If you’ve ever considered trying a website domain name that is not .com, you may have wondered if you would be taken seriously. After all, everyone knows .com and even using something like .co or .net was previously seen as confusing. Now, however, the options have exploded and some of them are quite relevant and specific.

The .design domain is proving to be an obvious choice for many graphic and web designers because it serves the dual purpose of communicating what you do and helping you stand out. In the same vein of the profession, designers are using the .design domain in creative ways. Here are 5 interesting ways people are using the .design domain.

Branding

Many designers already had a .com domain name, but had the word “design” somewhere near the end of their website name. What many of these folks have done is use the .design domain to shorten the overall URL and identify what they do. There are still great .design domains available, including short words and names. Using .design looks explicit and elegant to potential clients, and makes for a professional email address.

Take a look at how SmartShape, an industrial design firm was able to move from smartshapedesign.com to smartshape.design:

.design domain
smartshape.design

Differentiation

Since .com has over 250 million registrations, people with a good, creative domain extensions are able to stand out. It may seem a little odd at first to have a non .com extension, but the trend is spreading considerably fast since a lot of the .coms are already taken. Having a .design domain name helps newcomers and young aspiring designers differentiate themselves from the crowd. It’s intriguing and it helps them compete with already established companies. Just note that Tony Osborne Architect and Design was able to get TOAD.design, not too dissimilar from the world famous Frog Design (still clinging to their longer frogdesign.com).

.design domain
toad.design

Recruiting

Large companies like facebook.design and uber.design and a dozen others began using the .design domain this year to attract young talent. These websites are filled with case studies of projects related to their design departments, showcasing the team that worked on those projects, and what it’s like to work there.

.design domain
uber.design

Many aspiring designers who see this kind of a platform are inspired or curious to learn more. You would never go to facebook.com to learn about working for their design team so the .design is a natural place to showcase how design is a core competency for them. The .design site may not necessarily be responsible for selling the company’s main product or services, but it is becoming a go to destination for aspiring designers and applicants.

.design domain
facebook.design

Content Marketing

Even companies that aren’t necessarily focused on providing design services themselves are using .design as a platform to post interesting content. Airbnb, for example, launched airbnb.design to share interesting stories from inside and outside their design department.

.design domain
airbnb.design

Other companies like dropbox.design and npr.design have followed suit. They still use their .com site for their core business operations, but have branched out and created a .design site to show their creative side. Because let’s face it: most of the big name companies have amazing apps, sites and services that deserve to be discussed by the people that created them.

.design domain
npr.design

The .design extension has given them a channel to post ideas, images, articles, and videos that promote the brand, as well as celebrate the discipline of design.

Community Building

Another interesting way companies are using .design is by including people in the conversation of new ideas and product development. The kohler.design forum, for example, allows people to read and consume content while also giving them the ability to comment and add ideas to the discussion.

.design domain
kohler.design

In effect, Kohler.design has built an entire online community. The amazing site womenwho.design has shined a light on female design leaders and the need to continue to create a balance of voices throughout community discussions.

.design domain
womanwho.design

As we can see, there are numerous ways that people are using the .design domain extension.

What are you using .design for?

If you haven’t made the transition yet to .design, now is the time because we’re offering a free year of the .design domain and email hosting package. You can head to www.porkbun.com. If after a year of using your .design domain you like it and plan to renew, the domain will cost $35 for the whole year), which is a good deal as it often retails for $70 elsewhere.

Grab your .design domain for free

Full Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Porkbun LLC. 🙏