring the menu bar resembles searching for titles in the library’s catalog cabinet.

2. Media365 eBooks

[Source: Media365]

Standout Features:

  • Extensive library
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Intuitive UI

Media365 is an online service for avid book enthusiasts looking for compelling reads across all genres: from bone-chilling thrillers to heartwarming romance books.

Their app is truly a sight to be seen — or rather, experienced. Although more traditional readers are fond of paper in hand and understandably so, there’s no denying that a quality eBook app holds many advantages, the chief of which is carrying a whole library in your pocket!

But what exactly differentiates the Media365 app from its competitors? While visually pleasing, readers are by definition drawn to an app’s capabilities and this one delivers in that regard!

Diving in, users will find an extensive eBook library. But the most engaging aspect of the Media365 application is the option to customize and tailor everything to your personal preferences.

Whether you’re looking for reading recommendations and inspiration or you want to listen to eBooks on the move, Media365 has your back. Even if the chosen title isn’t packaged with an audiobook version, the implementation of the latest AI-powered text-to-speech technology morphs them into one. It sounds so natural that’s it tough to tell that it was generated by a computer and not a real human being.

Going back to the visual side of the app’s design, readers can enjoy the publications just like paper books with convenient page-flipping animations and sounds, but with the capability to customize the type of paper, font selection and size.

Of course, they can also adjust the brightness with the so-called Eye Comfort Mode or Dark Reading Mode, take notes and highlights, mark inspirational quotes and bookmark the page so they never lose track of their reading progress.

With fresh content pouring in every twenty-four hours, users are guaranteed that every single day of the year (hence Media365) will be invested in personal reading enjoyment.

3. Fundamentals of UI/UX by Creative Tim

[Source: Creative Tim]

Standout Features:

  • Union of modern and traditional
  • Prominent CTA buttons
  • Masterful presentation

Fundamentals of UI/UX by Creative Tim is a website promoting a similarly named book that includes six parts (or chapters) that walk the reader through the process of designing a custom website — from the basic elements like buttons and cards to the macro elements like sections and dedicated pages.

Websites for individual books are some of the more challenging sites to design. Since the author (or authors) has only published a singular “product,” it can be hard to have an effective site that doesn't feel empty.

This website or rather, the dark-schemed landing page, makes great use of its negative space and does two things well:

  • It guides visitors (both prospective readers and interested booksellers) through the volume’s chapters by giving them just enough bits of info to pique their interest and entice them to buy it.
  • It skillfully demonstrates the title’s UI/UX fundamentals to showcase genuine expertise in the field.

Right upon landing, visitors are willingly caught into this sales funnel net. The prominent red CTA buttons perfectly contrast the dark blue background, while the five-star testimonials, FAQ and stats address any purchasing concern prospective buyers might have before such ideas were even brought to the table.

Visually, the page blurs the line between website and book cover design. Considering the topic at hand, one would think that the cover should sport techy imagery and typography.

However, Creative Tim went in the opposite direction. The design evokes the traditional, gold-printed, leather-bound times of old, making the contents grander and more eminent in the readers’ psyche. This tactic morphs the book into a definitive encyclopedia and the only textbook that UI/UX designers starting their respective careers would need.

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4. Tomorrow Is Too Late by Bookswarm

[Source: Tomorrow Is Too Late]

Standout Features:

  • Sticky menu bar
  • Interactive map
  • Pastel color palette

“Tomorrow Is Too Late” is a book by Grace Maddrell that collects testimonies of activism and hope from young climate strikers across the globe. From Brazil and Burundi to Pakistan and Palestine, these youth activists are experiencing the reality of the climate crisis firsthand (typhoons, droughts, floods, wildfires, drought-caused crop failure and ecological degradation) and are all engaged in the struggle to bring these issues to the center of the world stage.

Rather than just promoting the book itself, the microsite, courtesy of Bookswarm, a UK agency specializing in delivering website solutions for publishers and authors, helps advocate the author’s mission and acts as an ideal preface for the title.

The landing page starts with the inclusion of an interactive map showing all the contributors and a live Twitter feed and Instagram posts with the #tomorrowistoolate hashtag. It simultaneously showcases the community and helps it grow as a result.

The website aims to convert every single reader into a new member. Activists are prominently showcased with short videos, perfectly contrasting the faceless corporations sucking the planet’s lifeblood away.

The color choice is also interesting. Eye-pleasing pastel hues not only match the book cover’s design but also ironically symbolize the looming threat of climate crisis. The predominant, red Quinland Regular typeface also conveys the message well as it resembles the famous Stop traffic sign, which doesn’t need further explanation.

5. Pittori di cinema by Bunker

[Source: Pittori di cinema]

Standout Features:

  • Full-screen vibrant images
  • Thematic color palette
  • Smooth animation

“Pittori di cinema” or “Cinema artists” is the web showcase of the homonymous book crafted by Bunker, aimed to give a face (and voice) to the authors of the most famous movie posters of the 20th-century Italian cinema. The volume itself is aimed at film lovers and collectors but also professional graphic designers. It acts as a historical record and an inspiration for future generations of the art of visual communication.

The webpage is essentially a masterclass of remarkable painting-style illustration, graphic design and typography.

The design literally pulls you into rich visuals by using an impressive fixed-scroll zoom animation, making every illustration a separate section and adding a pseudo-interactive feature that makes users a part of the experience.

Since the core of the book is based on dozens of marvelous illustrations, Bunker felt the need to give space to the painters themselves without their addition ending up like a boring, afterthought listing. Hovering over an artist’s names reveals their pictures which pays them much-deserved respect, as well as contributes to a seamless UX.

Adding a cherry on top are high-quality animations that are sure to capture the users’ attention and encourage them to explore the site’s full story.

Aside from the above-mentioned scroll effect, Bunker opted for a fade-in-and-up effect for the textual parts and a simple but pleasing slide-from-side animation for the full ratio images.

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